Hidden away on the western side of Blackheath, Porters Pass is one of the oldest tracks in the Blue Mountains, dating back to 1888. This mystery tour takes you along the precipitous Walls Ledge, down the side of a waterfall and across Colliers Causeway. You then zigzag up Porters Pass, cut across escarpment heathland and complete your circuit through the dark and mossy Centennial Glen.
Address: Park at the end of Centennial Glen road in Blackheath. Toilets are also available here.
Distance: Walls Ledge Loop walk: 1.5km. 1 Hour Loop. Medium Grade. Centennial Glen & Fort Rock (exit Bundarra st): 2km. 1.5 hours one way. Hard. Porters Pass via Colliers Causeway (exit Burton rd): 3km. 2 hours one way. Hard.
The two one way walks form a complete loop of 5km and an entire circuit of the 3 walks can be done in around 3.5 – 4 hours. Be warned, there is about 900 metres of ascent/descent on this walk.
Start by doing the Colliers Causeway section and exiting to Burton road. Take the fire trail that is on your right to Cecil street and then turn right on to Kanimbla street and follow it to the end. In front of you is a School with a fire trail to the left on their property, with a sign (bush walkers this way) Follow this pretty fire trail and it quickly turns into a narrow path that leads to Fort Rock. (A large rock on a clifftop shaped like a rook) From here follow signs to Centennial Glen till you get back to the intersection near where you started. If you have the time and energy you can do the Walls Ledge Loop from here. It should be a nice easy walk to cool down after the more challenging loop.
The Views! The views are stunning and constant. It seems like every time you turn a corner there is a new stunning vista! This walk is one of the oldest in the Blue Mountains. Work started on it as early as 1888.
Be warned steps feature very heavily on this walk! There was so much upping and so much downing! It’s 215 metres from the highest to the lowest point. That’s the equivalent of a 70 story high rise. In total there is about 900 metres of ups and downs. That is a LOT of stairs!
Once you have descended a portion of these stairs, you will come across a sign pointing to “Canyon” This is a small Spur track that will follow a small stream into a cave. You will have to do some serious scooting along the cliff, shown on the right side of this picture, to get inside the cave. If your not worried about getting your feet wet, the stream was about a foot deep, so walking through it could be an option.
Totally worth it. This has to be one of the most stunning things i have seen..
And if the spectacular views and a hidden grotto are not reason enough to take on this rather challenging walk there are also waterfalls! Including this one that you pretty much walk down..
This stunning one that you walk underneath..
And this more gentle waterfall that had a trough carved into it. Apparently this one is called Slippy Dip!
We were in a rainforest gully not 20 minutes ago and now we are on the top of a mountain overlooking this stunning valley.
It’s not an easy track though.. The terrain is quite challenging in places. With paths that weave through trees, or stumble accross piles of rocks and dead trees and the occasional squishy and muddy places to slow you down.
The cliff top walks, stunning as they are might also make this track less then toddler friendly. Some of the trails were less then 2 feet wide with a very decent drop. So wear your best and grippiest shoes and be very careful where you place your feet.
I had some rather miserable weather for this walk so the sunshine and accompanying rainbow were very welcome.
This rather stunning fire trail beside the school is to the left as you enter the school grounds (There will be a sign saying Bushwalkers this way.) The school must have something to do with its pristine condition. It’s like you are walking through a posh tropical garden heavily planted with ferns, bracken and orchids and shadowed by the large pines that carpet the ground with their needles.
When the fire trail ends, follow the scrubby trail till you reach the rook shaped Fort Rock. Some great views can be had from the top if you wish to scamper up and have a look. Just keep following signs to Centennial Glen from here.
There were a lot of signs of rock climbers all through the walk, including this fantastic set of steps that lead straight to a rock cliff and had me thinking there must be some secret entrance hidden in the wall or something… I think i may have been badly in need of caffeine at that point.
The one hour loop trail took me 40 minutes to do and I am not a fast walker. The grade is a lot friendlier and there seems to be a lot of work being done on this track as well as the larger loop. It was nice to walk on flat ground.
This walk really did have everything. There were so many “oh wow” moments.. Waterfalls and cave hangs and views to die for. It was physically challenging with all the different obstacles and steps to avoid stumbling down and cliffs to avoid falling off of and though I swore when I finished, practically on hands and knees crawling up those last steps, that I would never do it again… I know I will and probably soon.