Last updated: December 14, 2021
The short but scenic Nature Track in Wentworth Falls is a refreshing 3.5 km circuit trail that starts and ends at the old Conservation Hut.
This often ignored but spectacular walking track follows the edge of the escarpment before descending to lower grounds where it takes in a section of the Valley of the Waters.
Read on to find out more about this enjoyable hike, the highlights, and how best to get there.
|Distance:||3.5 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Moderate (some steep sections)|
How to Get There
The Nature Track is a circuit trail that starts and ends at the Conservation Hut on Fletcher Street in Wentworth Falls (see map location).
From the Great Western Highway, turn into Falls Rd followed by a right turn into Fletcher Street. The Conservation Hut is located at the end of Fletcher Street.
The small parking area at the hut fills up quickly on the weekends, in which case you can try parking on one of the nearby suburban streets.
By public transport:
You can also get to the Conservation Hut by public transport. Catch a train to Wentworth Falls and follow the Charles Darwin Walk to the Wentworth Falls picnic area.
From there, follow the picturesque Short Cut Track that leads to the Conservation Hut. If that’s a bit too much hiking, there are also local buses that service Fletcher Street.
Please note that the Charles Darwin Walk is currently closed until further notice.
Opened in 1894, the Nature Track winds its way down into a section of the Valley of the Waters through various different habitats and ecosystems.
There are several numbered information boards along the way that help visitors get a better understanding of everything you can see in this beautiful part of Wentworth Falls.
While most walking tracks starting from the Conservation Hut head south towards Jamison Valley, the Nature Track goes into the other direction, northbound.
Look out for the path at the big sign that says Valley of the Waters, Nature Track Circuit and West Street.
The first section of the Nature Track runs parallel to Valley Rd until it makes a left turn towards West Street.
Before it hits West Street however, the path turns into the bush at an old signpost that mentions Nature Track Circuit and Edinburgh Castle Rock.
1. Edinburgh Castle Rock
The track continues along several sections with timber steps, metal stairs and small bridges before it hits an intersection with a little side track to Edinburgh Castle Rock.
Known as an old Aboriginal cultural site, Edinburgh Castle Rock is an unfenced lookout point formed by a uniquely shaped rock formation.
While not spectacular, the panoramic views of the valley and escarpments from this lookout are a good warm-up for what’s to come.
2. Lillians Glen
From the intersection, the Nature Track continuous southbound towards Lillians Glen, past a few steep sections with several sandstone overhangs and rock walls.
Lillians Glen is a picturesque section where the walking track crosses the Valley of the Waters creek. A set of stepping stones makes it easier to cross this small water stream.
3. Empress Canyon
The track continues towards Empress Canyon, a very popular destination for canyoning and abseiling.
To do this canyoning adventure, which includes abseiling down Empress Falls, you can either head into the canyon with your own gear or you can join a commercial tour.
At Lillians Bridge (which connects with a track to Leura), the path continues uphill towards a few popular lookout points, leaving the Valley of the Waters behind.
Please note that the Nature Track does not include Empress Falls. You can however visit this pretty waterfall by going straight at the junction with the National Pass instead of going up the steps towards the Empress Lookout.
4. Empress Lookout
The Nature Track saves the best for last.
The fenced Empress Lookout is located on a sandstone overhang and offers views of the Empress Canyon and the Empress Falls waterfall, albeit obscured by the many trees surrounding the lookout.
5. Queen Victoria Lookout
A short stroll further up the hill leads to the Queen Victoria Lookout which offers breathtaking views of the Jamison Valley and its escarpments.
From the Queen Victoria lookout point, it’s a short but steep final stretch back to the Conservation Hut and the car park.
Map and Route
The start of the Nature Track is at the old Conservation Hut on Fletcher Street in Wentworth Falls. From the Great Western Highway, turn into Valley Rd or Falls Rd, followed by Fletcher Street.
There is a small parking area at the hut, with nearby street parking as a good alternative should the parking lot be at capacity.