The Federal Pass is an excellent track that guides you past much of Katoomba's iconic scenery. The walk starts from Cliff Drive, in Leura, and winds into the Jamison Valley, exploring Leura Forest and passing the base of the Three Sisters. The walk follows the historic Federal Pass beneath Katoomba Falls, before you catch the Scenic Railway out of the valley (the last train up is at 4:50pm).
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Federal Pass bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Federal Pass bushwalking track
Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
3 hrs 45 mins
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
No experience required (1/6)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
3.1km of this walk has short steep hills and another 1.1km has gentle hills with occasional steps. Whilst another 380m is flat with no steps and the remaining 200m is very steep.
Quality of track
4km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 410m follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely. Whilst another 300m follows a smooth and hardened path and the remaining 20m follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles.
Around 3.8km of this walk is clearly signposted, whilst the remaining 910m has directional signs at most intersection.
This whole walk, 4.7km requires no previous bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 4.7km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
This whole walk, 4.7km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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Catch the bus to Int of Cliff Drive and Prince Henry Cliff Walk
Solitary Restaurant offers fine dining in a heritage-listed building overlooking the beautiful Jamison Valley, as well as housing a kiosk for a more casual lunch. The kiosk is open for lunch 7 days a week, from 10am to 4pm (opens 11am weekdays in winter). The kiosk provides a casual dinning experience, with breakfast foods from $10 and lunches around $15 per dish. The restaurant is open for lunch 7 days from 12-4.30pm, and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm. Light lunches start from $14, and dinners from $55 for a mouth-watering 2 course meal. Contact details - 90 Cliff Drive, Leura Falls Ph: 02 4782 1164. More info
Int of Cliff Drive and Prince Henry Cliff Walk
Int of Federal Pass and Jamieson Lookout Tracks Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 135 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 9 m
Descent = -6 m
From Cliff Drive, opposite the car park behind Solitary Restaurant, this walk follows the 'Prince Henry Cliff Walk to Federal Pass' sign, down the short set of wooden steps to the intersection with the Echo Tree Lookout track. Turn right: From the intersection, the walk heads along the bush track, away from the Echo Tree Lookout, winding along the well-defined bush track for a short while before coming to the signposted intersection of the track to Leura Forest. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Leura Forest' sign along the bush track, winding down the hill for a short while before dropping down a set of wooden steps, to the signposted intersection with the 'Jamieson Lookout' track.
Int of Federal Pass and Jamieson Lookout Tracks
Jamieson Lookout Optional sidetrip: Walk: Easy - bushtrack
Length = 19 m
Time = 1 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -6 m
Turn sharp left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Jamieson Lookout' sign along the short bush track to the rock shelf at the Jamieson Lookout. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then veer left to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 922 m
Jamieson Lookout is a fenced lookout at the east end of the Federal Pass track, and just off Prince Henry Cliff Walk. The lookout has a bench seat and provides great views up the Jamison Valley, along Kings Tableland escarpment and past Mount Solitary. The lookout is perched up on a large rock buttress, giving views unobscured by trees.
Int of Federal Pass and Jamieson Lookout Tracks
Fern Bower Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 93 m
Time = 3 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -36 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the dirt path, heading down the long set of wooden and rocky steps. The walk winds down past a picnic chair under a cliff overhang, and continues down the steps into the valley and through the forest to the Fern Bower information sign.
Alt = 892 m
Fern Bower is an especially pleasant part of the Blue Mountains National Park, protected from heat and providing a great environment for fern trees, bracken ferns and moss to thrive. Fern Bower is a signposted area along the Federal Pass walking track, just below Jamieson Lookout and next to Linda Creek. This is a nice place to stop, rest and enjoy the bird noises.
Lila falls crossing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 343 m
Time = 14 mins
Climb = 10 m
Descent = -168 m
Continue straight: From the information sign, the walk follows the track down the steps, passing a 'Rich History' information sign before coming down to the signposted intersection with the Amphitheatre track, at the top of a metal staircase. Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Federal Pass Leura Forest' sign down the long metal staircase, to cross the bridge over Linda Creek in front of Lila Falls.
Alt = 736 m
Lila Falls is a thin waterfall on Linda Creek. The Federal Pass crosses the creek (on a bridge) in front of these falls, just below the intersection with the amphitheatre. The waterfall is not the most spectacular one in this valley, but it is a nice cool spot to catch your breath.
Lila Falls crossing
Marguerite Cascades Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 175 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 37 m
Descent = -90 m
Continue straight: From the Lila Falls, this walk follows the track heading down the hill, winding down a wooden walkway keeping the creek to the left. The track hugs the rock wall and passes under a shallow overhang. The walk continues down a staircase, then turns back down into the gully where it come to the taller and slender Linda Falls.
After passing Linda Falls the walk follows the wooden steps down through the gulley, crossing the creek again before heading down to the Marguerite Cascades.
