Time:8 hrs
Distance:16km
Fitness:M
Skill:MH
Ascent:480m
Maps: LPI Jamison 8930-2N 1:25000
LPI Katoomba 8930-1S 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

Looking back into Mitchells Creek from the Narrow Neck Fire Trail

Mitchells Creek flows off the scrubby Fools Paradise area of Narrow Neck into the Megalong Valley. While a number of the passes of Narrow Neck follow a gully for part of their route, Mitchells Creek is the only one that follows the watercourse for the entire pass. There are a couple of longish sections on fire trail by distance, but timewise much of the route is off track.

Mitchells Creek is named after Campbell Mitchell, son of early Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell, who had some oil shale and coal mining leases in the Megalong Valley.

Access

From Scenic World at Katoomba, drive south along Cliff Drive. You pass a number of lookouts on your left, and then pass Glenraphael Dr. You pass another lookout (Narrow Neck Lookout) before meeting Narrow Neck Rd. Keep left on Cliff Dr here and park your car at the first open area on the left. There is a sign here indicating the start of the Devils Hole Track.

If you want to save yourself a 4km fire trail and road bash, you could leave a car at the locked gate on Narrow Neck.

Track notes

From 18 Jul 2009, last checked 18 Jul 2009

Starting from the Devils Hole Track sign, head down the eroded track for 300m. The track turns right and heads down into a gully at this point, though it is worth continuing ahead on a faint track to a lookout for great views.

In the gully, the track descends steeply into a deep slot. Overhead, a massive chockstone is poised ominously. There is a bit of easy scrambling in the slot. As it opens out, the track heads out of the gully to the right, and down a long spur. Cross the creek at the bottom and climb the ridge up the other side for 200m to the fire trail.

Turn right on the fire trail and follow it for 900m to a T-intersection with another fire trail, part of the Six Foot Track. Turn left, and follow this fire trail for a bit over a kilometre to the track junction at GDA459642. Turn left again and follow this fire trail for 1.5km to a minor T-junction at GDA458628. This is marked as the locked gate on the map, though there is no gate on the ground. Again turn left and follow this fire trail (not marked on the map) for 300m to a property gate.

Descending under the massive chockstone in the Devils Hole

From here on, the walk is off track, and navigation needs to be more careful.

At the gate, turn right, and follow the fence around the corner, and along to the fence to its southern end. From there head generally south, bearing slightly east, crossing a couple of deep creeks before arriving on the bank of Mitchells Creek. From here, there are a couple of options. One is to simply follow the bouldery creek all the way up. There are a couple of amphitheatre that need to be climbed out and around. Near the top it may be necessary to climb out on the left to avoid some waterfalls and large boulders. More straightforward is to follow the eastern bank upstream, keeping well above the creek, and eventually traversing under the cliffs. Either way you should arrive in a grotto with a small cascade, and a larger waterfall entering further up.

Cross the creek to the western side and look for a coachwood tree with iron spikes hammered in to it. Climb this for about 5m to a ledge and then an awkward move or two off the ledge to a higher ledge. A rope may be handy here for less experienced scramblers. Head north until you can get above the cliffs and then back south.

Once above the cliffs, there are various options for getting back to the main Narrow Neck fire trail. One is to follow the scrubby creek upstream to the creek junction at GDA462599. The spur between the creeks can be climbed, with a short scramble at the bottom. Head up the ridge to the fire trail, and walk back along the fire trail to the locked gate.

If you haven't left a car here then you will need to walk up Glenraphael Dr to Cliff Drive and turn left and back along the road to your car.

Climbing on spikes up the coachwood tree at the head of the pass

Related walks

Nellies Glen and the Devils Hole

Time: 4 hrs Distance: 10km Fitness: EM Skill: EM Ascent: 450m

A relatively easy walk to a couple of interesting places, although there may be some road sections depending on the route you take.

Castle Head

Time: 2 hrs Distance: 6km Fitness: E Skill: EM Ascent: 60m

Excellent panoramic views from this easy-to-visit lookout off Narrow Neck Peninsula

Tarros Ladder and Carlon Head

Time: 5 hrs Distance: 16km Fitness: M Skill: H Ascent: 500m

A challenging walk visiting two of the climbing passes of Narrow Neck

Dunphys Pass and Harmil Ledge

Time: 6 hrs Distance: 10km Fitness: EM Skill: MH Ascent: 410m

An excellent walk along two of the shale ledge passes of Narrow Neck, with great views on a clear day

Walls Pass

Time: 9 hrs Distance: 16km Fitness: M Skill: MH Ascent: 540m

A challenging descent of one of the more difficult passes of Narrow Neck

Personal reports

18/07/2009 - Mitchells Creek: Devils Hole - Mitchells Creek - Glenraphael Drive - Narrow Neck Car Park [Bush Club] (photos)