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Bushwalking track notes, photographs, maps and more for Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour are found in each of the tabs below
Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour
Time: 2 hrs Walking time
Please allow extra time to rest and to explore
3.1 km SW of Glenbrook
Length: 4.1 km Walk Length
As this is a Circuit style walk, the 4.1 km includes the walking distance from the start around the loop and back to the start again
Blue Mountains National Park
Climb: 211 m Total Climbing
This walk has a total cumulative climb of 211 m, this is the total of the elevation gains made in each of the walks uphill sections
There is car access and parking near the start and end of this walk
Style: Circuit
Track: Moderate

This is a cultural walk with two significant sites being visited along the way. The walk leaves the quiet Red Hands Cave picnic area and winds down the valley to the Axe Grinding Grooves, once used by Indigenous Australians. The track then follows Campfire Creek up to Red Hands Caves and visits the magnificent cave paintings before returning to the picnic area for a bite of lunch. (open in app)


There are Closed areas in Blue Mountains National Park
Today's Fire rating
LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
  Bushwalking track notes photographs, maps and camping spots for Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour

Map of Walk

Location

                Sponsor of Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour bushwalking tracknotes
Map of Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour
Problem loading PDF Try here
Map Controls - Show Contours | Hide Path | Hide Distances | Hide Names
Map Scale 1 km
Red Hands Cave car park
To Link Track sign intersection
Axe Grinding Grooves
To Link Track sign intersection
Red Hands Cave
Starting point for this hiking track: Red Hands Cave car park

Base maps are used under licence and is © Department of lands   Panorama Avenue Bathurst 2795   www.lands.nsw.gov.au

Maps that cover the walk area (please always carry maps of the area)

Print a map and track notes here
 Penrith 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-90303N 
 Penrith 1:100 000 Map Series 9030 

Photo Gallery

 
Red Hands Cave Picnic Area
 
Red Hands Cave Picnic Area +
 
Sign at Red Hands Cave picnic area
 
Sign at Red Hands Cave picnic area +
 
Track to Grinding Grooves
 
Track to Grinding Grooves +

 
Track to Red Hands Cave car park
 
Track to Red Hands Cave car park +
 
Track down the valley to grinding grooves
 
Track down the valley to grinding grooves +
 
Track up to Red Hands Cave car park
 
Track up to Red Hands Cave car park +

 
Signs across small stream
 
Signs across small stream +
 
Fern above stream
 
Fern above stream +
 
Nice little stream
 
Nice little stream +

 
Track down to Grinding Grooves
 
Track down to Grinding Grooves +
 
Track beneath cliffs
 
Track beneath cliffs +
 
Track just near Grinding Grooves
 
Track just near Grinding Grooves +

 
Grinding Grooves
 
Grinding Grooves +
 
Grinding Grooves
 
Grinding Grooves +
 
Grinding Grooves
 
Grinding Grooves +

 
Grass tree next to track to Red Hands Cave
 
Grass tree next to track to Red Hands Cave +
 
Branch bridge below Link Track intersection
 
Branch bridge below Link Track intersection +
 
Track up to Red Hands Cave
 
Track up to Red Hands Cave +

 
Red Hands Cave protective cage
 
Red Hands Cave protective cage +
 
Red Hands in cave
 
Red Hands in cave +
 
Red Hands Cave decking
 
Red Hands Cave decking +

 
Track above Red Hands Cave
 
Track above Red Hands Cave +
 
Track up to Red Hands Cave picnic area
 
Track up to Red Hands Cave picnic area +
 
Red Hands Cave car park
 
Red Hands Cave car park +

Terrain

Cross sectional view of the Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour bushwalking track

Cross Section of the Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour bushwalking track



Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour bushwalking track

Summary of the gradients over the the lenght of the Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour 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.
Length 4.1km
Time 2 hrs
.


Grade 3/6

Track: Moderate
AS 2156.1 Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Signs Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*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
This whole walk, 4.1km has short steep hills.

Quality of track
This whole walk, 4.1km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles.

Signs
Around 2.1km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 2km is clearly signposted.

Experience Required
This whole walk, 4.1km requires no previous bushwalking experience.

Weather
This whole walk, 4.1km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).

Infrastructure
Around 3.2km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats), whilst the remaining 880m has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).

