EXPLORE // 60 Foot Falls
Chase some waterfalls and burn off brekkie in Mittagong!
The Fold's Adventure Queen, Dimity has been chasing waterfalls! Here's her rundown on how to get yourself to the 60 Foot Falls.
There are a couple different ways to get to 60 Foot Falls. One of them is pretty easy and straightforward. The other, not so much. So, since I have done the easy route before why not give the harder track a crack! If you’re up for a challenge, love a good steep hike and you’re not afraid of getting a good sweat on, this one is for you. If that’s not so much your thing, don’t stress - I’ll give you some pointers on taking the easy way round too, because I’m nice like that!
Family friendly :: YES!! Suitable for everyone but I’ll let you decide on which track to take the kiddies.
Easily Accessible :: Can be a little bit hard to find. Apple maps didn’t have Mount Alexandra Lookout Rd but if you continue all the way down Alice Street, past Lake Alexandra Reserve you’ll find this steep winding road at the end (corner of Alice and Leopold). Follow this up to a VERY rocky carpark and here is where we begin “the hard way”. For the easier route there is ample parking at the PCYC building and the walk starts from there.
Dog friendly :: Yes it’s suitable for fur babies!
Stairs :: Not really many stairs but some very steep sections.
Length :: 3.5km
Time :: Allow 2 hours
Cost :: FREE!
Finding the start of the walk is notoriously hard. There’s very little signposting and finding it on maps can be a challenge. After parking my car at the end of Mount Alexandra Lookout Rd, I took a couple of wrong turns before coming back to the carpark. I headed towards the sign labelled “Green Tramway Track”. This is where I found a hidden little path that isn’t obvious until you’re right up on it... and this is where I found the start of the track to the 60 Foot Falls.
To the Coke Tunnel
The beginning is fairly smooth sailing. Following a winding little path through the bush surrounded by big sandstone cliff edges, it wasn’t long until I found myself at the coke tunnel. There’s a few of these tunnels around this area of The Highlands and I just think they’re so cool!
Downhill from the tunnel
After the tunnel, the track descends downhill pretty quickly. It’s steep and unstable with lots of loose rocks, leaves and sand making navigating my way down seriously slowwwwwww. I was doing the baby step shuffle all the way down this one!
After what feels like an eternity and a couple of slips where I landed squarely on my backside (good thing there’s plenty of cushion to break my fall!), I made it to the bottom where the track levels out and joins the main fire trail – this is where you need to turn LEFT.
Turning right will take you to the end of Leopold St and the PCYC carpark where you can start the walk if you’re wanting to take the easy way out or prefer tracks with less likelihood of ending up on your bum!
Keep right on the trails
The fire trail heads up a little hill and you take the next right - there are more signs here now as well as a few markers. Basically at each turn I just kept taking the right fork in the road and it’s not long until I come across the Nattai River dead ahead.
Crossing the river is fairly simple, and there are a few stepping stones to help me across but here’s a pro tip, peeps - whenever I’m out in search of waterfalls, I always wear waterproof boots. Clever cookie I know.
As soon as I’m across the river, I take my first left hand turn at the big tree. Don’t keep following the fire trail, this will only take you over some big steep sections and eventually take you to a dead end just before the highway.
River to the falls
Following the track to the left that runs alongside the river is easy and smooth. From here there are two ways to get to the falls.
1 // Continue following this path until you hit the stony riverbed and walk along this to the falls OR
2 // You can do what I did and take the little path that shoots off to the right about halfway along the track.
Just after the red marker you will see what barely even looks like a track to your right-hand side, but this takes you up and around the falls and makes it much easier to access the bottom tiers.
Pretty soon I can see traffic on the highway out in the distance and the 60 Foot Falls pop out in front of me. Getting down to the bottom can be a little daunting as the drop is a smooth and steep rock face but here is my next pro tip-use your bum! (this time voluntarily)
Bottom of the falls
The falls are completely surrounded by very smooth rock and I find the best and safest way to access this is to slide on my bum with my feet out in front of me. Welcome to the glamourous life of waterfall chasing. This keeps my centre of gravity low and increases my stability with more limbs in contact with the ground - I am notoriously clumsy, so I find this the safest way to go.
Here is a great spot to take a break and enjoy these gorgeous falls from below or scramble up the rock face (it’s much easier going up - trust me) to sit at the top of the falls and watch the water cascading over the edge. I would just be careful if you’ve brought the kiddies along, there’s no railings etc here, just the drop over rocks into the shallow pool below. Probz best to keep them down at the bottom of the falls.
The way out
To get out, I head back the way I came, and this is when it dawns on me - I took the hard steep track in and now I have to take the same track out to get back to my car! Oh heaven help me.
The thought of going back up that steep track was pretty intimidating - my bum was still recovering from its clashes with the slippery path - but back I went, retracing my steps the way I came. But this time it wasn’t my poor backside that was hurting on the way out, it was my calves.
I knew the way out was going to hurt and boy did it! Who needs the gym - my legs were on FIRE!!!
So, if you’re a fitness nut or someone who loves to push their body to the limit, take the hard track. It’s a great challenge. If you want even more of a challenge, there’s actually a longer circuit you can take that’s about 10km and traverses all the way around Mount Alexandra and even has an offshoot track to the 40 Foot Falls.
If all of that sounds like absolute hell to you, take the easier route along the fire trail behind Southern Highlands PCYC - you and your bum can thank me later. Regardless of which way you go, you will LOVE the 60 Foot Falls - it’s a great walk, a wonderful little waterfall to go and explore and fingers crossed you make it out without a bruised backside like me!