Federal Pass Walking Track
Dharug & Gundungurra Country

4 h 30 min to 5 h

8.8 km
oneway

↑ 1032 m
↓ -1027 m

Hard track
This classic trail follows along the base of the cliffs from Leura to the Golden Stairs, passing many of the more popular sights of the Katoomba region. Travelling through beautiful forest environments, this is one of the longer walks in the area. Leura Forest and Kedumba Falls are both great places to sit and take a break along the journey. Let us begin by acknowledging the Dharug & 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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Carington Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Coming down from Carington Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Stair case on Federal pass bellow Jameison Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Shady chair of Federal pass above Fern Bower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Below Fern Bower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Federal Pass heading under the cliff. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Lila Falls. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Marguerite Cascades. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
coming back to the eastern end of the forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Leura Forest Gazebo. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Leura Forest picnic benches. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Following the Federal Pass track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Katoomba Falls. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Turpentine Tree. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Following the track along the valley floor. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
bottom of the Golden Stairs. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
winding up and along the cliffs. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
view across the valley. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Botting's lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Old sign fo golden stairs. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The Golden Staircase 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 (-33.7203399,150.3174495)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Great Western Highway, A32
  • Turn on to Great Western Highway, A32 then drive for 19.4 km
  • Keep right and drive for another 175 m
  • Turn sharp left onto Station Street and drive for another 10 m
  • Turn right onto Great Western Highway, A32 and drive for another 3.9 km
  • Keep left onto Alexandra Terrace and drive for another 500 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Leura Mall, BMD and drive for another 165 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Leura Mall, BMD and drive for another 215 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Leura Mall, BMD and drive for another 1 km
  • Turn right onto Gordon Road, BMD and drive for another 1.9 km
Finish (-33.7344207,150.2823585)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car   (There is free parking available.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Carrington Park, the walk crosses Cliff Drive and goes down the stairs and past the sign for 'Blue Mountains National Park'. The walk continues down the stairs until reaching an intersection signposted with the way to 'Echo Point' or 'Leura Cascades'.
From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Leura Cascades 1km' sign down the wooden steps and along the bush track, winding through the forest until coming to the signposted intersection of the 'Leura Forest' Track.
From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Leura Forest' sign along the bush track, winding down the hill for a short while before dropping down a set of wooden steps, to the signposted intersection with the 'Jamieson Lookout' track.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
There is a picnic table (about 25 m back from the start).
There is a seat (about 20 m back from the start).
Carrington Park (about 7 m back from the start).
Carrington Park
Carrington Park

Carrington Park is a medium-sized park on a traffic island, at the junction of Cliff Road and Merriwa St, Katoomba. The park is partially fenced and has a picnic shelter, picnic tables, garbage bins and children's play equipment.
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Carrington Park is a medium-sized park on a traffic island, at the junction of Cliff Road and Merriwa St, Katoomba. The park is partially fenced and has a picnic shelter, picnic tables, garbage bins and children's play equipment.

After another 40 m turn sharp left, to head along Prince Henry Cliff Walk.
After another 50 m pass a seat (on your right).
After another 125 m turn right.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Jamieson Lookout. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip veer left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 30 m turn right, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 30 m pass the "Federal Pass" (on your right).
After another 60 m pass a seat (on your left).
After another 85 m come to the "Fern Bower".
Fern Bower
Fern Bower

Fern Bower is an especially pleasant part of the Blue Mountains National Park, protected from heat and providing a great environment for fern trees, bracken ferns and moss to thrive. Fern Bower is a signposted area along the Federal Pass walking track, just below Jamieson Lookout and next to Linda Creek. This is a nice place to stop, rest and enjoy the bird noises.
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Fern Bower is an especially pleasant part of the Blue Mountains National Park, protected from heat and providing a great environment for fern trees, bracken ferns and moss to thrive. Fern Bower is a signposted area along the Federal Pass walking track, just below Jamieson Lookout and next to Linda Creek. This is a nice place to stop, rest and enjoy the bird noises.

After another 115 m pass a seat (on your left).
After another 80 m pass the "Lila Falls" (9 m on your right).
At the intersection of Amphitheatre Track & Federal Pass turn right, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 240 m find the "Lila Falls" (15 m on your right).
Lila Falls
Lila Falls

Lila Falls is a thin waterfall on Linda Creek. The Federal Pass crosses the creek (on a bridge) in front of these falls, just below the intersection with the amphitheatre. The waterfall is not the most spectacular one in this valley, but it is a nice cool spot to catch your breath.
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Lila Falls is a thin waterfall on Linda Creek. The Federal Pass crosses the creek (on a bridge) in front of these falls, just below the intersection with the amphitheatre. The waterfall is not the most spectacular one in this valley, but it is a nice cool spot to catch your breath.

