Wentworth Falls and Valley of the Waters, Leura

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

The TC recently spent a couple of days in Leura, a town in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. I was there too, but I spent my time cosily buried in a book. The TC, brave soul that she is, went on a four-hour hike from Leura to Wentworth Falls and back. The walk is 6 to 7 kilometres in distance, with a vertical drop and ascent of 200 metres.

My impressions? To judge by the TC’s glowing face and weary limbs, this was a walk and a half. She loved it, and had sore muscles for days afterwards.

The book I’m in

Jupiter War, by Neal Asher.

Travel tip

When walking in the Blue Mountains, take plenty of water and some food. Although your intention may be to stay out only a couple of hours, weather can change and mishaps can happen.

Recommended accommodation

Fairmont Resort, 1 Sublime Point Rd, Leura NSW 2780. Comfort, warmth, and friendliness.

The photos

Looking out over the Blue Mountains from the Fairmont Resort in Leura. This is where the four-hour walk started. Early in the morning, the valley is filled with mist:

Leura, Blue Mountains

On the way to Wentworth Falls, the path takes you up and down, through forest-filled glens, under overhanging rocks, along cliff faces:

Walk to Wentworth Falls

The views are stunning:

On the way to Wentworth Falls

At the top of Wentworth Falls, the ground just ends. The water falls over the edge:

At the top of Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls, seen from the bottom:

Wentworth Falls

To get down there, you can take the National Pass, a spectacular cliff-face path of metal and rock:

National Pass, Wentworth Falls

Cockatoos frolic around the falls:

Cockatoo at Wentworth Falls

On the loop back to Leura, the TC’s group walked through the Valley of the Waters. This is a gorgeous walk, with waterfalls and hanging gardens and spectacular views. This shot is taken from behind the curtain of water that drops off the cliffs:

Valley of the Waters, Blue Mountains

Here’s a short video taken from behind the same waterfall:

The Cascades are a silver shower of water on black rock:

The Cascades, Valley of the Waters

That’s all for today, folks.


The blue mountains

This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark, Hallmark serial number 95 HBM 80-1. Twenty-five years, and I don’t look a day older than one! Alas, I can’t say the same for my Travelling Companion. I spend most of my time inside a book (well, duh) while my TC sees the world. Read all about me and follow my blog posts to share my experiences as bookmark and travelling worm. I’ll keep it meaningful. Like a t-shirt.

Today’s travel notes

Yesterday I was at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. That’s about two hours’ drive west of Sydney.

How did I feel? Cocooned in magnificence.

In my last blog post, I confessed to being awestruck by Uluru, to the point of wordlessness. The Blue Mountains don’t do that to you. They’re beautiful, dizzying, breathtaking — but somehow cozy too.

Here are some words for the temperate rainforest: dripping; tinkly; enveloping; silvery; soaring.

Words for the precipitous train ride from the top of the gorge down to the forest floor: “Da-da-da-DAAA, da-da-Daaa”. For those philistines who don’t recognise it, that’s the Indiana Jones theme tune. They play it to you as the train sets off.

Words for the cliffs and gorges: floating; misty; dark and handsome; the strong silent type.

The Blue Mountains have something for everyone: ghost trees and ghost stories; misleading road signs and strong coffee; adventurous rides and ankle-turning hikes. You can even abseil off one of the Three Sisters, if she takes your fancy.

A traveller’s gripe

There are NO signs pointing the way to Scenic World, our destination in Katoomba. We went round and round the misty by-ways, asking directions of the locals. Some of the latter looked patiently amused. Others’ expressions implied, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”.

Eventually we found a sign at the top of a road and turned obediently. It was a very very short road, ending in a t-junction. What now, left or right? Not a hint. We guessed right. If we hadn’t, we would eventually have become just another ghostly collection of voices bouncing off Echo Point.

Travel tip

Don’t be a prisoner of your hair style.

The book I’m in

Season of the Witch, by Natasha Mostert.

The photos

Me looking down on the rain forest canopy:

Me looking down on the rain forest canopy

Me in the rain forest:

Me in the rain forest

Me and a ghost tree:

Me and a Black Wattle

Scenic Railway track plunging into the gorge. Impressive wormhole:

Top of Scenic Railway track

The Scenic Railway train — brother worm emerging from his hole:

Scenic Railway train

Looking out over the rain forest canopy:

Rain forest canopy

In the depths of the rain forest, looking up at the silver shining wet bark of a tall tree:

Silver shining wet bark

Black wattles. I’ve dubbed them ghost trees. Their scientific name is Callicoma serratifolia, and they’re not a wattle at all. That’s the Ozzies for ya. Historical note: The first timbers used for the wattle and daub huts of the early settlers were cut from these trees:

Black wattle


Black wattle ghost