For a beautifully scenic walk to finish off a trip to the Jenolan Caves, you can’t go past the Jenolan River Walking Track. This 2.6km circuit track is the perfect way to unwind and take in the views of Carlotta’s Arch, the Grand Arch and the Blue Lake. Also called the Working Waters Walk, this track starts from the eastern side of the Grand Arch.
From the Grand Arch, head over the road towards the bridge and lake behind. The walk will veer to the left around the lake. Your first stop will be the Blue Lake – and it’s only a short 110 metres from the start of the track. The lake is fed from the River Styx and Jenolan River with the amazing intense blue colour coming from light refracting through the limestone sediments. This is one popular photography spot!
About 1km from the Blue Lake, is the Jenolan Hydroelectric Station and it’s out next stop. From the intersection near the lake, follow the walk around the hill, keeping the water to your left. Passing a large weir, continue along the track until you come to an unsignposted intersection, approximately 50m along the path. At this intersection, continue straight around the hillside and cross the suspended bridge.
Keep following the track and it won’t be long before you get to the old Jenolan Hydroelectric Power Station. With a picnic spot, this is a great place to stop for lunch or a relaxing coffee and morning or afternoon tea. The power station was originally built in 1889 and you can still see the remains of the Leffel Wheel today. You can also see some old electrical work in some of the cave tours, much of which would have been powered by the power station.
The last stop on this walk is De Burgh Bridge, and it’s only about 1.3km from the Hydroelectric Power Station. From the station, walk through the picnic area, and follow the track winding along the hill and banks of the creek. The track will start to zig zag up to the suspended bridge and onto an intersection.
At this intersection, turn right and cross the bridge over the creek. Continue along the track, under a bridge, and up the stairs. De Burghs Bridge spans from the Grand Arch and was build in 1896 to provide greater access to the caves. This is another popular spot for budding photographers.
Walking tip: If you take this walk earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon, you might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of the resident platypus in the lake or further downstream.
Jenolan Caves have developed a free Jenolan App covering the Jenolan River Walk, the Carlotta Arch Walk, the McKeown’s Valley Track, Devil’s Coach House Cave and Nettle Cave. The app provides commentary in several languages to really make the most of your walk.
The Jenolan Caves and their walking tracks are just over an hour drive from your Mountain Whispers accommodation. Book today, and head on out and discover the Blue Pools and five other walking tracks in the region.
Main Image: Grand Arch West Side 1909. Flickr – Blue Mountains City Library Local Studies Collection