9.0
Score

Pros

  • Great views
  • Relatively easy
  • Great group
  • Great weather

Cons

  • 2 hours from Sydney
Difficulty
6.5
Views
9
Distance
7
People
10

Final Verdict

Not including lunch and breaks, the walk was about 25km and took us about 6 hours total. Our pace was fairly fast and we had time to stop at the last lookout for some good photos. Highly recommend this walk and suitable for beginners.

Another weekend, another hike! 🙂 Haven’t done one in 3 weeks because of the rain in Sydney (it was raining almost everyday in the first of October) and also recovering from my sprained ankle. But I needed some nature so decided to join the Sydney Sunday Bushwalking group on meetup on a walk. You can find them here. I’ll be walking the Ruined Castle Circuit, starting from Katoomba Station. The walk is led by Sapph, a good man who knows the place well! Very well organised. This walk is about 25km all up and will take you 6-7 hours. In my opinion, this isn’t a hard walk (but I would still grade this 5), as there will be 3 or so sections of pretty steep and continuous incline that may be tougher for people that are not as fit. The views throughout this walk is incredible.

Needing to be at Katoomba Station at 8:30, I woke up at 6am to drive my car to Blacktown station to take the 7am train from Blacktown. From Blacktown to Katoomba it’s just a straight 1.5 hour train ride.

Once I got to Katoomba station and met up with the group, some of us decided to get coffee. I went to the subway across the street from the station to get a quick breakfast sub for $5. Fair game. After that, it was about a 30 minute street walk to Echo Point lookout (where the three sisters are).

Can you see the blue mountains in the background? Nope! It was still early thus the fog covered it up. Interesting adventures ahead. Ok, we start the hike by going down the Giant Stairway. There is about 900 stairs to go down, the stairs is pretty narrow so watch your steps and give way when needed. It will be about 20 – 30 minutes to get down to the bottom. From here, we’ll turn right and start walking towards the Scenic World. This is an easy 45 minute walk and you’ll know when you arrive as there will be lot’s of people around here, mainly tourists getting off the scenic world cableride. There’ll be some history around here if you want to read around. We took a 15 minute break here.

From here, we’ll start our walk to Ruined Castle. The next 15 minutes will have some incline and you’ll see views like this:

After this, we’ll reach the bush trail again and for the next hour or so it is an easy walk. Once you reach this sign:

There is actually two ways to go up Ruined Castle. The short way is right, the long way is left. So let’s go left towards Mount Solitary. This is where things get tough. Walk another 15 minutes, and then you’ll have the choice to climb up a tough hill. For the next 30 minutes it will be all uphill so be prepared for a physical challenge. But it’s worth it. We had our lunch inside the ‘ruined castle’.

On top of the world!
On top of the world!
Inside the Ruined Castle
Inside the Ruined Castle
Hello!
Hello!
Also inside the Ruined Castle
Also inside the Ruined Castle
View from inside the ruined castle
View from inside the ruined castle

Ok, from here we will go back to that signboard I posed with before (remember where I said we take the long way? That’s because we will be coming down the stairs on the right!), before that we climb the rusty rock.

From the signboard to the start of the Golden stairs will take us about an hour, this hour will be a fairly easy straight flat walk. From golden stairs to the golden stairs carpark will be about 30-40 minutes of continuous uphill climb (remember the giant stairway where we climbed down? now it’s going up, but we use the golden stairways). Some of the guys in the group did this in 15 minutes. But take your time, catch your breath. no rush.

From the golden stairs carpark to katoomba station will take us another hour. There will be some incline (not tough) on fire trails and street roads but shouldn’t be to hard. There will be a few lookouts on the way back to the station.

Flying rock is one of them. Check out the above. You’ll get to enjoy views like these on your way back!

Once we got back to Katoomba town, I decided to grab another subway whilst some other members went to grab coffee. I was starving. From here, most of us took the 4:22pm train back towards Sydney. I got off Blacktown station at 5:40pm and got home just after 6pm.

Let me know what your thoughts are if you’ve done a walk similar to what we did!

Best,