Track Notes


Drive to Red Hands Cave car park
You can drive or ride to this start of this Bushwalk A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.
You can drive or ride to the start of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip to the start of this walk.
Plan your trip from --> Sorry there are no driving directions, but you can see the start of this walk on this map

Red Hands Cave Picnic Area Alt = 208 m
Red Hands Cave Picnic Area is found at the end of the Red Hands Cave Fire Trail in the Glenbrook area of the Blue Mountains National Park. The small picnic area is next to the car park and has a couple of platforms (to act as both a table and seat) as well as a fire place and toilet. The toilet itself is wheelchair accessible, but access to the toilet is over moderately rough terrain. A good spot to rest when exploring Red Hands Cave.

(0 km) Red Hands Cave car park to Axe Grinding Grooves
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.08 km Time = 44 mins
Climb = 42 m Descent = -161 m
From Red Hands Cave car park, the walk follows the sign for the 'Link Track' past the bench and fireplace and into the bush. The track winds down the hill via many steps, winding for quite some time, then comes near a creek, which it loosely follows. The walk then crosses this creek to the signposts on the other side.
Turn left: From the creek intersection, the walk follows the 'Glenbrook Causeway' sign, keeping the water on the left. The track continues up to a rock overhang from where it heads down the hill, coming near the creek again. The track follows the creek to a junction with another creek. To the left is a large sandstone area and approximately 10m along the track is a sign explaining the grooves in the sandstone.

Axe Grinding Grooves Alt = 87 m
These well-defined axe grinding groves are found on the sandstone bed of Camp Fire Creek. The grooves were formed by Aboriginal people when sharpening axes (or forming axe blanks). Rubbing the axe blanks would sharpen the stone into a more useful tool, and the process would also wear the sandstone, leaving these markings. These sites are typically found near water, as the water was added to make the stone more abrasive. Sites like this will fade in time due to erosion of the sandstone - please help them last as long as possible by not walking on, or close to the grooves. More info

(2.08 km) Axe Grinding Grooves to Red Hands Cave
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.48 km Time = 37 mins
Climb = 128 m Descent = -40 m
Continue straight: From the grinding grooves at the creek junction, the walk heads across the side creek, keeping the larger creek on the left. The track immediately passes a sign with information about the grinding grooves, then continues above the creek. The track undulates above the creek and over a log bridge to tend right, down to a signposted intersection above a creek.
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk follows the 'Red Hands Cave' sign down across the creek. The track leads over a small rise across another smaller creek, then follows the hillside for a short while, passing a bench seat and then a small log bridge. The track then starts tending left, heading up to a rocky outcrop where the walk arrives at the metal verandah of Red Hands Cave.

Red Hands Cave Alt = 178 m
Red Hands Cave, in the Glenbrook area of the Blue Mountains National Park, is found near the end of Red Hands Cave fire trail. The cave has quite a few hand stencils and prints of various colours (including red). The cave is well protected, with a perspex and steel cage. There are some information signs and some artifacts to help visitors learn more about the people who made these prints over 1600 years ago. In 1913, when searching for a lost child, this cave was found by Europeans and is now protected.

(3.57 km) Red Hands Cave to Red Hands Cave car park
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 503 m Time = 12 mins
Climb = 41 m Descent = -10 m
Continue straight: From Red Hands Cave, the walk heads up the stairs, winding to be above Red Hands Cave. The track then continues across the rocky surface, slowly climbing through the bush and leading away from the rock outcrop. The track winds through a few rocky outcrops, tending right, before coming to a car park and 'Red Hands Cave' sign (pointing back to the cave).

Drive from Red Hands Cave car park
You can drive or ride from this end of this Bushwalk A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.
You can drive or ride from the end of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip from the end of this walk.
Plan your trip to --> Sorry there are no driving directions, but you can see the end of this walk on this map

Getting there

Plan your trip to the start of the walk and back from the end of the walk

Public Transport links currently not working, sorry

Driving Directions
To the start of the walk
Since this walk starts on a low grade road
Google can't give you a route plan to the start.
View the location on a road map here --> See the start of the walk on a map
From the end of the walk
Since this walk ends on a low grade road
Google can't give you a route plan from the end.
View the location on a road map here --> See the end of the walk on a map


Near by


Campsites in the park
Acacia Flat
Burralow Creek camping ground
Coxs River Camping Area
Euroka campground - Appletree Flat campervan and camper trailer area
Euroka campground
Ingar campground
Mount Werong campground
Murphys Glen campground
Perrys Lookdown campground
Euroka Campground - Darug
Euroka Campground - Red Gum
Euroka Campground - Nioka
Euroka Campground - Bennetts Ridge


