McKeowns Valley Lookdown Walk
Wiradjuri & Gundungurra Country

1 h 15 min to 2 h

2.3 km
return

↑ 173 m
↓ -173 m

Moderate track
Following the ridge above the Jenolan River, this walk enjoys great views of the valley along its course. From the various lookouts along the way, it is possible to see the Six Foot Track across the valley. Caves House is a great spot to start and end the walk with a relaxing hot drink or snack. Let us begin by acknowledging the Wiradjuri & Gundungurra people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Cave's House. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The track between Carlotta's Arch and the Carpark Intersection. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Just before meeting up with Jenolan Rd. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The footpath from the carpark intersection. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Going up to McKeown's Valley Lookdown. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
McKeown's Valley Lookdown. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The servicetrail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Going past and through the scrub. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Carlotta Carpark. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.8203805,150.0209901)
Mode Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom
  • Turn on to Jenolan Caves Road, 1 then drive for 46 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the opposite side of the Jenolan Caves Road from Caves House, this walk follows the 'Six Foot Track' sign up the concrete steps. The walk then follows the stone footpath up the side of the valley for about 80m to pass the 'Southside Show Caves' information sign then just over 30m later to the 'Grand Arch' information sign (and view of the Arch). The walk continues fairly gently up the path for 100m (as it bends right) to find 'Caves House' information sign. The path soon starts leading much more steeply up as it begins to Zig Zag up past a seat and more views down to caves house for 150m beside the limestone cliffs. At the top of this climb the path leads over a small small rise then gently down to a fenced lookout beside 'Carlotta Arch'.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 70 m find the "Jenolan Caves House" (25 m on your right).
Jenolan Caves House
Jenolan Caves House

Jenolan Caves House, built in 1898, is a heritage-listed building which houses dining, a variety of accommodation options, and other services for visitors to the caves. Jenolan has two licensed restaurants: Trails Bistro is open from breakfast onwards and closes early evening. Trails serves a range of light meals including sandwiches, salads and hot food. Chisholm's Restaurant is open each morning for breakfast and each evening for dinner from 6.00pm. Essential items and beautiful souvenirs may be purchased from Things Jenolan, located on the ground floor of Caves House. Don't forget to explore one of the many caves to explore in the area. For more information, call Jenolan Caves on 1300 76 33 11.
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Jenolan Caves House, built in 1898, is a heritage-listed building which houses dining, a variety of accommodation options, and other services for visitors to the caves. Jenolan has two licensed restaurants: Trails Bistro is open from breakfast onwards and closes early evening. Trails serves a range of light meals including sandwiches, salads and hot food. Chisholm's Restaurant is open each morning for breakfast and each evening for dinner from 6.00pm. Essential items and beautiful souvenirs may be purchased from Things Jenolan, located on the ground floor of Caves House. Don't forget to explore one of the many caves to explore in the area. For more information, call Jenolan Caves on 1300 76 33 11.

After another 95 m pass the toilet (20 m on your right).
After another 8 m pass the "Tickets and Guide Office" (20 m on your right).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Bottom of Carlotta Arch Steps. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 235 m continue straight.
After another 15 m veer left.
After another 30 m continue straight.
After another 55 m turn right.
After another 20 m pass the toilet (55 m on your left).
After another 630 m turn right.
Then come to a gate.
Turn around here and retrace the main route for 1.2 km to get back to the start.

An optional side trip to Bottom of Carlotta Arch Steps.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 10 m head through the tunnel
After another 15 m come to the cave.
After another 25 m head through/around the gate.
About 15 m past the end is "Carlotta Arch".
Carlotta Arch
Carlotta Arch

Carlotta Arch is a large and spectacular cave remnant overlooking Blue Lake. It is believed that the arch was named in honour of a daughter of a surveyor - General P.F. Adams. Adams is credited with having taken some of the earliest photos at Jenolan.
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Carlotta Arch is a large and spectacular cave remnant overlooking Blue Lake. It is believed that the arch was named in honour of a daughter of a surveyor - General P.F. Adams. Adams is credited with having taken some of the earliest photos at Jenolan.

About 130 m past the end is "Blue Lake".
Blue Lake
Blue Lake

Blue Lake, or Lake Jenolan, is a small lake on the eastern side of the Grand Arch. The lake is fed by the River Styx and the Jenolan River. Blue Lake's intense colour comes from the refraction of light through limestone sediments.
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Blue Lake, or Lake Jenolan, is a small lake on the eastern side of the Grand Arch. The lake is fed by the River Styx and the Jenolan River. Blue Lake's intense colour comes from the refraction of light through limestone sediments.

About 90 m past the end is "De Burghs Bridge".
De Burghs Bridge
De Burghs Bridge

The bridge spanning out from the Grand Arch was designed by Mr Ernest M. De Burgh, and built by the Public Works Department in 1896. The bridge allowed greater access to the caves and was built from locally cut limestone.
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The bridge spanning out from the Grand Arch was designed by Mr Ernest M. De Burgh, and built by the Public Works Department in 1896. The bridge allowed greater access to the caves and was built from locally cut limestone.

The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 60 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

McKeowns Valley Lookdown Walk


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 2.3 km
Time 1 h 15 min to 2 h
Quality of track Smooth and hardened path (1/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There are 2 on route, on average they are 780 m apart with the largest gap of 1.8 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
170 m[toilet]
Toilet
530 m[toilet]
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