Six Foot Track

  • 3 days one way
  • Easy/medium

The Six Foot Track follows the course of a bridle trail between Katoomba and the Jenolan Caves, six feet being the width required for two laden horses to pass comfortably.

Key information
Walking time
3 days
15 hr – 16 hr
Distance
44.3km
Type
One way
One way
Grade
Easy/medium
Bookings
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Find it
Starts
The Explorers' Tree car park, Nellies Glen Road, off A32, the Great Western Highway, Katoomba. Foot access is available from Stuarts Road in Katoomba.
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Ends
Opposite Jenolan Caves House, Jenolan Caves.
Maps
-
Altitude
280m – 1,200m
Altitude change 920m

Katoomba is a small town in Australia's famous Blue Mountains, on a plateau surrounded by striking cliffs. Jenolan lies to the west and is famous for its tourist caves. Both Katoomba and Jenolan are spectacular locations in their own rights. Katoomba is home to the famous Three Sisters, and offers a variety of good walks. At Jenolan, the access road leads through a natural cave for starters. Lyrebirds inhabit the bush, and there are platypuses in the river. The Caves House is charming in its slightly decrepit grandeur. Allow ample time at Jenolan to visit the tourist caves themselves (a full day would not be wasted). 

Access

Katoomba is 90 minutes drive from Sydney, and an easy train ride from Sydney Central Station via the Blue Mountains Line. The trackhead at the Explorers' Tree is accessed by taxi or you can walk from Stuarts Road on to the Bonnie Doon Falls and Nellie's Glen. The Blue Mountains Bus Company provides transport back from Jenolan Caves.

The Track

From the Explorers' Tree car park, a track descends gently to a cliff edge look-out before dropping quickly down a jarring stairway between damp cliffs. This is Nellie's Glen, home to the Nellie's Glen butterfly, dark brown with orange and yellow markings. The track becomes wide and smooth as it moves out onto the broad, sunny Megalong Valley. Some farm buildings mark the site of Megalong Village, a product of the 1885-1904 Glen Shale Mine. Beyond here, the track joins the dusty Nellie's Glen Road for awhile, eventually leaving it behind and crossing private land. The track meets the sealed Megalong Road at the Megalong Cemetery site. The Old Ford Reserve Campsite is 500m to the right, up the road.

From Megalong Cemetery, the track continues, soon turning sharp right and leaving the private land through a gate. Passing through light forest and grassland, you can hear Coxs River nearby. The track crosses the pools of the river at Bowfells swing bridge. The next campsite is nearby, on the banks of the river by some large casuarina trees. This is the lowest point of the walk at just under 300m. 

Beyond Coxs River, the track climbs westward along Murdering Creek, and comes upon farmland. It crosses Mini Mini Saddle on the Glen Chee Road, and drops to Alum Creek and its campsite. From here, the track fords several creeks before climbing steadily onto the Black Range. The Black Range Road is the highest section of the walk, marking the northern boundary of Kanangra Boyd National Park. There is little view due to the preponderance of eucalyptus. The forest is primarily grey gum, stringybark and blackwood, and dotted with termite mounds. The Moorara Boss and Warlock Fire Trails mark off the hours remaining to the campsite. The Black Range Camnping Ground is located at the end of the range next to plantation forest.

From the campsite, the track drops onto the southern slopes, a rolling landscape of light forest. It soon meets, crosses, and follows the Jenolan Caves Road, before veering around the back of some cottages. 2.5 hours from the campsite, the track starts an easy descent to the caves, crossing a striking limestone neck over the Jenolan River before emerging triumphantly directly outside the Caves House. 

Wildlife

Look for grey kangaroo, echidna, wallaroo, and swamp wallaby. At night, look for possums and wombats. A variety of birds, lizards, and perhaps snakes may be seen on the track. 

Protected areas

The Six Foot Track skirts Blue Mountains National Park, crossing it only at Nellies Glen. The Black Range lies on the edge of Kanangra Boyd National Park, and the area around Jenolan Caves is the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve. The track lies mostly outside the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, but encounters it at Jenolan Caves. 

Places to stay

Katoomba offers a variety of accommodation including an excellent YHA hostel.  

Four campsites are located along the route. There are no fees or bookings.

  • Old Ford Reserve. This campsite is located 500m off the track at Megalong Cemetery. Road access, toilets, water.
  • Coxs River. Large grassy space. Toilets, cooking shelter, water.
  • Alum Creek. Remote and pretty space with good wildlife. No toilet.
  • Black Range. Toilet, cooking shelter, water.

Jenolan Caves offers a selection of accommodation, including the Victorian era Jenolan Caves House.

Hazards

Snakes are sometimes seen on the track during warmer months, and are all likely to be poisonous. All are protected by law. Water tanks are available at campsites, but these may be empty in dry weather. Check the NSW national parks website for fire alerts: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alert/state-alerts .

Walking times

  • Explorers' Tree to Megalong Cemetery: 3 hours, 8km
  • Megalong Cemetery to Coxs River: 2 hours 15 minutes, 7.5km
  • Coxs River to Alum Creek: 2 hours, 6.5km
  • Alum Creek to Black Range: 4 hours 45 minutes, 14.5km
  • Black Range to Jenolan Caves: 3 hours, 8.5km
Map
This track needs a photograph.
ID 8886

About this track

Added 15 January 2014 by MatthewMatthew. 2 revisions, most recently 15 January 2014 by MatthewMatthew.
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