Nearest know Outdoor Stores near the start of this walk
Store Address Phone Distance (straight line)
Summit Gear 11 Ross St , Glenbrook (02) 4739 4373 3.4 km
Boots Great Outdoors Shop 25 Home Centre Wolseley St , Penrith (02) 4733 5744 7.6 km
Kangaroo Tent City Cnr Mulgoa & Blaikie Rds, Penrith (02) 4733 4111 8.1 km
Getaway Disposals 549 High St , Penrith (02) 4732 2285 10.2 km
Mitchell Adventure 24 Henry St , Penrith (02) 4731 8482 11.1 km


A list of the nearest UHF CB repeaters I found to Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour.
Channel Call sign
(more info)
Site Distance and dir from Red Hands Cave and Axe Grinding Tour
Click to re-center search
4 RIV04 Fire Service Rusden Road MT RIVERVIEW 7 km (to the NNE)
2 KUR02 Miles Comms Site 1 1 246 Burralow Road KURRAJONG HEIGHTS 26 km (to the N)
7 SYD07 7 Glamorgan St BLACKTOWN 30 km (to the E)
5 SYD05 Sydney Adventist Hospital 185 Fox Valley Rd WAHROONGA
Emergency use only
47 km (to the E)
6 LGW06 Lithgow Council Site HASSANS WALLS 52 km (to the NW)

Weather and Park 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.

Weather and Climate
Weather and Climate summary detailed weather and climate information here
°C (feels like °)
km/h from the
% humidity     (as at )
Wed      31°Showers. Likely storm developing.
Thu18°|28°Possible shower.
Fri18°|32°Mostly sunny.
Sat15°|26°Possible late shower.
A graph displaying the average daily temperature range for the year

Blue Mountains National Park Link 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 fees Camping Facilities
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


Walker Feedback

Comments
Add NewSearch
Sue Carew - Ms IP:138.25.68.xxx | 2012-02-13 05:07:53
Just did this walk yesterday. We started our walk from the NPWS entrance which added another .5 hour. I made an assumption that the 2 hours was for the full circuit, in reality it was between 1.5 to 2 hours from the causeway to the cave. We then had to either complete the circuit or backtrack. As it was another 1.5 hours to link back up with the original path then up to another hour back to the causeway from that point we elected just to retrace our path as it appeared to be the shorter route and a thunderstorm was imminent. Perhaps we were slower than average, but I do think the track notes understated the time to do the whole circuit by at least an hour or else the notes could be a little clearer as to where the starting point is. Perhaps by referencing the time and distance from the causeway might assist others. The walk itself is lovely however. I have found this site very useful in the past. thank you
admin - Walking time Super Administrator | 2012-02-13 05:24:53
Sue Carew wrote:
...I made an assumption that the 2 hours was for the full circuit, in reality it was between 1.5 to 2 hours from the causeway....... I have found this site very useful in the past. thank you

Hi Sue
Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoy the walk, sorry it was longer than expected. I think your pace sounds good, but I think we are looking at two different versions of the walk.
This link I think is closer to the walk you did, where I suggest a walking time of 3hrs 45mins. It starts and finsihes at the weir http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/glenbrook-eastern-blue-mountains/red-hands-cave-circuit-from-campfire-creek.html

The walk on this page (where you left your comment) is much shorter and starts at the carpark closer to the cave.

Hopefully the time makes more sense this way.

Sorry for the confusion. Happy walking.

Matt :)
Panoone - Jellybean Pool! IP:101.171.42.xxx | 2014-11-21 06:13:35
I would love to see a variation of this loop that starts and ends (or at least incorporates) Jellybean Pool!

I tried comparing the maps and locations but couldn't really make the connection. I know it's close-by though.

Maybe Bruce Rd? But is doesn't show on Google Maps. :(...

Planning on doing this one on the weekend.
Panoone - Road closed today :( IP:101.170.42.xxx | 2014-11-22 03:11:59
The road gate is about 6km short of the car park. We parked and walked down the track immediately to the right. Take first left and right again to short-cut straight to Axe Grinders Grooves.

It was so hot that we had to turn back. But a footer couple with more water could then complete the circuit and head back the same way.
Rob - Kids IP:121.211.7.xxx | 2015-11-16 07:44:40
Just a question, I was wondering how difficult this would be to do with kids? I will be bringing my 4 and a half year old and my one and a half year old. For the difficult parts I would be carrying my youngest, can the whole lot be walked? Or are there parts where you need your arms to get up? Thanks.
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