TRACK: Flat and easy walking most of
the way as it follows the old railway system.
tunnel, cuttings, loading area, magnificent views from the nearby lookout.
MAP/S: Lands, Mittagong 1:25000
120 Walks in New South Wales
by Tyrone Thomas.
These track notes are intended for evaluation purposes only
and should not be relied upon as a sole guide to this walk/climb. They should
be used in conjunction with the suggested topographical map/s and guide book/s
listed above. Inexperienced trekkers/climbers are advised to read our getting
Box Vale Track, also referred to as "The Welby Coal Railway" is a uniquely
different kind of walk as it is totally history based. Anyone with an interest
in history will be sure to find this a fascinating walk, but it is the railway
enthusiast that is likely to be the most appreciative.
railway operated between 1888 and 1896 and serviced a coal mine that operated
in the Nattai Gorge. The rail route includes an 85 metre long tunnel and a loading
area. The loading area is situated at the top of a steep incline that was used
to haul the coal in skips up from the gorge below. Various information panels
and photographs of the time are displayed along the route.
trips for UNDER $1000 USD
following the driving instructions park at the carpark which is equipped with
picnic tables and toilet facilities. Then follow the track to the west where it
will join the original rail route. After you cross Nattai Creek you will need
to ascend a set of steps to compensate for a wooden bridge that once stood here.
The track is flat for the entire walk except for where several bridges are no
longer in place. These places will be obvious as you suddenly find yourself walking
steeply downhill then up and onto the flat again.
will pass through three cuttings and several 4WD crossings. Approximately 1.5km
from the start of the walk you will reach a right hand turn leading to the Forty
Foot Falls. Take notice of this landmark if you plan on completing the Forty Foot
Falls circuit which is outlined on an information board at the carpark. This is
where the circuit track will bring you out. Continuing straight ahead you will
soon come to the Casuarina Cutting. So named because of the Casuarina trees growing
in it. You will encounter another five cuttings including boulder cutting and
fern cutting before reaching the spectacular rail tunnel. This tunnel is impressive
to say the least with it's arched roof cut through sandstone. A short distance
beyond the tunnel is the similarly impressive loading area and incline ramp. A
short detour to the right will bring you to the lookout area which displays views
of the Nattai Gorge and views as far as Katoomba.
your fuel for getting out there - use the internet to buy gear - You'll be miles
the loading area it is possible to continue down the incline aided by a steel
cable which has been put in place for the purpose. The track then follows the
river where it is crossed several times before making a right hand turn to Forty
Foot Falls. This extension of the Box Vale Track is outlined on the information
board at the carpark and we will be adding it to our Track Notes section in the
return route to your vehicle is the reverse of the walk in.