Grade: MediumAllow: 1h 30m
The area around Leura Cascades has some really great bushwalks. With a little help from the Explorer Bus, you can turn the standard down-and-back walk into an exciting exploration of dripping caves, rarely-visited lookouts and many other hidden wonders.
Leura Cascades to Kiah Lookout via Bridal Veil Falls
Begin this walk by following the well-travelled track to the bottom of Leura Cascades.
From the lookout at the top of Bridal Veil Falls, a steep set of stairs leads upwards then along a natural ledge, under deep rock overhangs and through fern gardens. During rainy weather the swamps above the track overflow with water, and part-time waterfalls spring up every few metres.
Several side trails lead off the main track to marked viewpoints. You can take your pick of which ones to follow, but Bridal Veil Lookout is our favourite.
You emerge from the bush right opposite Solitary restaurant, and this walk is easy enough that you can arrive for lunch without being all sweaty and unpresentable. A great bushwalk with a stylish meal at the end of it? Don't mind if we do!
Time: 1 hour
Leura Cascades to Kiah Lookout via Bridal Veil Falls and Fern Bower
This more ambitious walk puts you right at the foot of spectacular Bridal Veil Falls, via an amazing set of steel stairs and ladders that wind down and down through a green rainforest gully full of tiny trickling waterfalls. The stairs are clearly signed, a few metres along the track after you climb the stairs away from the bottom of Leura Cascades (see above).
Walk out to the rocks below Bridal Veil Falls and let the mist cool your face, then join the signed Amphitheatre Track, which leads along a ledge and through mossy forest, with cliffs above and below you. Your way back up to the road is through the Fern Bower, another delightful patch of temperate rainforest, with more of those steel ladder to climb.
The track brings you out opposite Solitary restaurant, where you can once again board the Explorer Bus.
Distance: 2.5 km
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Leura Cascades to Gordon Falls Lookout
The Prince Henry Cliff Walk leading east from Leura Cascades has some of the most spectacular views in the Blue Mountains, and with the Explorer Bus you can collect all of them without having to go back on yourself.
The path you want branches off a few minutes down the Leura Cascades track, and climbs out of the gully to the fabulous cliff-top perch of Tarpeian Rock (along the way you can take a side track that ends in another special view of Bridal Veil Falls).
The track follows the cliff edge, sometimes burrowing through low heathland where wattlebirds and honeyeaters forage for nectar, sometimes passing through shady fern-filled overhangs dripping with water, sometimes hugging the cliff line (though like all tracks in the Blue Mountains it's safely fenced).
There are more superb views from Olympian Rock – you can hike up the stairs here to rejoin the Explorer Bus at the NSW Toy and Railway Museum – but if you've got time it's definitely worth walking the extra 500 metres to catch the views from Elysian Rock and Gordon Falls Lookout.
Time: 60 mins