EXPLORE // Box Vale Walking Track
A family friendly walk with a spooky tunnel and fab lookout!
Family Friendly :: Yep! Because of the length of the walk, more suited to older primary school aged kids and up.
Easily accessible :: Access the car park at the beginning of Boxvale Road, just near the Hume Highway overpass at Welby.
Starting point :: The pathway starts at the car park.
End point :: We walked to the Nattai Gorge Lookout and then traced our steps back.
Dog Friendly :: Yep, plenty of puppers loving getting their outdoor exercise on the track.
Stairs :: There are a few stairs but not a huge amount.
Length :: 9 kilometres return
Time :: A leisurely 2.5 – 3 hours or smash it out in 1.5 hours!
Where is it?
The Box Vale Walking Track is on western side of the Hume near Mittagong. Access the car park at the beginning of Boxvale Road, just near the Hume Highway overpass at Welby. The pathway starts at the car park and has a great map of all the walks that criss-cross from Welby right the way around to Lake Alexandra in Mittagong.
The Box Vale Walking Track is fantastic for families and walkers of all levels. While some parts are a bit rocky, it is fairly easy underfoot thanks to a well-worn pathway and stairs when the path gets steep at times.
It’s a busy track – a favourite among locals and visitors – and doggos are welcome, too. So there is always someone to nod to, chat to or ask how far the tunnel is (which is what we did the first time).
Now, the original Box Vale Tramway was created to transport coal from a mine down in the Nattai Gorge up to the main train line. The tramway is long gone but it’s path – including the deeper cuttings – remains. The cuttings give the bush walk some character and a change in scenery and propel you towards the old tunnel which is nearly 100 metres long.
We stepped this part of the walk out and got to the tunnel within about 35 minutes.
You can walk through the tunnel. Kids love shouting their way through it! Me? I get the heebie jeebies about halfway down because a) it’s dark b) it’s been there over 130 years so who knows what’s happened in there? - and c) I have a ridiculously overactive imagination.
Nattai Gorge Lookout
A little further on from the tunnel you come to a sign directing you towards the Nattai Gorge Lookout, another 800 metres on. It’s all downhill and a little rocky but you are rewarded with a cracking view across the Nattai Gorge.
There are a few picnic tables and lovely big flat rock that warms up with the sun and is a nice place to stop for a snack or a packed lunch. We took a few photos, watched a guy try and catch his drone and then headed 800 metres back up the way we came. The walk back up is a glute-burner BTW.
Then we simply retraced our steps and headed back through the tunnel and along the Box Vale Walking Track, taking it a bit more slowly this time.
Why should you do it?
Because the trail was originally a tramway, it’s fairly flat and walking through the big spooky tunnel is kind of fun too. We also loved walking through the cuttings, the big stone walls on either side of the path. Stopping at the lookout for some lunch is a fun way to break up the walk if you’ve got the kids with you.
The Box Vale Walking Track is actually the start of a much longer walk that gets you right around to Lake Alexandra – here’s our very honest rundown of what we experienced when we did it!