Alt = 684 m
Marguerite Cascades are a series of small cascades finishing with a taller waterfall of a few metres height, dropping into a shallow sandy pool. The cascades are on Linda Creek and a small bridge crosses the creek at the base of the falls as part of the Federal Pass walking track. The cascades are a nice place to sit and listen to the water running and the local birds in this cool shady area.
Leura Forest Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 321 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 50 m
Descent = -14 m
Continue straight: From the 'Marguerite Cascades', this walk follows the timber steps downhill, winding steeply for a short while until coming to an intersection with a faint track, marked with a timber 'Federal Pass' sign, just beside a foot bridge. Veer right: From the intersection, this walk crosses Linda Creek just below a pleasant cascade using the foot bridge with a handrail. This walk then continues along the bush track that winds along the valley floor, to the signposted 'Leura Forest'. From here, the walk continues along the wide bush track, passing a few picnic tables, and winding through the forest to an open area with a large gazebo and an information sign at the intersection of the Federal Pass and the Dardenelles tracks.
Alt = 721 m
Leura Forest is a great picnic area in the Jamison Valley at the junction of the Federal Pass and Dardenelles Tracks. This place was home to a popular tea house (also known as 'Lady Carrington Dining Hall') from the late 1800's. Today walkers can still enjoy the historic rotunda and the foundations of the original tea house. The picnic area provides a great rest spot under the shade of the lilli pilli and coachwood forest.
Leura Forest (Int of Federal Pass and Dardenelles Tracks)
Int of Furber Steps and Scenic Railway Track Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 3.18 km
Time = 1 hr 33 mins
Climb = 317 m
Descent = -280 m
Continue straight: From Leura Forest, the walk follows the 'Federal Pass' sign towards 'Scenic Railway'. Shortly after crossing a small creek using a little bridge, the track begins to steadily go downhill then flatten out. The environment surrounding the bush track at this point is quite dense and, while very pretty, it is difficult to see views of the surrounding area, although there are occasional glimpses of Sublime Point Service Trail on the left. After a while, the track begins to steadily climb to a signposted intersection with 'Dardenelles Pass'. There are several signposts and a bench seat. Veer left: From the intersection, the walk follows the 'Federal Pass' sign towards 'Scenic Railway', keeping the main cliffs on the right. Not long after the intersection, the track passes 'under the sisters' rock formation (signposted). From here, the track turns and continues along a relatively stretch and, at several points, passes some notable rock formations and caves embedded in the cliffs. There are occasional good views that are not shrouded by the trees. The walk continues until coming to the base of Katoomba Falls, crossing these using a metal bridge know as 'Cooks Crossing'. (Just across the bridge, there is a picnic table.) Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads south-west away from Katoomba Falls along the bush track, soon passing the signposted 'Turpentine Tree'. Shortly after this tree, the track comes to an intersection with another bush track and set of stairs (on the right, signposted as 'Furber Steps').
Int of Furber Steps and Scenic Railway Track
Scenic World Alternate Exit:
Track: Hard - bushtrack,footpath
( Show detail)
Length = 702 m
Time = 24 mins
Climb = 233 m
Descent = -36 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk heads up the stairs. After the first section, the walk flattens out slightly as it zigzags up the hill. The track also goes under several large overhangs before coming to an intersection and a 'Vera's Grotto' sign. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Scenic Skyway' sign up the wooden steps and across the short wooden boardwalk to the other side. The track continues with the hand railing on the left, until reaching the base of the Furber Steps. From here, the walk continues up the concrete steps, zigzagging steeply up the side of the cliff, until reaching the Furber Lookout at the base of the last flight of steps. Continue straight: From the Furber Lookout, this walk heads up the concrete stairs, climbing to the top.
The walk passes the 'Furber Steps' signpost and continues along the bush track, winding up along the side of the hill until coming to the intersection of the Furber Steps and the Lynes Point tracks. Turn left : From the lookout, this walk follows the bush track, heading down the short metal staircase to the intersection of the Lynes Point bush track at the bottom. Continue straight: From the lookout, this walk heads up the stairs, climbing to the top. Here it continues along the bush track, winding past a large rock overhang with a bench seat underneath and through the forest for a short while, to the signposted intersection of the 'Underfalls Walk'. Continue straight: From the intersection, the track follows the bush track heading up the hill, winding up through the forest for a short while. Soon the track bends slightly around to the right and comes to the Rainforest Lookout, at the base of the set of wooden steps. Turn left : From the Rainforest Lookout, this walk heads up the wooden steps, climbing to the top where it comes to a 'T' intersection with the 'Round Walk' track. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Scenic Skyway' sign down the wooden steps, then flattens out for a short distance before continuing up the other side, climbing up the long, steep set of wooden steps. At the top, the walk comes to the intersection of the Round Walk and the Juliets Balcony track (unsignposted). Veer right: From the intersection, this walk heads to the top of the metal stairs. The track then continues steeply up through the bush, climbing to Vanimans Lookout. Turn left: From Vanimans Lookout, this walk heads up the wooden steps, climbing up the hill through the bush until it comes to the intersection with the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the only unsignposted bush track up the gentle hill. It winds up the wooden steps, bending around to the left until it flattens out at the intersection with the Scenic World footbridge. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads along the wooden footbridge that winds around the back of the Scenic World multi-story car park, to the concrete footpath. The walk continues around the main building, climbing up some concrete steps to the main entrance of Scenic World. (End of the alternative exit track)
Int of Furber Steps and Scenic Railway Track
Scenic Railway (Bottom Platform) Walk: Easy - bushtrack
Length = 167 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 10 m
Descent = -15 m
Continue straight: From the bottom of Furber Steps, this walk follows the 'To base of scenic railway' sign keeping the handrail on the left, and following the flat bush track. This track passes through a small gate over a metal bridge at the bottom of the Scenic Railway.
