by Zoe Cowen
Lockdown hasn't been easy for anyone. Routines have been disrupted and plans have been foiled for the foreseeable future. Avid adventurers have not been spared, however, our free time has let us dream of the grand adventures that we will be able to embark on once we are able to be within 1.5m of our fellow hikers. Here are a few overnight hike ideas that should dust off your kit.
Blue Gum Forest, Blue Mountains.
The Blue Gum Forest is located in the Grose Valley in the Blackheath area. It is one of the best hiking destinations in the Blue Mountains and is just a pleasant 2-hour drive from Sydney’s CBD. Access to Blue Gum can be via Perrys lookdown or Pierces Pass into the Grose Valley and is well worth the commute.
My favourite walk into Blue Gum is from Lockleys Pylon, starting near Leura. The track goes past Lockleys Pylon- which on its own gives you fantastic 360° views over the Grose Valley. The track descends down a steep and moderately technical route and crosses Govetts Creek just as you enter Blue Gum Forest. It winds between the towering gum trees into the spacious Acacia Flat Campground. There are 6 main routes in and out of the campground, which gives you plenty of options for the walk out the next day. If you’re looking for a challenge to test your stamina, the Govetts Leap track involves a spectacular climb out that runs beside a waterfall. A more forgiving alternative is exiting via the scenic Grand Canyon track through the rainforest or up to Evans Lookout, which finishes with one last look over the Grose Valley.
The Coast Track, Royal National Park.
A nice coastal hike is the 26km walk from Bundeena to Otford through the Royal National Park. Just 1 hour away from Sydney, the amazing track starts from Bundeena and winds down the coast. It offers spectacular views of the ocean and provides many opportunities for a scenic picnic or swim. The night can be spent at North Era Campground. While the campsite requires booking ahead, it is located right beside the beach and gives an amazing view of the sunrise on the second day. The national parks have done a fantastic job at maintaining and upgrading the track. By the end of the second day, the track heads inland through some coastal bush. The hike ends with a steep climb up to Otford Lookout that provides a brilliant view well worth the trek.