“BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR LIFE, SPEND TIME IN NATURE, BREATHE DEEPLY, LET GO OF YOUR WORRIES, AND BUILD YOUR LIFE AROUND WHAT YOU LOVE”
Glenbrook is a beautiful little mountains village with its own spectacular corner of the Blue Mountains National Park offering excellent bike trails, bush-walking, camping and natural beauty.
Half the distance of Katoomba, Glenbrook is nestled at the bottom of the Blue Mountains only 10 minutes passed Penrith with an easy drive up the M4 & Great Western Highway. From Glenbrook train station it is only 1.5KM to the entrance of the National Park making it easy for those using public transport.
The entrance to the National Park is at the end of Bruce Road, where there is a ranger’s hut and visitors center. It’s approximately $8 a car per day. You are able to park on the streets outside the park for free if you’re planning to explore most of the park on foot. Inside the park there are paved roads in popular areas and well-maintained fire trails elsewhere for those driving, and plenty of tracks for bush-walkers and trail runners.
One of the more popular areas is Jellybean Pool which is the first road on the left before you descend down the causeway. Everything is well sign posted in this park, so you’ll have no troubles finding your way around.
Jellybean Pool is a peaceful swimming hole with soft sand banks and beautiful bush encasing it; making it perfect for picnics and a swimming on hot days.
Red Hands Cave
If you decide to walk the park, the next stop I’d recommend is Red Hands Cave. Thought to have been painted between 500 and 1600 years ago, it is one of the best showcases of Aboriginal rock art in the area.
The walking track leading to the cave can be found at the bottom of the causeway on the right hand-side once you’ve crossed over the river. For those driving the park, the access by car is a lot further into the National Park (around 10KM). There is an outdoor toilet and picnic tables at the Red Hands car park if you want to stop for a quick toilet break.
If you find Jellybean Pool too crowded, I can guarantee you’re more than likely to have Crayfish Pool all to yourself. Located off the fire trail heading down to Red Hands Cave car park. About 4KM down the road, you may notice a slight widening in the road made for one or two cars to park. This is the entrance to the track. It’s very concealed, so if you miss it, you’ll hit Red Hands car park, where you can park the car and walk back up the road around 15 minutes.
As mentioned, it is a very concealed entrance, so keep your eyes peeled. Last time I went passed I noticed some rocks strategically placed on top of one another to indicate the entrance to the trail. The track may be a little over grown, but just follow your instincts and they will lead you to the pool. There are a few small sand banks for you to sit along and have a break, but you may feel more inclined to have a swim and get a closer look at the small waterfall.
Tunnel View Lookout
If you ended up driving out to Red Hands Cave, you may have noticed the turn off for Mount Portal Lookout on the way. Another fairly easy one to navigate, but be prepared, there is a very steep part of this track. If you’re not confident your car can make it up, best park it down the bottom and walk up. It’s a killer but the view is well worth it!
Once you reach the top of the climb (and you’ll know it when you have), Tunnel View Lookout is directly in front. The road does bend around to the right taking you to Mount Portal, but since you’ve made the trek up here, check out Tunnel View Lookout as well. If you time it right, you might actually see a train coming along the cliff edge in front of you. It’s a cool to witness. It actually looks as if the train is floating on air!
As mentioned, when you hit the top of the steep 500M climb, the road bends around to the right, this is the way to go to Portal Lookout.
This would have to be my favourite lookout in the park, offering stunning gorge and river views. This area is wheelchair accessible and also a popular spot for abseiling and climbing.
For those interested in camping, there is the popular Euroka Clearing where you’ll find a green valley suitable for camping and some barbecues, and maybe even a resident kangaroo or two!
There are many more areas to explore in this part of the Blue Mountains National Park, so for maps and more information head to http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/ or just ask at the visitor’s center upon arrival.
Gates to the park open at 8:30AM and close around 6:00PM depending on what time of year you visit. If you’re unsure, just check with the ranger when entering the park.
Does anyone else frequent the Glenbrook National Park? Where are your favourite spots?
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