Scenic Railway (Bottom Platform)
Scenic World Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - transport
Length = 299 m
Time = 26 mins
Climb = 210 m
Descent = -8 m
Turn left: From the bottom platform, this walk heads up to the cliff top using the Scenic Railway. Hang on tight! This 415m-long journey is the world's steepest railway. Use of the railway costs $10 for adults and $5 for children one-way. Last train normally at 4:45pm (opens at 9am). More info Note: The distance and altitude change for this ride is not included in the total for this walk.
Alt = 951 m
Scenic World is one of the most renowned tourist attractions of Katoomba and the Blue Mountains. Located on the cliffs of the Jamison Valley , visitors can enjoy a ride on the Scenic Railway (the world's steepest incline railway) or the Scenic Cableway, into the Jamison Valley, and explore the Scenic Walkway from the base. Alternatively, the Scenic Skyway offers a bird's eye view over the valley, with a glass floor to enhance the experience. Scenic World also features a revolving restaurant, a cafe and a kiosk, in addition to the documentary theatre and souvenir shop. Rides can be purchased, starting from $16 for adults and $10 for children, and combination or family passes are available. More info
Fire Danger This walk passes Greater Sydney Region fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago) Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Blue Mountains National ParkLink to official closures and fire bans page Attracting over 3 million visitors annually, Blue Mountains National Park holds some of Australia's most spectacular and diverse wilderness areas. Explore the Grose Valley, with its sheer sandstone cliffs, waterfalls and scenic walking, or enjoy the famous views of the Three Sisters. Easy access makes a day trips very worthwhile, but with such diversity it would be great to stay in one of the many B&B's and spend a few days soaking up the region. Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCampingFacilities Current Park Closure information for Blue Mountains National Park Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Closed areas: Grand Canyon walking track The Grand Canyon walking track will be closed from Wednesday 14 October 2015 to mid-June 2016. The closure is necessary to allow work to continue on improving the walking track. Access for canyoners will be on weekends only. Access from Evans Lookout via Beauchamp Falls to the Grose Valley will remain open. Evans Lookout carpark, Loop carpark, and Neates Glen carpark will remain open. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact NPWS Blue Mountains Heritage Centre on (02) 47878877 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Waratah Native Gardens Waratah Native Gardens picnic area is closed for maintenance. This includes the Gorge Walking track. No access to the area is permitted.Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact NPWS Hawkesbury area office on (02) 4588 2400 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Prince Henry cliff walk, Leura Blue Mountains City Council wishes to advise that Prince Henry cliff walk between Majestic lookout and the junction with the Leura Cascades walk is currently closed due to a landslip. Detours will be in place and clearly signposted around the affected area. Access from the Leura picnic area to the cascades is unaffected. For more information, please contact Blue Mountains City Tourism on 1300 653 408 or Blue Mountains Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Butterbox Swamp track The traditional access to Butterbox Canyon via the endangered swamp is now closed and rehabilitated. No access permitted. Canyoners should use the new track provided. Temporary signage is in place. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact Blue Mountains Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Claustral canyon access change Access to Claustral canyon via the previous route across private land at Mount Tomah is no longer possible due to landholders denying access. Canyoners should respect the rights of Mount Tomah residents and avoid using private land. Alternative access from the west side of Mount Bell has been identified. For more information, please contact the Blue Moauntains Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877, open seven days 9am to 4.30pm, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Cahills lookout - Katoomba As a result of a recent bushfire, Cahills lookout remains closed until further notice. For more information, please contact Blue Mountains City Council on (02) 4780 5000.
Closed areas: Waratah Native Gardens Waratah Native Gardens Some areas of this park are closed due to a major landslip event occurring across The Gorge Walking Track. Closed areas include The Gorge Walking Track in the Blue Mountains National Park. A full assessment is underway to determine the extent of damage and to ensure the area is made safe. The Gorge Walking Track is closed at the entry trackhead however the Waratah Native Gardens Day Use and Picnic Area located off Valley Ridges Road Berambing (west of Bilpin) has now been reopened. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. For more information, please contact NPWS Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877, open seven days 9am to 4.30pm, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines