On my quest to explore most of the Blue Mountains waterfalls, I finally took Gordon Falls to Lyrebird Dell track via the Pool of Siloam. This relatively short walk (just over 2 km) packs quite a few sights: three waterfalls, cascades, Aboriginal caves and a sweeping view of Jamison valley.
It would take most people just over an hour to complete. I of course took three times as long, spending a while at each waterfall, venturing off-trail at every opportunity to photograph concealed waterfalls and cascades on Gordon creek and chasing birds. Oh yes, did I mention the birds? I spotted more birds on this short walk than on any other walk in the Blue Mountains!
So whether your passion is waterfalls, birds or simply walking in the mountains – here is everything you need to know about Gordon Falls to Lyrebird Dell circuit walking track.
Track at a glance
- Distance: 2.1 km circuit
- Time: 1.5 hrs
- Grade: 3 – many steps
- Start Point: Gordon Falls Reserve
- End Point: Gordon Falls Reserve
How to get to Gordon Falls Reserve
- Driving: Take the Great Western Hwy out of Sydney and exit at Leura. Drive along Leura Parade to Lone Pine Avenue where you can park at or near the reserve
- Train: Catch the train from Central to Leura. Once you leave the train platform, follow Leura Parade through the quaint Leura village and past the beautiful cottages enveloped in flowering bushes and shrubs. It is one of the prettiest suburban walks in Sydney. At the end of Leura Mall, veer left onto Olympian Parade and follow it to the reserve.
READ MORE: How to explore the Blue Mountains by train
Gordon Falls Reserve to Gordon Falls Lookout
Start your explorations from the end of Lone Pine Ave in Leura. Before you head to Gordon Falls Reserve, follow the trail from the end of the street to Gordon Falls Lookout. It’s a fairly steep but short descent via multiple sets of stains. The lookout is the only opportunity to get an expansive view of Jamison valley on this walk. There is a good view of Gordon Falls to the left, which is the reason I wanted to visit the lookout.
Just before you start descending towards the lookout, you’ll see a trail running to your right. This is the start of the 7-km Prince Henry Cliff Walk that connects Gordon Falls to the Scenic World in Katoomba. You could also take a small section of this walk to Leura Cascades and Bridal Veil Falls. You can read my guide to Leura Cascades to Gordon Falls walk here.
Gordon Falls is a rather thin waterfall but it is lovely to see it within the surrounding landscape of the epic sandstone escarpment. Two tiers of the falls are visible from the lookout, although the falls are a few hundred meters away so they don’t appear particularly large. The best time to see them, of course, would be after a few days of rain. Although even then, Gordon Falls wouldn’t be in the same league as Wentworth or Katoomba Falls.
Once you are finished at the lookout, climb back up to Lone Pine Ave and walk about 100 meters to Gordon Falls Reserve (head for the children’s playground – you can’t miss it). Then cut across the reserve to the start of walking trails. From here, the Pool of Siloam is 450 meters away and the Lyrebird Dell is 1.5km away.
Gordon Falls Reserve to the Pool of Siloam
The trail to the Pool of Siloam starts with a steep and narrow descent and only gets steeper with a few switchback sections as you walk down from the top of the escarpment. It’s not a difficult track on the way down and if you continue to Lyrebird Dell afterwards, you won’t have to climb it up.
Parts of the track get quite soggy after the rain but you can usually tiptoe around the sloshy bits. As you get closer to the pool, you will pass through a small canyon, dotted with hanging swamps and ferns.
Pool of Siloam
The Pool of Siloam is an unexpected oasis in the bush. Here Gordon creek drops from a rocky outcrop to a lovely pool below before continuing towards Gordon Falls. There are stepping stones across the creek and a sandy bank around the pool. Rocks and fallen trees offer plentiful perches for resting and photographing the waterfall.
Apparently, in the past, the pool was deep enough to dive but over the years the developments of the surrounding areas caused the pool to silt up.
Pool of Siloam to Lyrebird Dell
When you are ready to continue exploring, retrace your steps up the stairs to the first signpost and follow the sign to Lyrebird Dell walk. There is a little lookout at the start of the trail that lets you see the Pool of Siloam from the top of the waterfall. Almost immediately after the lookout, there is an unmarked rough trail going downhill to the creek. If you are keen to see some lovely cascades on Gordon creek, follow this trail and walk along the creek until you find a spot you like.
The trail to Lyrebird Dell winds gently up the creek, crossing it a few times over small bridges. There is a multitude of nooks and crannies along the walk where water flows over moss-covered rocks or plunges from rocky outcrops in little waterfalls visible through the gaps in the vegetation. Trails that run alongside creeks always hide plenty of scenic secrets.
Another thing you will notice along this part of the walk is how many birds there are in the surrounding bushes and trees. You will hear Eastern whipbirds, wattlebirds and cockatoos and see bright splashes of colour as Crimpson rosellas rapidly fly through the bush. Up in the canopy Silvereye and Brown thornbills chirp and flutter as they move around. You may even spot a lyrebird scratching through the leaf litter.
After about 800 meters you will reach two caves. More like rocky overhangs than true caves these formations are none the less quite impressive. The second and the largest overhang has a long association with the traditional Aboriginal landowners of the area. The excavations at this cave uncovered some stone flakes (shavings of stone produced when stone tools are made) that revealed that the cave was continuously occupied for 12,000 years.
Surprisingly, at some point, a couple of picnic tables and benches were installed under the sandstone roof, supposedly to provide a picnic spot for walkers to have a break. This seems a little insensitive, given that the cave is a sight of significance to the Aboriginal people. So, if you don’t particularly need a bench for your break, walk a few meters ahead – there is a much more scenic spot.
As you continue down the trail from the cave, you will cross the creek again over a cute little bridge and unexpectedly come to another waterfall on Gordon Creek and a pretty plunge pool at its base. This is an amazingly peaceful setting that has a feeling of a secret oasis to it, miles away from civilization. The trail doesn’t get busy even on a weekend and it is quite likely that you’ll have this lovely scene to yourself for most of the time. This is the perfect spot to have a snack or just to relax after the walk.
When you are ready to peel yourself from this little paradise, continue along the trail as it climbs a few sets of stairs towards Lone Pine Track.
Lyrebird Dell to Gordon Falls Reserve
The 500 meter-long Lone Pine Track takes you back to Gordon Falls Reserve along a forest path over flat ground. No steep ascents or descents, just a relaxing walk through the bush. Keep your eyes on the trees as you leave the creek, I spotted a beautiful Forest Kingfisher here – my first and only sighting of this species in the Blue Mountains.
Ten minutes later you find yourself back where you started – at Gordon Falls Reserve, haven’t traced Gordon Creek upstream from Gordon Falls to the Pool of Siloam and to the Lyrebird Dell waterfall.