Blue Mountains, Australia, Bushwalking, History

Info Blue Mountains History Plaza
The Giant Stairway, Katoomba
3 Sisters, Blue Mountains, Australia.
Descend into wonderland!
Blue Mountains National Park is World Heritage listed.

 

Explorer Bus Stop 12

The Giant Stairway provides a spectacular entry to the Jamison Valley, descending approximately 300m (1000ft) via more than 800 steps and runways. It is located adjacent to the Three Sisters, on Prince Henry Cliff Walk & the Cliff Drive.

Whilst many of the steps had to be hewn out of the cliff, and metal stairs installed at other points, an effort was made to take advantage of natural ledges, erosions and projections.

Archway, Giant Stairway, Katoomba, Blue Mountains.
Archway at the top of the stairs.
Photo: D.Martin
You don't have to climb back up! Ride the Scenic Railway.

Bushwalking and Hiking

Federal Pass runs from Leura to the base of the Scenic Railway, with the Giant Stairway providing an entry/exit point beside the Three Sisters.

Giant Stairway to the base of the Scenic Railway, via Federal Pass, 1 hours. Furber Steps provide an alternative exit route adjacent to Katoomba Falls.

Leura Cascades to Scenic Railway via Federal Pass 3 hours

 

History

Chief Ranger Jim McKay was appointed in 1901, and took to his job with great enthusiasm. He upgraded the National Pass, and planned and built the Dardannells Pass. In 1914, he conceived the idea of the Giant Stairway.

The idea was scoffed at, but in 1916 it was approved by council, and work began. It was shortlived, however. The work of hacking steps out of the sheer cliff face was deemed too expensive, and the project was halted after a quarter of the distance.

It was not until 1932 that work was re-commenced, again under McKay's direction, after lobbying by local photographer Harry Phillips.

The Giant Stairway was opened by the Premier, the Hon. B.S.B. Stevens on the Saturday of the October (Eight Hour) weekend. The projecting platform at Echo Point was opened at the same time.

 

More Information

Further information, including maps and guide books, is available from the Tourist Information Centres, including the Echo Point centre at the top of the Giant Stairway.
See our Bushwalking (hiking) Links  

Bushwalking in the Katoomba & Leura Area, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service. Aprox. $4.00 from information centres & local shops.

GiantStairway_99.jpg (39280 bytes)
Looking across Honeymoon Bridge to the stairway.
Photo: D. Martin

 

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