Looking for a short but beautiful walk in the Blue Mountains? Then look no further than Leura Cascades to Gordon Falls track. While this walk is only 1.8 kilometre-long it features the best of all worlds: sweeping views and waterfalls.
It is one of the most popular walks in Katoomba/Leura area, yet the section along the creek where all the cascades are feels like a hidden gem.
Alert: This walk is currently closed due to landslides. Check the national parks website for local alerts before planning this walk.
Track at a Glance
- Distance: 1.8 km one way
- Time: 1hr 15 min
- Grade: Moderate – many steps
- Start Point: Leura Cascades Picnic Area
- End Point: Gordon Fall Reserve
How to Get to Leura Cascades Picnic Area
- Drive: Take Great Western Highway towards Katoomba, turn off the highway at the Leura exit and follow Leura Mall through town. Then turn right on to Cliff Drive and continue until you reach Leura Cascades Picnic Area.
- Train: Catch a train to Leura. Once you exit the station at Leura, walk south-west on Leura Mall for about 1 km and then turn left onto Olympian Parade. Then turn right to Olympian Pl and continue onto Olympian Rock Walking Track. After about 100 meters, turn right onto Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Continue along Prince Henry Cliff Walk until you reach Chelmsford drive and Leura Cascades Picnic Area. The walk takes about 30 min.
Leura Cascades To Gordon Falls Track Notes
The walk starts at Leura Cascades Picnic Area, which is a lovely spot for a summer picnic. It is a shaded spot that remains cool even on the hot days. It’s also a good place to spot some Blue Mountains birds. I spent some time in the company of an Eastern yellow robin that was quite happy to sit on a branch just a few meters away from me.
To find the start of the trail, head for the artificial archway and the information board and then follow the sign to Leura Cascades Track that leads downhill via a series of steps. The trail continues to meander downhill along the Leura Falls Creek crossing it now and again over wooden bridges. The bridges and the sides of the trail offer great views of the cascades.
This is a great place to find a spot along the creek and spend some time enjoying the solitude, listening to the sound of the rushing water. Even when the trail is busy, on weekends and public holidays, you can walk a little off-trail to find a quiet spot.
Following the trail along the creek you constantly discover new sets of cascades, each more inviting than the next. If you are a keen photographer, you could spend hours on this part of the trail.
Leura Cascades to Bridal Veil Falls
Once you reach the bottom of Leura Cascades, veer left and follow Prince Henry Cliff Walk to Gordon Falls. But we are not done with Leura Falls Creek yet. Next time you’ll see the creek, it will be flowing over a massive rock outcropping as Leura Falls. Most of the time, however, Leura Falls are referred to as Bridal Veil Falls because of their likeness to a bride’s veil. This is why the lookout over the top of Leura Falls is called Bridal View Lookout. This of course causes some confusion since there is another Bridal Veil Falls at Govetts Leap.
The first lookout you come across is The Rock. It offers nice views of Jamison Valley, but there is no view of Bridal Veil Falls.
Another couple of minutes down the trail you come to a sign pointing towards Bridal View Lookout. That’s the one you want. Take the short side trail to this lookout and you will get a superb, unobstructed view of the Bridal Veil Falls. The falls are about 150m away, and looking down on them you can see why they are called Bridal Veil Falls.
Bridal Veil Falls to Gordon Falls
Once you retrace your steps to Prince Henry Cliff Walk, continue following the signs to Gordon Falls. The trail meanders through dense bush past a series of lookouts. First, you come across Tarpeian Rock. It’s an unusual rock formation where layers of ironstone are exposed in wave-like patterns.
After Tarpeian Rock, the trail descends into the valley and the eucalypt forest gives way to the rainforest. The next lookout you come across is as the Olympian Rock. It’s a pretty impressive lookout perched on the edge of the cliff and enveloped in expansive views of Jamison Valley.
Further down the trail, there is an even more interesting lookout – Elysian Rock. This lookout is accessed via a metal bridge and offers sweeping views of the Jamison Valley to Mt Solitary.
From Elysian Rock Lookout its only a few minutes to Gordon Falls lookout where Prince Henry Cliff Walk ends. The lookout is reached by a short trail via a set of wooden and metal stairs. Gordon Falls is not a large waterfall but it is lovely to see it in the context of the surrounding landscape of mammoth sandstone walls.
Around Gordon Falls
If you would like to extend your walk from Gordon Falls Lookout, you have a couple of options. Walk 50 meters to Gordon Falls Reserve to the start of a few walking trails. You could take a short but steep 450-meter walk to the Pool of Siloam – a beautiful waterfall and a pool at its base.
And if you would like a slightly longer walk, continue from the Pool of Siloam to Lyrebird Dell. This delightful walk takes you along Gordon Creek to a secluded dell and another waterfall and a plunge pool. You can read my guide to Pool of Siloam and Lyrebird Dell walk here. From Lyrebird Dell waterfall, you can take the 500-meter Lone Pine track back to Gordon Falls Reserve.
From the reserve, follow Olympian Parade and Leura Mall back to Leura or to Leura Cascades Picnic Area if you parked your car there. It is about a 20-minute walk.