First things first, dear families; this Empress Falls walk is very steep, it is easy on the way down and very hard on the way up.
But on the plus side, this walk makes for excellent exercise and it is not long, about an hour return… and, most importantly, the waterfall is just gorgeous, especially if you visit after rain, as I did.
Actually, the Empress Falls Walk is only easy on the way down if you are young and fit, we older people might find the knees creaking a fair bit. But honestly, it’s worth it.
NB You can read about more fun things to do in the Blue Mountains with kids here.
Empress Falls: Where To Start
The walk starts at the old Conservation Hut in Wentworth Falls, a delightful old building which is now a cafe – handy for when you finish the walk.
Conservation Hut is just a short way from the Great Western Highway, just turn off into Falls Road and then into Fletcher Street. There is only a small car park at Conservation Hut so you may need to park on the streets around the area and then walk down.
The start of the walk and indeed the entire walk is very well signposted. It starts off with a fairly gentle slope, with some wooden steps as you go.
The Empress Falls Lookout comes next, with lovely views into the Empress Falls slot canyon and the sound of pounding water.
Then comes the really steep sections.
Here’s a tiny video showing the waterfall and small pool.
It is possible to continue on past Empress Falls down to further waterfalls and much longer tracks.
Who goes down, must come up… it took me the same amount of time to walk back up to Conservation Hut as it did to walk down, perhaps because I wasn’t taking any photos.
After the walk, it’s a great joy to stop at Conservation Hut to enjoy a bowl of soup and to soak in the sweeping views.
Check Conservation Hut opening times here. This cafe is undergoing renovations, so do check to see when it re-opens.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at the steep but short one hour Empress Falls walk. Hopefully your family would enjoy this. I have to admit that my own teenagers were not with me, but I did pass many kids walking with their families, some little ones in backpacks too.
I do advise trying to go when it’s not too hot as climing all the way up on a hot day would be a big challenge.
Plenty water required too, of course, at any time of year!
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