Top Walks: Grand Canyon (Australia)

This is one of my favourite walks in the Sydney area. The Grand Canyon is a beautiful, lush oasis in the Blue Mountains. I love it because it features more than just gum trees. Don’t get me wrong, us Aussies love our gum trees – they define the Australian landscape. But sometimes you need a bit of variety.

The Blue Mountains should really be called the ‘Blue Valleys’ — you start at the top and head down.

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This is the view of the Grose Valley from Evans Lookout. The Grand Canyon walk can start or finish here. I prefer to walk back along the side of the road and start at Neates Glen, and emerge at Evans Lookout a couple of hours later.

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As you descend the gum trees make way for more lush vegetation and after about 20 minutes you’ll cross a small river, which widens out and seems to disappear into the earth. But you know it’s there because you can hear the roar of water.

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The Grand Canyon is a walk for all senses — the scenery is easy on the eye, the smell of eucalyptus is pleasant and the sound of rushing water is good for the soul. We did it on a beautiful sunny morning in early autumn, several weeks after heavy rain so the river was in full flow.

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Another way to experience the Grand Canyon is by abseiling down into the river, swimming through the caverns and then walking out. You’d definitely need a wetsuit even in the height of summer – this water doesn’t get much sun.

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Waterfalls, rivers, ferns and moss. With terrain like this I fully expected to see a Hobbit.

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Find the walk near Blackheath, take Evans Lookout Road. The walk is only 5km, but quite steep, so allow 2-3 hours.

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