This walk may be commenced from either Scenic World or Katoomba Falls Reserve and it matters little in which direction you go. Parking and public transport is good at both places and refreshments are available close by. Coupled with fantastic scenery and a wide variety of plants to be seen along the way, this is an excellent walk, taking about an hour.
The Witches Leap gap (often called the Witches Glen in older publications) provides an easy descent from road level. It is quite likely that this gap in the upper cliffs is a former course of Kedumba Creek, which now flows over the Katoomba Falls. The upper course of the creek, coming down from the vicinity of the Katoomba Aquatic Centre, lines up quite well with the gap and it’s possible that there is a former course of the creek concealed beneath the playing fields and the caravan park.
The 1894 historic map show a track descending into the valley in much the same place as today’s steps (near Vaniman’s Lookout). This would have been the beginning of the miner’s track down to the coal mines below what is now Scenic World. This track passed between the Orphan Rock and the upper cliff line before making a steep (and dangerous) descent to the level of today’s lower Scenic Railway station.
There are three principal lookouts along the track: Vaniman’s, Juliet’s Balcony and Rainforest Lookout, though the third is a little below the track it is well worth including in the walk.
Chester Melvin Vaniman was a celebrated American photographer and artist who visited the Blue Mountains in 1903. The lookout provides a great view of the Falls and the Three Sisters. It is on that section of the Round Walk which is actually part of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, close to where the track descends into the valley.
Juliet’s Balcony is a well located lookout somewhat further down and gives a full length view of both Upper and Lower Katoomba Falls.
Rainforest Lookout is lower down again; unlike the upper lookouts this one is surrounded by lush vegetation and also has a great view of the falls.
|View from Vaniman's Lookout 2011|
|View from Juliet's Balcony 2007|
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|Rainforest Lookout around 1905|
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