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Wednesday, 23 April 2014


View of Nellie's Glen from North's Lookout
The area known as “Bonnie Doon” lies on the western side of Katoomba, south of the “Explorers' Tree” and adjacent to Nellie’s Glen. There have been tracks through this area since the 19th century, though the present day one appears to have been constructed about 25 years ago, judging from its deteriorating condition. Today’s track seems to be in a different location from those shown on old maps.
The track basically runs between two lookouts (North’s and Therabulat) crossing several minor streams as it winds through bushland. Sadly, there are no views of the cascades and waterfalls which the walker can hear further down the valleys. It is as if the track has been constructed in the most economical way possible to connect two points while staying away from the more difficult places, which no doubt are the very ones the walker would like to see.                                                                                 

It is possible to see the lowermost of the so-called Bonnie Doon Falls from Peckman’s Plateau Lookout, on the cliff top south of Therabulat Lookout (see my video here) or from a track which leaves the Six Foot track in Nellie’s Glen. This is the fall identified as Ethel Falls in early accounts of the locality. The other falls (3, according to the 1909 map illustrated) remain hidden from view.
Access to the area is from the Nellie’s Glen car park (just past the Explorers' Tree, turn left off the highway), which takes you down to North’s Lookout and from the end of Stuart’s Road, off Cliff Drive. This leads to Therabulat Lookout (take a left branch). Either way, if you  
The view from Therabulat Lookout to Megalong Valley
continue far enough along the track, you will encounter a newly constructed track coming from who knows where (no signpost in March 2014). Why this track has been pushed through a declared Fauna Study Area (thus destroying hundreds of thousands of native plants) is anyone’s guess.
The other disturbing feature of the walk is the evidence which remains around Nellie’s Glen of the environmental damage caused when an attempt was made to construct a fire trail down the Glen some years ago. One could be excused for thinking that the powers-that-be are less concerned about the scenic and conservation values of this part of Katoomba than they are, say, of those around Katoomba Falls and Echo Point. When you read old newspaper accounts of Bonnie Doon you will soon discover that this has always been an area which has suffered from the hands of timber getters, wild flower pickers, bush rock gatherers and the like. It is an attractive and interesting place and deserves to be better appreciated.
From a 1905 guide book
There are many accounts of walks in this area. Simply Google “Bonnie Doon” Katoomba to come up with a list. The Wild Walks information on Devil’s Hole and Nellie’s Glen includes this area. Click here for this. My video on Bonnie Doon is here and the one on Peckman’s Plateau is here. My Blue Mountains You Tube playlist may be found here . I have three other playlists - on gem hunting/mining, Glen Innes and New Zealand. Please comment and subscribe.

All New England and other Geology blogs and videos
The top of Ethel Falls from North's Lookout
Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo

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