|Maps:||LPI Springwood 9030-4S 1:25000|
The walk down Magdala Creek to Martin's Lookout, returning via Glenbrook Creek is a pleasant day walk along a couple of nice creeks, with some great views across the Lower Blue Mountains from the lookout. It is probably best done in summer as there are numerous opportunities for swimming, and much of the walk is under the canopy
The walk starts at the carpark at Picnic Point, off Valley Rd. If you are walking from Springwood Station, come out on the south side. Turn right into Macquarie Rd, left on to Homedale St, and left at the bottom to go down to Picnic Point.
From 27 May 2000, last checked 27 May 2000
The Magdala Creek Track starts on the eastern edge of the Picnic Point picnic area in Springbrook. The track quickly descends to the creek, which it follows for a couple of hundred metres before splitting. It is easy to miss the right fork, which continues to follow the creek, while the left fork loops up to Lawson's Lookout after about a kilometre and then back to the road. We missed the right fork and had to backtrack after we realised the creek was getting further and further away.
The track steadily drops following the creek. In places there are a number of false tracks that die out rapidly and it is not always easy to know which to pick - of course by picking the wrong one you continue the development of the false tracks for the next walkers! Crossing a creek brings you to a plastic sign on a tree pointing to Martin's Lookout and the Perch Ponds. This is the track you want to take.
Presently you reach the Blue Pool, so called because of the colour imparted by the clay particles suspended in the water. Shortly after that is the picturesque Martin's Falls, which drop several metres over a ledge into a small pond.
Soon you come to the Perch Ponds - I certainly couldn't see any perch in them (or any other fish for that matter). Here the trail splits - left for the Martin's Lookout loop, right to start the trip back. While Martin's Lookout wasn't actually on our agenda for the day, we decided it would be worth the likely effort, and headed left.
The path runs alongside Glenbrook Creek, and there are lots of potential swimming holes and a couple of sandy beaches to stop at. After about 500m the track splits again, and you can decide whether to take the Short Track, to the left, or the Long Track up to the lookout. Whatever your choice you've got 170m vertical to cover in just a few hundred metres. We went up the Short Track and down the Long Track, and the Long Track certainly seemed easier - of course that could have just been because we were going down!
The view from the top is great. Directly across Glenbrook Creek you can see a white cross on the cliffs on the other side. The cliff is the Lost World Lookout, which can be reached by walking down and then up the other side, and the cross is a memorial to Brother B.R.G.E. Rayner, who used to take students bushwalking in this area.
Returning to the Perch Ponds we headed up the Victory Track following Glenbrook Creek. This is easy walking, passing plenty of nice potential swimming pools. After a couple of kilometres you reach a large one, locally and imaginatively called "The Swimming Hole". It would be a good stop for a break in the middle of summer, but not a cold and windy winter's day. Following the track further upstream you reach the junction with the Wiggins Track going off to the right. This is the quickest walk out, but continuing a bit further again you get to the Sassafras Gully Track This is a bit of a climb, although not much compared to Martin's Lookout.
This brings you back to the road in about 2km. Follow the road (Sassafras Gully Rd) to the end and turn right into Valley Rd and this will lead you back to where you started.
An alternative route out if you're keen for more walking is to keep following the Victory Track past Sassafras Gully all the way up to Faulconbridge. From there you can either catch the train back to Springwood (every hour), or walk the 4km back along the road.