|Maps:||LPI Katoomba 8930-I-S 1:25000|
Built in 1903, the Hydro Majestic Hotel dominates the cliff tops at Medlow Bath. Below it lies a intricate network of old walking tracks. These were mostly professionally constructed early last century, and despite years of neglect, many can still be followed. The quality of the trackwork can still be seen to this day.
This walk explores some of the less visited tracks in the area, including the Glen Rosa Track, which wanders along the halfway ledge below the top cliffs. Some of the tracks are quite overgrown in places, and can be difficult to find.
As you drive into Medlow Bath from the east on the Great Western Highway, take the exit to the left just before the road goes over the railway line. If you pass the Hydro Majestic Hotel, you have gone too far. Turn left into Bellevue Cres, and park opposite the fire trail, about 100m down the street.
Alternatively, catch the train to Medlow Bath. Cross to the side of the road with the Hydro Majestic, and turn left along the footpath. Bellevue Cres is the first street on your right. It is about 700m from the station.
From 26 Sep 2008, last checked 14 May 2010
Head down the fire trail, which takes a sharp right hand turn after 50m and contours steadily down around the top of a small creek. After crossing the creek on a stoney section of fire trail, keep an eye out for the power lines as they cross the fire trail. About 100m after passing under the powerlines, look for another fire trail branching off to the left. Follow this up to the next power pole and pick up the foot track which heads up and over the flat ridge. As it descends along the side of the ridge, look down to your left. You should be able to see a series of rocky outcrops. These are the rock formation known as the Three Brothers. While not in the same league as the Three Sisters, they are worth a look. Another foot track branching off to the left leads down to the first of the Three Brothers after about 50m. Before returning to the main track, note the impressive overhanging cave in the cliffline a little further down the gully to the left.
Continuing along the main track, it rejoins the fire trail at a right hand bend. Follow the fire trail for 100m to where another fire trail branches off left.
This is a short out and back trail leading to the various remains of the old flying fox that used to haul goods from the Valley Farm up to the Hydro Majestic Hotel. On your left as you walk along the fire trail you can see the old pulley wheels. On the right is one of the anchors. Another anchor is a little further along. The fire trail ends and a narrow track follows a ledge to a set of wood and metal stairs that descend a small gully. The track continues down to an impressive lookout over the valley and a third flying fox anchor.
Returning to the main fire trail, continue along until it ends after 100m and pick up the foot track that crosses the small creek and passes through a swampy area. This was the old Hydro Majestic pool. Note the brick wall of the pool damming the creek. Head up the hill on the other side. There are good views up to the Hydro Majestic. About 400m up the hill the track forks. Take the left fork, which heads along the slope for 150m to another junction. Just up the steps there are two large overhangs, one that has been converted into a room by virtue of a sandstone wall with door and window.
Continue past the two overhangs and rejoin the main track after 30m. Follow this track, which appears to peter out a bit as it crosses a sloping swampy section, but is fairly clear after that. There is another track junction after about 300m. Take the left fork. This heads down past an old platform constructed from sandstone to the cliff edge.
There are excellent views from the cliff edge down the Megalong Valley, and of the cliffs around the Flying Fox area.
Continue along the cliffs to the left for 50m to another set of rocky outcrops. Look out for a set of carved stone steps descending to a slightly overgrown, but well benched track that heads up the major gully. After about 100m the track takes a right hand turn down a set of steps past a rocky outcrop, and then continues along the gully to another large outcrop.
A sign on the rock has arrows pointing up the hill to "Hotel" and back the way you came to "Sunbath". Ignore both of these and head down the gully. There was once a well formed track but the top section has become very overgrown with ferns and fallen trees in recent years. It becomes clearer further down, and opens out into an impressive amphitheatre, with a creek trickling through the bottom of it. A flat area that was probably used for entertaining can be visited up to the right. Higher up an old carved set of stairs there is another ledge worth checking out. You can also head down to the point, where there are great views of the valley.
Returning to creek level, descend another set of steps to the left, crossing the creek, and continue on another overgrown section of track for about 25m to a second gully.
There is an interesting track up to the left in the gully, that passes through a cleft in the rock. However, today take the old stone stairs that descend to the right. They lead to a track that crosses the small creek just above a long slab over which a waterfall drops into the valley some distance below. Take care across this section, particularly in the wet, as a slip would probably be fatal.
The track continues under the top line of cliffs, on the half way ledge, for about 150m. An old lookout down to the right is passed early on and is worth checking out. Dont rely on the rusty old railing or hanging wires to keep you from falling. After reaching the end of the cliffs, head up the gully on your left for only about 10m before looking for a track down to your right. This switchbacks down to and crosses the creek. It thens continues for another 100m along the cliff edge before swinging left up the next gully.
On your way up note an old set of steps that leads up into a large overhang. This is Maxines Bower. Just past this the track climbs up and crosses over to then right side of a small creek. It then continues up and rejoins the track you came in on near the old pool.
Retrace your steps from here back to the car. If you originally came by train you could instead head up towards the Hydro Majestic, but take the right fork where the tracks split. This will take you past the tennis courts and out to the road near the vacant lot.