Charles Darwin walk

Blue Mountains National Park

Overview

This easy walk connects Wentworth Falls village with Blue Mountains National Park. Enjoy waterfalls and birdwatching as you follow Jamison Creek along this track, managed by Blue Mountains City Council.

Where
Blue Mountains National Park
Distance
2.4km one-way
Time suggested
45min - 1hr 15min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • This walk is managed by Blue Mountains City Council and is located outside Blue Mountains National Park.
  • For more information visit the council's visitor centres at Echo Point, Katoomba or on the Great Western Highway at Glenbrook.
  • For walking track and council reserve closures visit the Blue Mountains City Council website
  • Please take care as the ground may be muddy and slippery in areas, particularly in the sections with stairs. Please report any incidents or safety issues along this track to the council.

Follow in the footsteps of the famous naturalist, Charles Darwin, who walked this popular track in 1836. Starting from Wilson Park, today's visitors can stroll the boardwalk and bush track through open forest, shrub, and hanging swamps to the national park boundary, where the walk meets Weeping Rock loop.

Along the way, Jamison Creek's rock pools and cascades are tranquil spots to cool your feet on a hot day. Bird watchers should keep an eye out for honeyeaters, shrub wrens, and the raucous black cockatoos that can't resist the native banksia trees.

From the park boundary, it's only 400m to Wentworth Falls via picturesque Weeping Rock, or 15mins to Wentworth Falls picnic area. Spend some time exploring the many walks and lookouts in the park, including Fletchers lookout, that offer incredible views of the waterfall and vast Jamison Valley, before retracing your steps back along the walk or taking Falls Road from Wentworth Falls picnic area back to town.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/charles-darwin-walk/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Charles Darwin walk.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    45min - 1hr 15min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    2.4km one-way

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Charles Darwin walk starts from Wilson Park in Wentworth Falls village, just outside Blue Mountains National Park.

    To get there from Sydney:

    • Drive along the Great Western Highway west, towards Katoomba
    • At Wentworth Falls village, turn left at the traffic lights onto Falls Road, where there is signage for Wentworth Falls and the national park
    • Wilson Park is on your left, immediately after the lights, or follow Falls Road to Wentworth Falls picnic area

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at Wilson Park, on Falls Road and in the national park at the Wentworth Falls picnic area carpark.

    By public transport

    Regular trains run from Sydney Central Station to Wentworth Falls. Charles Darwin walk begins in Wilson Park, 500m from the station.

    Facilities

    Parking, picnic and toilet facilities are available at Wilson Park, on Falls Road, and in the national park at Wentworth Falls picnic area.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit; it helps emergency services locate you, using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park, you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    River and lake safety

    The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

    Permitted

    Charles Darwin walk is managed by Blue Mountains City Council. Pets and domestic animals are permitted on this track as far as the national park boundary.

    Visitor centre

    Learn more

    Charles Darwin walk is in Blue Mountains National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    A diversity of rare or threatened species

    Black cockatoos. Photo: K Stepnell

    The diversity of environments across Blue Mountains National Park create habitats for wide range of native plants and animals, including many rare or threatened species. There are rare and ancient plants in its forests, and isolated animal populations tucked away in its deep gorges. Over 1000 species of flowering plants occur in the park, including the waratah, the floral emblem of NSW. Blue Mountains National Park also protects the habitat of 41 threatened animal species including the sooty owl, glossy black cockatoo, bush stone curlew, superb parrot, yellow-bellied glider and booroolong frog. Some of these threatened species are endemic to the Blue Mountains, including the Blue Mountains water skink.

    • Blue Gum Forest Blue Gum Forest is a fine, historic example of closed forest, situated in Grose Valley in Blue Mountains National Park. Get to it by walking track from Perrys lookdown or Pierces Pass.
    • Blue Mountains 5-day walk Join Life’s an adventure on a magnificent 5-day self-guided tour of Blue Mountains National Park. You'll see the iconic Three Sisters, and ride the thrilling Scenic Railway to Ruined Castle.
    • Blue Mountains 7-day walk Leave the noisy city behind on this 7-day self-guided walk of the Blue Mountains. Departing from Mount Victoria, you'll journey past breathtaking waterfalls, sandstone cliffs and eucalyptus forests.
    • Blue Mountains adventure and hike Be taken into the heart of the Blue Mountains for a big day of hiking and exploring on this full day tour. Pass impressive lookouts and waterfalls before visiting the iconic Three Sisters near Katoomba.  
    • Grand Canyon track Setting out from Evans lookout near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, be met with a series of waterfalls, creeks and spectacular views along the challenging Grand Canyon track.
    • International student tour: Blue Mountains Immerse yourself in the majestic environment of Blue Mountains National Park, a special World Heritage-listed site on the doorstep of Sydney.
    • International student tour: Grand Canyon Experience this magnificent rainforest environment in the Blue Mountains National Park. Descend into a special slot canyon, past creeks and waterfalls, and learn about local wildlife along the way.
    • WilderQuest Bug hunt adventure Are you keen to learn all about bugs these school holidays? Join in the WilderQuest fun in the Blue Mountains area and explore the many types of bugs living right under your feet!
    • WilderQuest Sticks and stones These school holidays come along for some WilderQuest fun and discover your creative and adventurous side. There'll be some nature-based games led by our NPWS rangers in Blue Mountains National Park.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 students, focusing on science and technology. Investigate the living world in Blue Mountains National Park, home to the world famous Blue Gum Forest and towering waterfalls.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Blue Mountains National Park.
    Show more

    A walker's paradise

    National Pass Walk, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Craig Marshall Copyright:NSW Government

    The Blue Mountains boasts one of the most complex track systems of any national park in Australia. Dating from as early as 1825, many of the constructed tracks have national, state and regional significance and several are named to commemorate significant periods or events in Australia's history. The National Pass is one of the Blue Mountains iconic walking tracks. Constructed in 1906-1907, the track was built with shovels, crowbars and dynamite. In 2002 the track underwent major restoration works that included helicopters depositing sandstone blocks along the trail and heritage stonemasons perching on cliff faces to set sandstone inserts into steps eroded over the years by weather and walkers. It's an inspiring walk, with fantastic views of the Jamison Valley and beautiful waterfalls at either end.

