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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

ENGINEER’S CASCADE AND THE HENRY LAWSON WALK, MT. VICTORIA BLUE MOUNTAINS AUSTRALIA


I was aware of the existence of these places but actually came across them accidentally while driving around the back streets of Mt Victoria. They are to be found in a reserve which is not part of the Blue Mountains National Park, in common with others west of the railway line from Katoomba to Mt York. This means that, for better or worse, they are still under the control of the Blue Mountains City Council. The result is that they neither receive the publicity nor the visitor numbers that the National Park attractions do.
Engineer’s Cascade is essentially a trickle of water falling over the sandstone rocks into a cave or rock shelter just above the cliff line. Presumably there must be a waterfall where the creek tumbles over the cliff but that is not to be seen from the track. The name has been in use for at least 130 years and its origin is uncertain; however it may refer to the engineers who designed the Zig Zag track into the Kanimbla Valley, which isn’t far away.

The name “Henry Lawson Track” was first applied in 1941 to a cliff top ledge track which the famous poet and short story writer is
supposed to have frequented when living in Mt Victoria in the 1880’s. It formerly ran from nearby Sunset Rock to the Cascade; however the northern section was cut off by the construction of houses over the route about 25 years ago. When I was there the access was from the end of Kenny Street, where it is signposted. Where the track along the ledge goes in either direction is unmarked. Presumably to the right goes to Sunset Rock (at the end of Beaufort St.). The left (which I chose) leads to Engineer’s Cascade.

The track follows the level of the Mt York
Claystone, a reddish-brown, crumbly rock which is well seen on the upper part of Victoria Pass.

For me, the disturbing aspect of this walk is its proximity to private land, with a rusty fence of sorts alongside the track and constant views of houses on the same side. There is the feeling that the area has been somewhat neglected and is open to erosion and weed infestation. In spite of that, it is a pleasant walk and once you descend into the gully you could be anywhere (that is, if you overlook the graffiti and the badly damaged steps). You may view my You Tube video here .
View Blue Mountains videos on my You Tube site here . I also have playlists on gem fossicking, Glen Innes and New Zealand. 


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