Published: Oct 2012

Heathcote Creek / Uloola Falls loop

This is an easy two night, three day walk, starting and ending at Heathcote railway station. It's based on two walks I found here and here. See those pages and the relevant 1:25000 topographic maps for full details, but the basic idea is

  • Day 1
    • Head west from the Heathcote railway station
    • Find the high-voltage powerline easement, and follow that south down the hill for a few hundred metres.
    • Find the bush track that leaves the end of the easement track heading west. There's a rusty car body at the start. The track at this point is not particularly well defined.
    • The bush track meets a much more well defined track at a T-junction after a hundred metres or so. Turn right.
    • Cross the pipeline, and follow the piepline service road south and west until you get to the causeway across Heathcote Creek.
    • Cross the causeway and pick up the bush track that leaves the causeway a few metres up on the west bank.
    • Follow that along Heathcote Creek, ignoring the Goanna Track turnoff, until you get to the signposted junction with the Mooray Track and creek crossing at about 113219 on the Appin map.
    • Cross the creek and head up to kingfisher Pool campsite.
  • Day 2
    • Follow the track up to Waterfall and head to the railway station
    • At the back of the railway station carpark there's a sign indicating the start of the Uloola Falls track.
    • Follow the Uloola Falls track past the oval and on to the Uloola Falls campground
  • Day 3
    • From the Uloola Falls campground, head towards Karloo Pool and then on to Heathcote to complete the loop.

This would be a good walk to introduce people to overnight bushwalking. Not only are the distances short and the tracks mostly well defined, but there's the option of bailing out at Waterfall railway station on day two if necessary.

You need to obtain camping permits from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for the Uloola Falls and Kingfisher Pool campgrounds Although it's an easy, short walk, it happens to span the corners of four maps. You'll need the following 1:25000 topographic maps

  • Campbelltown 9029-1N
  • Appin 9029-1S
  • Otford 9129-4S
  • Port Hacking 9129-4N

I strongly recommend that you take the maps and a compass and know how to use them. Through pure inattention I walked right past the Mooray Track turnoff to Waterfall at 113219. While the continuation of Bullawarring Track (marked in orange on the map above) is initially well defined, it peters out after a kilometre or so, and it wasn't until I pulled out the map and compass that I figured out where I was.

Follow the pipe
Once you've scrambled down the slope from Heathcote, you hit the pipeline service road. As service roads go, I've seen worse, but you have to follow it for a few kilometres to the other side of the causeway before you get to do any real bushwalking.

Along the way there's a short bush track (maybe 100m or so) off to the right, leading down to Mirang Pool on Heathcote Creek, which makes a nice spot for a snack break. For future reference, there's also a campsite here.

After crossing the causeway there's another possible side trip to Lake Eckersley. Follow the service road up the hill on the wetsern bank for about 500m to the marked junction with the Lake Eckersley bush track. From there it's a few hundred metres down to the lake and a nice spot for lunch. Return to the causeway to pick up the start of the Bullawarring Track.

On the Bullawarring Track
The pipeline road crosses the causeway, and the Bullawarring Track branches off to the south on the western bank of Heathcote Creek. OK, now we're actually bushwalking.

The plant with the green strappy leaves in the foreground here is a Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa). The small shrub with the tiny yellow flowers is a Pultenaea.

Some of the wildflowers on the Bullawarring Track in late winter.
I think this might be Pultenaea stipularis.
Banksia flowers
Banksias are winter flowering plants, and these ones on the Bullawarring Track have finished blooming by the time I did this walk in late August. Even so, I like the shape and texture of the drying flowers of this particular species.
Eucalypt fork
Also on the Bullawarring Track beside Heathcote Creek.
Uloola Falls
The campsite for day two is just a few metres upstream of Uloola Falls. The walk in to Uloola Falls from the Waterfall railway station is along a wide, flat fire trail.
Uloola Falls waterhole
About fifty metres upstream from the Uloola Falls campsite is this nice little pool and cascades.
More wildflowers
On the track between Uloola Falls and Karloo Pool