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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Waterfalls, rivers, ferns and moss. With terrain like this I fully expected to see a Hobbit.
Find the walk near Blackheath, take Evans Lookout Road. The walk is only 5km, but quite steep, so allow 2-3 hours.