Conservation Hut to Empress Lookout
Dharug & Gundungurra Country

30 min to 40 min

800 m
return

↑ 108 m
↓ -108 m

Moderate track
This is a walk that engages the senses, from Conservation Hut into the Valley of the Waters. The walk starts off with coffee aromas from Conservation Hut and winds down through the inspiring bushland, with a number of views along the way. The turn-around point of Empress Lookout doesn't have the greatest views but the sounds of Empress Falls roaring through the canyon are quite enjoyable. 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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Conservation Hut. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Conservation Hut track head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Stairs down from Conservation Hut. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Stairs into Valley of the Waters from Conservation Hut. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
National Pass sign. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Stairs between Queen Victoria and Empress Lookouts. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Empress Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Stairs down to Empress Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
View from Empress Lookout. | 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 (-33.7202926,150.3628765)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Great Western Highway, A32
  • Turn on to Valley Road then drive for 1 km
  • Turn right onto Fitzgerald Street and drive for another 90 m
  • Turn right onto Fletcher Street and drive for another 60 m
  • Continue onto Fletcher Street and drive for another 55 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Conservation Hut, this walk follows the 'Valley of the Waters' sign down some timber and dirt steps passing a couple of picnic shelters. The track soon leads to the signposted intersection with the 'Short Cut Track' (still in view of the Conservation Hut).
From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Valley of the Waters' sign down the steps, passing an information sign. After the handrail and more signs, the track passes a couple of faint tracks (on the left, leading to an old picnic area). Further down the steps, the walk comes the end of another handrail and a three-way intersection (signposted 'Overcliff Track' and 'National Pass').
From the intersection, this walk follows the 'National Pass - Valley of the Waters' sign down the timber steps. The track passes a few faint tracks (on the left, that lead to an unfenced view point). The walk continues down the steps, soon coming to an unsignposted intersection with the Lyrebird Cliff track (on a small sandstone rock platform).
From the intersection, this walk heads down the wooden steps to almost immediately come to the signposted intersection with 'Queen Victoria Lookout' track.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 20 m continue straight.
Then pass the toilet (40 m on your left).
Then pass the car park (35 m on your left).
After another 10 m pass the picnic table (25 m on your left).
Continue straight.
Then pass the picnic table (8 m on your left).
After another 9 m continue straight.
After another 155 m veer left.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Queen Victoria Lookout. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 130 m turn sharp right.
After another 70 m veer left.
(Empress Lookout) Turn around here and retrace the main route for 400 m to get back to the start.
"Empress Lookout".

An optional side trip to Queen Victoria Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 25 m continue straight.
After another 10 m come to "Queen Victoria Lookout".
Queen Victoria Lookout
Queen Victoria Lookout

The Queen Victoria Lookout is perched above the Valley of the Waters, south-west of Conservation Hut. The fenced lookout has views into the narrow section of the valley. The views are made more dramatic by the roar of the waterfalls below and the mists which frequent the area. Empress Falls are only just visible - the main views extend down Jamison Valley. Kings Tableland (left) and Sublime Point(right) dominate the views and the eastern edge of Mount Solitary and beyond is also visible.
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The Queen Victoria Lookout is perched above the Valley of the Waters, south-west of Conservation Hut. The fenced lookout has views into the narrow section of the valley. The views are made more dramatic by the roar of the waterfalls below and the mists which frequent the area. Empress Falls are only just visible - the main views extend down Jamison Valley. Kings Tableland (left) and Sublime Point(right) dominate the views and the eastern edge of Mount Solitary and beyond is also visible.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 35 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Conservation Hut to Empress Lookout


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 800 m
Time 30 min to 40 min
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 20 m from the start.


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