EXPLORE // Erith Coal Mine Track
Get Back To Nature With This Family Friendly Bushwalk
BUSHFIRE & COVID & FLOODS UPDATE: Whilst much of the Morton Mational Park remains closed due to bushfire damage, the Erith Coal Mine walking track is open. BUT it's only the loop that is open. You can't walk down the stairs to the bottom as the stairs were damaged in the floods. NSW National Parks & Wildlife are in the process of getting a contractor to fix it but aren't expecting it to open for some months yet.
We put the hiking boots on, packed the backpack with snacks and explored the Erith Coal Mine Walking Track at Morton National Park, Bundanoon. It's super easy to get to, perfect for mini explorers and gets a ten out of ten for beautiful scenery. Here's everything you need to know about this awesome bushwalk in The Highlands.
Family Friendly :: Yep! We recommend it for kids aged 5 and up
Easily accessible :: Parking nearby
Dog Friendly :: Nope, it’s in a National Park so no go for doggos
Stairs :: A steep metal staircase with a number of stairs
Length :: 2.5km
Time :: 30 minutes if you step it out. About an hour if you meander and take your time.
National Parks Update :: Morton National Park was re-opened on Saturday 16 May for bushwalking. Please note, bookings are required for the campgrounds. We recommend you check the National Parks & Wildlife website for updated alerts prior to heading out.
Where is it?
The Erith Coal Mine Track is in the Morton National Park at Bundanoon. Drive through the village of Bundy and head down Church Street towards the entrance to the national park.
You can either park at Gambells Rest Campground and follow the Coal Mine Walking Track or drive into the park and park at the Erith Coal Mine track car park which is about 600 metres into the park on your right. Don’t forget! If you do enter the park, you’ll need to purchase a ticket – its $8 for a full day – and display it on your windscreen once you park.
If you drive in and start at the car park, follow the service trail which is signposted by a display board at the trail gate. This part of the walk can be a little steep in parts and has plenty of loose stones so for those less sure of foot, the walking track from the park entrance may be a more sensible option.
After a few twists and turns, you reach a little picnic area. Carry on through this and you’ll see the top of the waterfall, with a beautiful view down into the gully below. If you’re with kids, this is where they’ll squeal at seeing the water and start to run ahead because…. kids!
Now this is the fun part. You cross the top of the falls on the stone steps. Make sure you hold onto the safety chain provided and watch your footing on the slippery rocks. It sounds more precarious than it actually is. The kids love it – it’s an adventure! Just be aware after heavy rain, sometimes the stones can be underwater or super dooper slippery so be prepared to get your shoes wet.
Head down the metal staircase – it’s a little steep so hang on – which brings you to the entrance of the old mine. The tunnels have been closed off with metal gates, but you can see as far as the light allows. Take a torch or use your phone torch so you can have a stickybeak into the mine. From here, head down towards the bottom of the falls.
This is such a beautiful area and during the warmer months is a gorgeous place to cool off (just be careful of wiggly sticks, if you know what we mean!). Kids love exploring this part of the walk. There is lots of mossy rocks, flora and fauna and you can also follow a path along the stream away from the waterfall. The temperature seems to drop a little down here too so make sure you’re rugged up during the chillier months in The Highlands.
When we explored the track, we returned the way we came up, but recommend you start the walk at the entrance of Morton National Park, walk down to the mine following the Coal Mine Walking Track and then return via the Erith Coal Mine Track car park and along the fire trail which turns the walk into a nice, relaxed loop.
Why should you do it?
It’s easy to access, doesn’t take up too much time and is a fantastic length walk for primary school aged kids. They love the adventure of the old mine, the water crossing, the metal steps and the descent down to the falls. Perfect for mini-explorers!
What’s close by?
This part of Morton National Park has plenty of bushwalking tracks nearby. The Fairy Bower Falls Walk is a popular one or if you just want to take in the spectacular scenery, follow the fire trail in the park all the way to Echo Point and get ready to snap away – it’s super Instaworthy as you can see below!
Lovers Walk is another fairly easy bushwalk – it takes about an hour if you don’t stop - that loops down into the gully and then back to Echo Point via the fire trail.
Bundanoon village is also less than 2 kilometres away so fuel up with some sweet treats and coffee at one of the gorgeous local cafes before you go exploring and then reward yourself with a cold one and a delicious pub meal at the Bundanoon Hotel post walk - I mean, you're practically Indiana Jones now, right? You deserve it!
COVID UPDATE: The Bundanoon Hotel is still closed at this point for diners. You can order takeaway though!