Want to get into backpacking?
backpacking ~ the activity of travelling or going camping while carrying your clothes and other things that you need in a backpack
Also called tramping in New Zealand ;)
Getting from point A to B using just your own two feet, carrying everything that you need on your back, is incredibly empowering.
In our humble opinion, there is little else that is more grounding and elemental.
But when you’re new to the scene, it can all be a bit daunting. Who knew there were so many different types of sleeping bags and backpacks? Why is everyone soooo against cotton? And surely there’s another way to cook than just over a campfire or one of those portable but still seriously bulky stoves?
We are partnering up with Freeland Hiking Co to bring to you an overnight hike that will not only have you fall in love with backpacking but will equip you with the knowledge for future adventures of your own. Let us be the launchpad to a lifetime of clocking up the miles on beautiful trails and countless nights sleeping in epic landscapes.
Here are the details:
Blue Mountains National Park
7.30am, Saturday March 23rd until 6pm, Sunday March 24th
Start + end point is Central Station
We’ll be embarking on the Ruined Castle Overnighter! Sprinkled amongst the below will be informational segments on:
How to pack your backpack ergonomically
How much your backpack should weigh
How to choose a sleeping bag
How to choose + why use a sleeping bag liner
How to choose a sleeping mat
How to choose + use your clothing layers
How to sanitise in the outdoors
How to choose a camping stove
How to purify water
How to manage blisters + foot care
Day 1: Leura to Ruined Castle
12km ~ 7hrs
+ optional 2km climb up Ruined Castle
Our journey begins at our meeting point at 7.30am, where we will drive approximately 2 hours to Leura, the gateway to the beautiful Blue Mountains.
Leaving our bus behind, we will descend into the majestic Jamison Valley along the spectacular Leura Cascades track, crossing streams, walking under waterfalls and skirting along cliff edges.
Reaching the bottom, we will travel along the Federal Pass, beneath the iconic Three Sister's, past Scenic World and towards the first technical climbing feature for the trip; traversing the colossal landslide that flows from high above you into the valley floor below.
Dipping into sub-tropical rainforest, the track will curve around the valley, heading south towards the base of the Ruined Castle for a well-deserved rest and a fresh picnic lunch.
Swapping our larger packs for smaller day-bags, you will have the option to climb to the top of the Ruined Castle, a fantastic crumbling mountaintop providing us with the first glimpse of the Megalong Valley to the west and Warragamba Dam to the south.
Descending via a different path, we will arrive back to our camp, tucked into the base of the mountain amongst scribbly gums, old man banksias, and soft tree ferns. While your guides prepare a delicious meal, you will be able to set up camp and prepare for your first night out under the stars.
Day 2: Mt Solitary Summit, Ruined Castle to Katoomba
14km ~ 6hrs
A beautiful wake-up call from the birds will rouse you, while your guides prepare a hot drink and warming breakfast.
After packing up camp, and equipping our daypacks, we will make a start towards the mighty Mt Solitary and begin the ascent up Koorowall Knife edge.
The track starts gently, gradually climbing through a shady she-oak forest, with teasing glimpses of the view filtering through the trees.
As we move towards the base of the rocks, we have time to stop, admire the landscape and catch our breath, before beginning the more technical ascent up the mountain.
This section will have us climbing over ledges, twisting around giant boulders, and skirting along the edge of the ridgeline towards the final summit.
It’s a challenging part, but it’s also extremely exhilarating, and with the promise of a breathtaking view from the top, you will be inspired to reach the top.
Once there, we can rest a while before meandering through the dry sclerophyll forest, where yellow robins, black cockatoos and maybe even the rare peregrine falcon will join us.
The path will lead us directly to Chinaman’s Gully; a large clearing with several large, ancient sandstone caves rich in Aboriginal history.
As your guides prepare lunch, you can explore the various lookouts and rock ledges on both sides of the ridge, soaking up the sweeping views of the vast valley's.
After lunch, and time permitting, we can continue traversing along the mountaintop, before returning to the main track and descending off Mt Solitary.
Once back at camp, we can transfer our daypacks into our larger packs, and return along the same route, following the Federal Pass towards Katoomba.
This time, we will stop just after Scenic World, and ascend the historic Furber Steps.
With lighter packs, and stronger legs, this final challenge will lead us up and out of the valley, where will can climb gratefully onto the bus and relax on the 3hr journey home. We’ll be back at Central Station around 5.30-6pm.
Though you don’t need any overnighter experience, you should be in good physical condition; good enough to hike 12 kilometres on day 1 and 14 kilometres on day 2, all with a pack weighing 10-14 kilograms.
All equipment + food - see below for more details
Take Home Information Manual! You’ll be learning a lot on this overnighter. With this Manual, you can refer to it when making your gear purchases later.
A goodie bag!
Two professional female wilderness guides
One night camping
Tent and sleeping mat
Sleeping bag with cotton liner
Hiking Backpack (70-90L)
Compact daypack for mountain climbs
One breakfast, two lunches, and one dinner
Snacks on the trail
Group camping equipment included: stove, pots, tarp, etc.
Transport to and from Sydney
All national park fees and track fees
Emergency communications and first aid kits
In the event of bad weather, we will aim to re-organise the event.
If you're unable to make the new date it we will offer you a full refund.
No refund on tickets on cancellations as of March 1st 2019
No refunds on no shows.
So how much does this overnighter workshop cost?