    • Conservation Hut Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls is a great spot for a bite to eat. Enjoy a view of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park from the café’s balcony.
    • Echo Point lookout (Three Sisters) Take a day trip to Echo Point lookout in Katoomba for stunning views of the valley and the iconic Three Sisters.
    • Greater Blue Mountains drive Greater Blue Mountains Drive takes in the iconic scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Explore Glenbrook, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba and beyond.

    Ancient connections

    Red Hands Cave, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Blue Mountains National Park is part of the traditional land of the Gundungurra, Darkinjung, Darug and Wiradjuri peoples, who have been here since time began, living off the sea and the land. The Aboriginal sites in Blue Mountains National Park are important to Aboriginal people today; they are the physical evidence of a link to their ancestors. As you walk through this area, take some time to think about Aboriginal people and their strong attachment to this ancient landscape and all it contains. Some sites within the park, such as Red Hands Cave, are marked and other sites are not, so please take care when you're exploring the park.

    • International student tour: Living country, living culture Come and explore the rich, innovative and sustainable culture of Australia’s First People. Watch a hands-on presentation to learn about traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture.
    • Living country, living culture - Aboriginal discovery Living country, living culture is a Stage 2 (Years 3-4) school excursion in Blue Mountains National Park, focusing on HSIE. Understand and appreciate traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture with Aboriginal Discovery rangers.
    • Living Country, Living Culture: Aboriginal Discovery Living Country, Living Culture is a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) school excursion in Blue Mountains National Park, focusing on HSIE. Students will explore and appreciate traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture with Aboriginal Discovery rangers.
    • Red Hands Cave Red Hands Cave in Blue Mountains National Park is one of the best showcases of Aboriginal rock art in the area. The walk starts at Euroka campground or Glenbrook carpark.
    • Red Hands Cave walking track - Blue Mountains National Park Red Hands Cave walking track, in Blue Mountains National Park, offers impressive Aboriginal stencil art with picnicking and birdwatching, near Glenbrook.
    • Three Sisters Walk Three Sisters Walk, in Katoomba, offers some of the most iconic views in Blue Mountains National Park, and takes you up close to the famous Three Sisters.
    • WilderQuest Tree painting Express yourself through art these school holidays and join in the WilderQuest fun of tree painting at Blue Mountains National Park.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 students, focusing on science and technology. Investigate the living world in Blue Mountains National Park, home to the world famous Blue Gum Forest and towering waterfalls.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Blue Mountains National Park.
    Show more

    Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area

     Narrow Neck trail, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Steve Alton

    It is truly amazing to think that a city the size of Sydney has the extraordinary one million hectare Blue Mountains just a couple of hours away. It is part of a World Heritage - listed area of amazing values - geographic, botanic and cultural with six Aboriginal groups having connection to the country of the area. 

    Read more

    The forests of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area have been described as a natural laboratory for the evolution of eucalypts; more than 90 different eucalypt species are found here, some 13 per cent of all eucalypt species in the world. They grow in a great variety of communities, from tall closed forests, through open forests and woodlands, to the stunted mallee shrublands on the plateaus. Try the overnight hike to Blue Gum Forest where you can camp beneath the stately tall trees with their smooth white-blue-grey bark.

    • Blue Mountains introductory canyoning tour Experience the pristine beauty of the Blue Mountains along this full-day canyoning adventure. The tour includes plenty of short swims, water jumps and slides for a fun-packed day.
    • Blue Mountains National Park part of a World Heritage site Blue Mountains National Park part of a World Heritage site, is a school excursion for Stage 5 (Years 9-10) students with a focus on science. The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is Australia's 14th World Heritage Site and comprises 1 million hectares of protected bushland on Sydney's doorstep.
    • Blue Mountains National Park part of a World Heritage site Blue Mountains National Park part of a World Heritage site, is a school excursion for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) students with a focus on geography. The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is Australia's 14th World Heritage Site and comprises 1 million hectares of protected bushland on Sydney's doorstep.
    • Echo Point lookout (Three Sisters) Take a day trip to Echo Point lookout in Katoomba for stunning views of the valley and the iconic Three Sisters.
    • Greater Blue Mountains drive Greater Blue Mountains Drive takes in the iconic scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Explore Glenbrook, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba and beyond.
    • International student tour: Blue Mountains Immerse yourself in the majestic environment of Blue Mountains National Park, a special World Heritage-listed site on the doorstep of Sydney.
    • International student tour: National Pass Descend heritage hand-carved stone steps of the Grand Stairway and pass a mighty waterfall on this tour. Experience the beautiful rainforest environment and sweeping views of Blue Mountains National Park.
    Show more

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

      With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

    • Satin bowerbird. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

      With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

    Plants

    • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

      Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

    • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

      Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

    • Waratah. Photo: Barry Collier

      Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

      The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (16)

    Charles Darwin walk, near Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH.