- walk the trail
- stay with us
We sense as we walk on that the 'dryness' is changing as we approach the Valley of the Waters section of the National Pass. Eucalypts and grasstrees give way to ground and tree ferns.
The elevated walkway that was the catalyst for the full renovation of the trail clings to the vertical rock face and gives walkers a real sense of walking into the canopy of a rainforest.
To our left is a signposted turn that could lead us deeper into the Jamison Valley or take us to Vera Falls. Alas, we note another journey for the future.
Emerging from the forest, we cross stepping stones to a broad rock platform that announces the start of The Valley of the Waters.
Across this platform runs the creek that has formed the slot canyon and waterfalls of this mystical valley. Before us tumble the enchanting Crystal Cascades as they splash their way past us and then to the valley below.
Following this enchanting stream's path, we look south to the Jamison Valley to find a distant view framed by a series of towering cliffs reaching to the sky.
We're confronted now with a stepped climb through this valley with an energetic stream splashing and tumbling, our constant companion.
As we approach the top of the valley, we cross the stream, pass between huge fallen boulders and around the base of giant eucalypts. The next delight nature presents is Empress Falls.
The National Pass hiking track was built with picks, shovels, crowbars and dynamite between 1906 and 1907. It involved cutting a zig-zag staircase into a cliff face and became a very popular walking trail. Learn more
After 95 years service, the track had to be closed in 2002. Bushfires, rain storms and landslides played havoc with fencing and wooden bridges. The $1.5 million restoration project won a National Trust award. Learn more
Walking this historic trail will be more enjoyable if you prepare well. Bring a camera and binoculars if you can. Make sure you have adequate clothing should the weather change. Carry water and snacks. Don't stray off the trail.