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Saturday, 26 April 2014


If you stand at Echo Point and look across to the Ruined Castle, Castle Head is the point of land immediately behind it. What appears to be a solid tableland is in reality a narrow projection of land into the valley. Near its end it’s only a few metres across, making it an exciting place to stand. Like most such places it is only dangerous if you do silly things.
To get to this spot looks difficult. It’s not. Take the road to Narrow Neck from Cliff Drive, Katoomba. You’ll find the turnoff (Glenraphael Drive, an unsealed road) on the left as you drive around past Scenic World. It’s the only left hand turn along here.
The road descends to the first Narrow Neck before rising again onto the higher ground beyond. There is a car park at the track turnoff to the Golden Stairs, and another at the locked gate across the road shortly after. (There is a steep concrete section of road between the two, constructed to overcome severe erosion problems on the steep hill.)

From the locked gate on, you walk. The track to Castle Head turns off on the left about 15 minutes after you start walking. It’s marked by two round posts, the left one has “Castle Head” written on it in pencil or charcoal. (The track is not shown on the map opposite.) From here you are on a narrow foot pad through the bush, which soon comes to the cliff edge and then follows it to a Trig station (surveyors mark) and finally to the end of the headland.
Hikers on the Ruined Castle
The views along here are amazing in all directions. You can see the 1931 landslide, Katoomba Falls, Echo Point, the Three Sisters, Sublime Point and across to Kings Tableland. Below, looking east, is the Ruined Castle itself (which is the origin of the name Castle Head), behind which is Mt Solitary with the track to the summit easily visible. To the right of this is the gorge of Cedar Creek with Lake Burragorang beyond. (This is the water backed up by Warragamba Dam). A continuous vista of cliffs and valleys leads around to the continuation of the Narrow Neck peninsula. If it’s been raining, you will see a waterfall coming over the cliffs opposite.  .                                                                    
The distant view of Katoomba Falls
Yellow-tailed black cockatoos

This is a popular abseiling spot and there are quite a few YouTube videos about this. The link to one of these is here. My video of the walk is here, the Wild Walks file is here and a Bushwalking NSW link is here.
It is about a 2 hour return walk from the locked gate, one that you will always remember. Happy hiking! 
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