A 5 a.m. morning call on a Sunday morning was hard - however I wasn't going to miss out on an adventure that awaited me: walking and hiking along the National Pass in Blue Mountains National Park. It has been described as one of the most challenging and scenic routes in the entire national park. It's a hard-grade walk which stretches just under 6 kilometres passing through waterfalls, lush vegetation, sheer cliffs, sandstones, claystones and sweeping vistas of valleys and gorges with wildlife. Allowing for stops and breaks along the track it makes for a perfect day trip.
The Blue Mountains National Park is a landscape like no other. Formed millions of years ago the mountainous area is made up of dissected plateau layered with rocks and sandstones. Water trickles downward forming rivers and creating deep valleys and gorges. Over time weather elements chiselled away the rocks breaking softer shales and coles underneath the sandstones which then caused large blocks of rocks to fall off leaving behind steep cliffs.
Starting the trek from the Conservation Hut, the uneven rocky steps lead to Empress and Queen Victoria lookouts with magnificent views of the valleys accompanied by the dramatic roar of waterfall below. Trees and vegetation jutting out of dry, rough sandstones and sheer cliffs. A sense of calmness washed over me as I zig zagged along the rocky paths that hug the perpendicular cliffs. I stopped on my track to allow the beauty around me to gently penetrate my senses. There's a rewarding sense of solitude of being one with this natural wonder.
Determined to complete the National Pass trek I continued up the rocky steps. Then there it is, slowly coming into view - the historic Grand Stairway, the hand-carved steps that was built over 100 years ago. One glance at the map on my phone I was assured that this would be the last hurdle I had to go through to get to Wentworth Falls lookout. As I made my way up the steep steps holding on to the steel ropes secured to the cliff face I couldn't help thinking about the workers who laboured under Captain James Murray all those years ago risking their lives to build this physically challenging track.
As I reached the top I heard roaring waterfall gushing out crystal clear water from up high and flowing through the river below. This is the majestic Wentworth Falls - a perfect spot for picnic and barbecue. For the more adventurous souls you can take a dip in the river and stand under the refreshing waterfall to allow the glistening mountain water to wash over your sweat and tired body.
I could not have asked for more that day. The day was perfect and those few hours spent in the national park left me feeling invigorated, grounded and connected.