|Maps:||LPI Jamison 8930-2N 1:25000|
|LPI Katoomba 8930-1S 1:25000|
|Sketch maps:||Sketch map 1 PDF|
|Notes:||Print-friendly notes (opens in new window)|
Narrow Neck Peninsula lies south west of Katoomba and is clearly visible from lookouts such as Echo Point and Cyclorama Point. It was partly explored in the late 1800s by prospectors and miners, looking for routes into the valley where oil shale was mined. Redledge Pass was an old miners' route to the Glen Shale Mine on the side of Narrow Neck. However, it was almost certainly used by the local aborigines even before that. Redledge Pass is one of the few natural passes on or off Narrow Neck that doesn't involve exposed scrambling.
The walk starts at the parking area for the Devils Hole Track on Cliff Dr at Katoomba.
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 have a second car, you could avoid the road bash (about 4km) at the start by driving to the locked gate on Narrow Neck. The road can be fairly rough at times. Head back along Cliff Dr and turn on to Glenraphael Dr, which immediately turns into a dirt road. Follow the road out along Narrow Neck to the locked gate after 2.6km. At one point there is a steep uphill section which has been cemented. The parking area is about 300m past this.
Alternatively, you can walk from Katoomba Station. This adds about 3km each way to the top of Glenraphael Dr, which is the best spot to join the loop.
There are also buses from Katoomba Station to Scenic World or Katoomba Golf Course, where it would be about 300m walk to the top of Glenraphael Dr.
From 22 Jun 2007, last checked 21 Aug 2010
If you haven't driven a car to the locked gate on Narrow Neck, head back along Cliff Dr to Narrow Neck Rd and turn right. Follow this around to Glenraphael Drive (~1km), and turn right. Follow the rough dirt road for 2.6km to the locked gate.
From the locked gate, head out along the main fire trail until just before it reaches the top of the ridge at AGD472619. Look for a track leading off to your right about 200 m before this bend. This leads out along the ridge for about 400 m and then takes a sharp left at a cairn (the track veering right just before this turn off leads toward Diamond Creek). Descend into the gully via a narrow slot in the cliffs lining the creek, and turn right (downstream).
After about 50m the track crosses the creek and climbs up the other side below the cliffs. Just before the ledge starts, there is a log book in a large overhang. Proceed out on to the Red Ledge. This is a relatively wide ledge for the most part, although there are a couple of exposed sections where care is required. After about 200 m veer away (right) from the cliffs where a gully starts to form ahead. The track heads out towards a nose, and then turns steeply left down the gully under a large chockstone. Before you descend, however, continue out to the end of the nose for superb views of the Megalong Valley.
Climb down the gully under the chockstone. Once out of the gully, traverse around to your right and head down the ridge to the north, that closely follows Corral Creek. A track also continues north west but this peters out further down the hill, and following it will make it more difficult to pick up the 'road' - the remains of the old tramway I believe - at the bottom. After about 600 m the ridge running north flattens out and you should cross an obvious cutting at AGD465630, which is the road.
Turn right on the road, cross Corral Creek, and follow it north west for 1.8 km. It comes and goes a bit, so there are some scrubby sections. By continuing on the same bearing it can be picked up again.
As you hit what looks like a more significant road running across your track, continue across this on the same bearing for 100 m to hit the actual main fire trail. Turn left and keep an eye out for a cairn on your right after about 100 m which marks the turn off to the Devils Hole Track. Follow this across a small creek and then climb steadily up to the cliff line, generally heading north east. At some points the track is difficult to follow. Eventually you reach a point where you can see an obvious cleft in the cliff line - head up at this point. This is the Devil's Hole, and a massive chockstone jammed in the cleft above you marks this point.
At the top of the cleft the track splits. It is easier to take the right branch. If you want some more good views of Narrow Neck, take a detour to your right out to some rocky outcrops just as the track flattens out. Then make your way up to the road (Cliff Drive).
Time: 2 hrs Distance: 6km Fitness: E Skill: EM Ascent: 60m
Excellent panoramic views from this easy-to-visit lookout off Narrow Neck Peninsula
Time: 4 hrs Distance: 8km Fitness: E Skill: E Ascent: 220m
360 degree views from the top of the Ruined Castle, one of the best easy day walks in the Blue Mountains.
Time: 2 days Distance: 20km Fitness: M Skill: EM Ascent: 1120m
An excellent overnight walk with good views of Lake Burragorang and beyond, and options for camp cave camping.
Time: 3 days Distance: 45km Fitness: MH Skill: M Ascent: 1350m
An excellent crossing of the southern Blue Mountains with a variety of scenery
Time: 5 hrs Distance: 16km Fitness: M Skill: H Ascent: 500m
A challenging walk visiting two of the climbing passes of Narrow Neck
Time: 6 hrs Distance: 10km Fitness: EM Skill: MH Ascent: 490m
An excellent walk along two of the shale ledge passes of Narrow Neck, with great views on a clear day
Time: 9 hrs Distance: 16km Fitness: M Skill: MH Ascent: 540m
A challenging descent of one of the more difficult passes of Narrow Neck
15/08/2009 - (the other) Rock Pile and Redledge Pass: Narrow Neck gate - fire trail - the other Rock Pile "Pass" - Glen Shale Mine - Redledge Pass - Diamond Falls - Narrow Neck gate [Bush Club]: after this trip, I was contacted by Graeme Holbeach, to let me know the pass we did was not the real Rock Pile Pass. (photos)