Take a Hike: McKeowns Valley Track

Staying at Jenolan Caves House, being so far away from human civilisation and not having any connection to the outside world (no TV, no mobile phone signal and no internet), it really pushes you to get in touch with the natural world around you. Either that or hop in your car and head back into the real world. But I love nature. So when Super Boy and I had hours to spare before our next Jenolan Caves tour, we happily decided to go for a bushwalk.

We started by climbing the stairs opposite Jenolan Caves House, and then followed the path leading us up and into the mountains. After a short walk, you can turn around and see the hotel nestled amongst the trees. It makes you realise just how isolated this place is. If you continue up the path, you’re rewarded with a view of Carlotta Arch.

It was apparently named after a daughter of the Surveyor General P.F. Adams, who is credited with taking some of the earliest cave photos at Jenolan Caves. There’s a great view of below. Can you spot the Blue Lake?

After a look around, Super Boy and I continued along the path which led us on our journey to McKeowns Valley.

The weather kept changing from being cloudy to sunny and then cloudy again. It didn’t make too much of a difference to our walking. Except for when I stopped in my tracks to appreciate the beautiful sun rays streaming in through the trees. Simply breath-taking.

Have you ever heard pure silence? There were moments where I stopped Super Boy just so we could listen to it. We walked for about two hours and eventually rested on some large rocks in the sun, munching on a packet of crisps we brought along.

We were also a bit lost and unsure of which way was the right away ahead. We decided it would be safest for us to go back to one of the signs pointing us to Jenolan Caves House, rather than try and find McKeowns Valley Track. Although we didn’t finish it, I really enjoyed the bushwalk and being amongst all the nature. All the walking made me tired, but it also re-energised me at the same time. I definitely need to go bushwalking more often!

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