If we learnt anything from Saturday’s hike it was that the early bird without a doubt gets the worm. So to avoid being surrounded by hundreds of people in a place that I feel is meant to be quiet we decided to get in early.
Okay so I wouldn’t say we got in that early but woman’s gotta sleep after all that walking. 8.30am start from the Conservation Hut along the National Pass track towards Empress Falls. The track is an approx 4.5km loop rated hard because of the large number of stairs, steep cliff face ladders and slippery water / rock crossings. It took us 3.5 hours which wasn’t too bad considering my mum was with us and this is way beyond anything she’s ever attempted. She did well though.
Anyway so first sight of the walk was Empress Falls which are absolutely amazing, possibly the best waterfall I have seen to date. This part of the track is especially beautiful but really slippery. It is really a lose/lose situation with this trail in the sense that lots of rain prior means beautiful waterfalls but also means especially slippery and extremely muddy tracks. The waterfalls are worth the slipperiness though.
Next you will stop by the base of Wentworth Falls which is super amazing and highly recommended for a quick dip if you are visiting in the warmer months. April is not one of those months in this region.
The track soon becomes an obstacle course and requires climbing up the side of the mountain with quite steep ladders but this to me is what it’s all about. For those of you wondering why we would climb if the track is a loop, you are right, you can climb down if you start the walk the other direction. For us we decided climbing up steep and slippery things is safer than climbing down, harder but still safer.
Finally we were up high where the view is spectacular and everything other than mountains looks like ants. The walk from here has an amazing view but still has a fair few steep stairs. Totally worth it though for the experience. Last sight of the walk is upper Wentworth Falls before heading back to Conservation Hut along the upper cliff walk.
The Conservation Hut has limited parking, once full you will have to park further down the road. The Hut also sells ice cream, drinks and even has a cafe with table service and toilets so it was a good place to start we thought. You can also just do Wentworth Falls either from the Hut or from other car parks closer to the falls if the National Pass sounds a little too much for you.