Time:5 hrs
Distance:11km
Fitness:EM
Skill:M
Ascent:170m
Maps: LPI Penrith 9030-3N 1:25000
Notes:Print-friendly notes (opens in new window)
Please note that while the maps on this web site are useful and generally contain more, and more accurate, information on trails, the relevant topographic maps should be carried on most walks. These are available from the Lands Information Centre, map shops, and most outdoor stores.

Introduction

Glenbrook Creek not far from the junction with Kanuka Brook

Kanuka Brook is a relatively pristine creek in the lower Blue Mountains. This walk explores the bottom section of it, as well as visiting Red Hands Cave, a well known site for Aboriginal hand paintings. There is a short section of off track walking with some scrub involved. It makes a good introduction to people who are looking for some slightly harder walks. It is best in the warmer months to allow for swimming opportunities, but the amount of ridge walking mean that it is probably best avoided in the middle of summer.

Access

The walk starts at the Blue Mountains National Park entrance at Glenbrook. This is about 1.2km walk from Glenbrook Station. If you are driving, it is signposted from the Great Western Highway. You can park just outside the park and walk. Driving into the park costs $7 for a day pass.

Track notes

From 23 Mar 2007, last checked 23 Mar 2007

From the park entrance, walk down the road until you reach a parking area on your right on a tight curve. A set of steps lead down from here to the Blue Pool. This is a popular swimming spot in summer, although it might be a bit early for a swim break. Cross Glenbrook Creek on the downstream side of the pool and pick up a vague track on the other side. Head upstream. The track stays mostly just above creek level, and should become more obvious as you proceed. It crosses several non-perennial creeks, and as you approach the junction with Kanuka Brook, it largely disappears as you traverse open rocky shelves above a narrow and fast flowing creek.

Aboriginal hand stencils in Red Hands Cave

The pool at the Kanuka Brook junction must be one of the best swimming holes in the Blue Mountains. The sandy bottom combined with rocky ledges make it an excellent spot to swim. It is certainly worth a paddle if the weather is kind.

After a break, turn left up Kanuka Brook. A faint pad runs along the south side. Kanuka Brook is a lovely creek, and pleasant walking. After about 1km the track swings to the right and drops into a gully. Leave the track and follow the gully upstream for 50m until it forks. Climb the ridge in the middle through light scrub until you are quickly confronted with small cliff lines. Traverse around to your right below the cliff for another 50m or so and you should find an obvious ramp leading back to the left that you can climb up. From there, make your way through the scrub up to the top of the ridge where you will hit a fire trail.

At the fire trail, turn right and follow it for 1.5 km until you hit the main Red Hands Fire Trail. Turn left and make your way down the road to the picnic area. Continue on to the Red Hands Track (incorrectly marked on the topo map) which winds down the hill eventually reaching Red Hands Cave.

Red Hands Cave is an excellent example of Aboriginal hand stencils. Unfortunately to protect it from vandalism it is walled off by perspex and steel fencing. Continue down the track for another 1.5km to the junction with Camp Fire Creek. Turn left here and follow Camp Fire Creek downstream to the Glenbrook Causeway. Cross the causeway and climb back up the road to the park entrance.

Related walks

Magdala Creek

Time: 4 hrs Distance: 11km Fitness: EM Skill: EM Ascent: 200m

A pleasant summer walk along shady paths, with a short climb to a good lookout.

Glenbrook to Springwood

Time: 2 days Distance: 20km Fitness: EM Skill: EM Ascent: 530m

An excellent walk in the lower Blue Mountains following both ridges and creeks.

Personal reports

23/03/2007 - Kanuka Brook: Glenbrook - Blue Pool - Glenbrook Creek - Kanuka Brook - Red Hands Cave - Red Hands Gully - Camp Fire Creek - Glenbrook (report | photos)