|Maps:||LPI Mount Wilson 8930-1N 1:25000|
|Notes:||Print-friendly notes (opens in new window)|
Asgard Plateau is the part of the Grose Valley north of Mt Victoria, between the upper Grose River, and Victoria Creek. While not a large area, there are many interesting features and excellent lookouts that can be visited.
This walk has several short off track sections, though the navigation is fairly straightforward. The tracks themselves are not signposted, but are mostly not hard to find or follow. The scrub is fairly mild on the plateau, and the clifflines are small, meaning route finding is easy.
However, if you wanted to do an entirely on track walk, you could visit Ikara Head as an out-and-back walk, and then visit Thor Head, Mackenzie Mine and the lookout below Asgard Head as a separate walk.
The walk starts from the trackhead for the Asgard Swamp track.
Coming from Sydney, head through Blackheath on the Great Western Highway, and turn right on to Victoria Falls Rd (dirt/gravel), 5.2km after the lights in Blackheath. Continue for 4.1km and park at the locked gate and sign.
From 06 Aug 2016, last checked 06 Aug 2016
Walk back up the road for 550m, passing an old fire trail after 300m. Turn right on to a hard to spot foot track, possibly marked by a cairn, at GR 474822 that leaves from one of the many runoff drains. This leads on to the ridge out to Ikara Head. Once on it, the track is easy to follow, and opens out to great views at Ikara Head itself after 3km (50 min).
Return back to the low saddle at GR 473840, and, just below a large rock gendarme, try and find a minor track that leads directly down the hill to the ESE. The hill is steep but fairly straightforward even if you can't find the track. At the bottom, turn left and follow the bank downstream to Girraween Cave, a large overhang on the western side of the creek above the swamp.
Cross the swamp - you can usually avoid getting wet feet - and head off track up the ridge to the SE. At the top of the ridge, turn right on the fire trail, and then left on to a less obvious fire trail after 200m. This turns into a foot track. As you drop off the top of the hill at GR 480844, the track peters out. A cairned route leads out to the cliff top to the north, for good views of Ikara Head and the upper Grose. However, to get to Valhalla Head, navigate off the hill to the north east and find a route across the saddle, before following the ridge around to north and east to the top of Valhalla Head. There are no views from the high point, but if you make your way down the ridge to the north east, there are rock outcrops on the cliff edge with excellent views of Wilkinson Hill, Jinki Gully and Dalpura Creek.
Return to the top of Valhalla Head, and then head west for 200m, and then south down the ridge avoiding pagodas as necessary. As you reach Asgard Swamp, skirt it to the west, until you reach a large pagoda and campsite. The track marked on the map (actually a fire trail) is picked up on the south east side, and can be followed around to the east. Keep an eye out for an unmarked track on your left at GR 488839. This leads up to Thor Head. There is a great wide rock platform before the final climb up to the high point that looks directly down the Grose, and then from the high point there are excellent views to the north and west.
Return to the main track, and turn left. The track heads south east, and, just as it turns south, look out for another faint foot track off to the left at GR 490838. This leads down into the creek, crossing the creek a couple of time, before switchbacking through the cliffs and down to the old Mackenzie Coal Mine. Across the other side of the creek can be found a well-preserved old brick kiln. Take a torch if you want to have a look inside the mine.
Return again to the main track and continue along to the SE. The fire trail peters out into a foot track. This leads shortly to a great lookout on the lower cliffline north east of Asgard Head. There are excellent views directly down the Grose Valley, of Burra Korain Head to the SE, and also of Victoria Falls way below in the Victoria Creek valley.
Backtrack 150m along the track, and then walk off track up an easy gully that leads through broken clifflines. Return to the cliff edge and follow it around to the stunning point about 200m south of the high point on Asgard Head at GR 489830. This is the best spot to see Victoria Falls, and offers great photos of the cliffs. There are various other good spots to stop for views on the way.
Navigate north off track along the ridge back to the campsite at Asgard Swamp. There are some easy minor clifflines to negotiate.
Turn left on the fire trail, and it is only 2km (about 30 mins) walk back to the car. There is one creek crossing on logs that may require some care to avoid wet feet.
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06-07/08/2016 - Asgard Plateau: Victoria Falls Rd - Asgard Swamp - Ikara Head overlook - Valhalla Head - Girraween Cave - Ikara Head - Victoria Falls Rd - Valhalla Head track - Asgard Swamp - Thor Head - Asgard Swamp (C) - Mackenzie Coal Mine - Asgard Head lookouts - Asgard Swamp - Victoria Falls Rd (photos)