Grade: MediumAllow: 2h
This enjoyable all-downhill hike takes you down, down and deeper down into the Jamison Valley via an incredible staircase carved right into the side of the cliff. Along the way you can stand below shimmering waterfalls, gaze up at towering rainforest trees, and take in unique views of the Blue Mountains wilderness.
This fantastic walk gives you a great introduction to several different Blue Mountains landscapes, including dramatic rock features the Three Sisters and Orphan Rock, from clifftop eucalyptus forests to the lush rainforests that flourish down in the valley bottom.
Begin by descending the stairs behind Katoomba Falls Kiosk, and when you get to the crossroads take the short diversion straight ahead to see the magnificent view from Reid's Plateau.
From here, you dive into the rainforest on the Furber Steps track. As you descend the stairs, huge boulders and tall trees rise all around you, and even on a hot day it's dark, moist and cool here. You'll find plenty of excuses to stop and take photos – lacy waterfalls like the Witches Leap, great rock overhangs, and all kinds of spectacular views.
Don't miss the side trip to Katoomba Falls Lookout, an absolutely mesmerising viewpoint where the track brings you to the edge of the creek, just as it takes its great leap over the cliff.
The Furber Steps begin soon after, and as you twist and turn down the steep stone staircase you'll be in serious awe of the people who carved them out of vertical rock. And very grateful to the people who came along later and installed a strong metal handrail!
Once you reach the bottom of the Furber Steps, turn left on the Federal Pass track and take a quick diversion to the bridge over Kedumba Creek for a magnificent view of the full height of Katoomba Falls. Then retrace your steps, and within about five minutes you'll be standing at the foot of the Scenic Railway amid beautiful rainforest.
To get back to the top, you can buy a one-way ticket on the Scenic Railway or Cableway. The one-way ticket costs just $16, or if you grab our Lyrebird Pass you can try out all the Scenic World rides – finishing off with a trip on the Scenic Skyway, where you can get a bird's eye view of every step of the walk you've just done.
Time: 2 hours
Extensions and Alternatives
The Round Walk
What a boring name for a fantastically beautiful walk! The Round Walk is a great option when you want an exciting bushwalk but don't have the time or confidence to go all the way down to the bottom of the cliffs.
The Round Walk branches off the Furber Steps track after the first set of zigzags, and quickly climbs to an amazing viewpoint called Juliet's Balcony, overlooking the Witches Leap waterfall. Continue round to Vanimans Lookout for unforgettable views across Katoomba Falls to the Three Sisters, and follow the Prince Henry Cliff Walk back to Katoomba Falls Kiosk.
Time: 30 minutes
Scenic World Walkways
From the Scenic Railway station, you can take a fern-filled walk on the Scenic Walkway and discover the shady green world of this Jurassic rainforest.
Time: 15-30 minutes
Furber Steps, Giant Stairway and Three Sisters
If you really want to give your legs a stretch and rediscover some forgotten muscles, turn left at the bottom of the Furber Steps, cross the creek below Katoomba Falls and follow the track right around the base of the Three Sisters, then climb up the 998 steps of the Giant Stairway. (If you attempt this, carry lunch and at least two litres of water per person.)
Time: 4 hours