The area was reserved for a national park in 1879 but in 1890 Charles McAlister was able to purchase land here which he renamed Engadine after the Engadin Valley in Switzerland due to the wildflowers in the valley which were reminiscent of those in the valley and hills in Engadin.
Originally settled for grazing land, Engadine soon became a destination for camping and day-trips from the inner-Sydney suburbs but remained rather isolated until 1920 when the railway station was built and many ex-soldiers settled here after the first world war.
Look for the gated Entrance on your right as Woronora road becomes Mount Carmel place in Barden ridge if you want to complete this walk that will visit a couple of swimming pools along the river before a visit to the Needles. Took me just under two hours to complete this walk including a few stops for pictures and obligatory frisbee throwing!
Old illawarra road is behind a gate across the road from house number 89 on Thomas Mitchell drive in Engadine. This longer walk follows a nice flat track high above the woronora river with some great views before descending down some rather steep stairs to the river bank and continues following the river on some interesting but fairly overgrown tracks. This walk took about three hours to complete without rushing.
The both walks could be completed as one circuit in 3-4 hours.
Sometimes you come across the nicest walks in one of the most surprising places. Engadine.. right in the middle of suburbia near Heathcote.
This part of the walk was such a nice easy flat trek high above the worona river with a great breeze on a warm afternoon.
Beautiful views across the valley and down to the river along the way
Keep an eye out for this little sign and turn left to start making your way down.
Descending down the old stairs toward the river.
Lovely caves on the way down to the river.
The remains of an old lookout give an amazing vista of the river below.
The climb down is a little steep but not too bad and its fairly easy to find your way. Just keep in mind that your trying to find your way down to the river, so if you have a choice of tracks take the one that is heading down that way and you will get there.
Creek crossing on the Winnells Wander track. Parts of this track were a little obscure and I did lose my way a couple of times but I never had to backtrack too far to find it again. It was probably a very used track once upon a time but now is a little overgrown and obscure in places.
In this stunning glen are the remains of a swimming pool that once would have dammed the now trickling waterfall.
Stopping for a quick rest at the beautiful river crossing before a hot steep climb back up to the fire trails.
This is the area on that map that I named Engadine Pool. Great place to stop and sit for a while before continuing on.
There is what looks like it was once a real track that leads from here to Engadine lagoon. Its pretty close to bush bashing but it still exists underneath a thick layer of leaves and disuse. It is very doable just watch out for the spiders!
The water narrows to an area where gentle rapids run over the rocks on their way down river to the lagoon.
It is a beautiful place to hang out and take in the sun or stop for lunch. or yes, a game of frisbee.
It is so typically Australian summer time.
Just past the little rapids is Engadine lagoon which is a large basin to swim in with some great rocks to sunbath or sit and relax between laps.
It is quite possible that there is a track leading from here to The Needles but I had had quite enough of the spiders and opted for the easier option of just climbing the engadine lagoon trail and circling back to the river via the fire trails.
Cool bridge crossing on the walking track that follows the waterboard tunnels down to The Needles.
The causeway at the Needles. It gets pretty busy here on the hotter summer days with families and kids hanging out.
There are some great rocks to jump from in to the deeper water and even a rope swing set up under a large tree by the water.
An amazing place to spend a warm summer afternoon.