At the intersection of Federal Pass & Track to Leura Falls continue straight, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 50 m pass a seat (6 m on your left).
After another 85 m find the "Marguerite Cascades" (15 m on your left).
Marguerite Cascades
Marguerite Cascades

Marguerite Cascades are a series of small cascades finishing with a taller waterfall of a few metres height, dropping into a shallow sandy pool. The cascades are on Linda Creek and a small bridge crosses the creek at the base of the falls as part of the Federal Pass walking track. The cascades are a nice place to sit and listen to the water running and the local birds in this cool shady area.
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Marguerite Cascades are a series of small cascades finishing with a taller waterfall of a few metres height, dropping into a shallow sandy pool. The cascades are on Linda Creek and a small bridge crosses the creek at the base of the falls as part of the Federal Pass walking track. The cascades are a nice place to sit and listen to the water running and the local birds in this cool shady area.

After another 60 m veer left, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 160 m (at the intersection of Federal Pass & Dardanelles Pass) turn left, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 45 m pass the shelter (10 m on your right).
After another 890 m continue straight, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 910 m (at the intersection of Federal Pass & Dardanelles Pass) continue straight, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 35 m pass a seat (20 m on your right).
After another 30 m pass the "Dardanelles Pass" (on your right).
After another 200 m come to the viewpoint.
After another 370 m pass a seat (5 m on your left).
After another 430 m pass a seat (6 m on your left).
After another 100 m pass a seat (on your left).
After another 110 m pass a seat (on your right).
After another 350 m cross the Cooks Crossing (about 15 m long)
After another 40 m pass a seat (on your right).
After another 10 m come to the "Katoomba Falls View" (on your right).
After another 60 m continue straight, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 135 m pass a seat (6 m on your right).
At the intersection of Furber Steps & Federal Pass continue straight, to head along Federal Pass.
After another 175 m head through/around the gate.
Then cross the bridge (about 4 m long)
After another 6 m come to the "Scenic Railway" (10 m on your left).
After another 5 m continue straight, to head along Federal Pass Walking Track.
After another 65 m (at the intersection of Federal Pass Walking Track & Scenic Walkway) continue straight, to head along Federal Pass Walking Track.
After another 10 m pass the artwork (on your right).
After another 160 m pass a seat (8 m on your left)., has no backrest.
After another 50 m pass a seat (15 m on your left)., has no backrest.
After another 2.7 km (at the intersection of Federal Pass & Golden Stairs) turn right, to head along Golden Stairs.
After another 70 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 460 m find the "Botting's Lookout" (5 m on your right).
Botting's Lookout
Botting's Lookout

Botting's Lookout offers great views over the Jamison Valley and the cliff line, including the Landslide, Malaita Point and the Golden Stairs. A plaque at the lookout states that the lookout was named after Walter Botting (1887-1985), a pioneer trail-maker of the Katoomba District.
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Botting's Lookout offers great views over the Jamison Valley and the cliff line, including the Landslide, Malaita Point and the Golden Stairs. A plaque at the lookout states that the lookout was named after Walter Botting (1887-1985), a pioneer trail-maker of the Katoomba District.

After another 160 m to find the "Golden Stairs Car Park".
After another 2 m come to the end.
A sign.

An optional side trip to Jamieson Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Continue another 20 m to find Jamieson Lookout at the end.
"Jamieson Lookout".
Jamieson Lookout
Jamieson Lookout

Jamieson Lookout is a fenced lookout at the east end of the Federal Pass track, and just off Prince Henry Cliff Walk. The lookout has a bench seat and provides great views up the Jamison Valley, along Kings Tableland escarpment and past Mount Solitary. The lookout is perched up on a large rock buttress, giving views unobscured by trees.
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Jamieson Lookout is a fenced lookout at the east end of the Federal Pass track, and just off Prince Henry Cliff Walk. The lookout has a bench seat and provides great views up the Jamison Valley, along Kings Tableland escarpment and past Mount Solitary. The lookout is perched up on a large rock buttress, giving views unobscured by trees.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 20 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Federal Pass Walking Track


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 8.8 km
Time 4 h 30 min to 5 h
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Shelter: There is one 1.3 km from the start.

Seat: There are 14 on route, on average they are 590 m apart with the largest gap of 3.4 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Shelter
1.3 km[shelter]
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