Is Kingfisher Pool, a 3.2km return walk in Heathcote NP, a winner for small children? The answer is yes. It’s even a winner for adults.
After eyeing off this section of the Waterfall – Heathcote track for some time, Marilla, Jane and I were finally able to try it out with my very old friends, Paul and Annie, and their daughters Charlie (3.5 years) and Betty (20 months).
The fact that we hadn’t yet met either of their children was an added bonus (they live on the near-South Coast).
A spectacular walk, if steep and challenging at times for younger children, through closed and open sclerophyll forests. Marilla and Charlie became instant friends (which helped when motivation was sagging).
Wandering through almost pristine bush, we could scarcely believe we were at the edge of Sydney. There were remarkably few weeds for bushland so close to suburbia.
Marilla was excited at the prospect of returning here to hike in and camp at Kingfisher Pool (preferably with Charlie) in the summer. We will definitely do this walk again, even possibly with Jane’s mum.
The walk at a glance
- Departs from end of Warabin St, a few minutes walk from Waterfall Station
- Some steep and rocky sections (especially at the start/end) will require hand-holding and possibly carrying of small children on the way back up
- Moves over moderately rough bush tracks and fire trails through specactular closed sclerophyll forest dominated by towering angophoras, banksias and gyamea lillies to open forests in the creek gully below
- A great, sunny picnic spot on a large sandstone boulder, overlooking a pool awaits tired legs a few hundred metres shy of Kingfisher Pool. It was actually more picturesque than Kingfisher Pools itself.
- Kingfisher Pool would be fabulous for a swim in summer (the kids didn’t make it that far in the end but we scouted ahead)
- A small, walk-in campsite accommodates up to 6 people at Kingfisher Pool and is definitely on the radar for a future overnight hike
Access and duration
- Access: very easy. You can park at the end of the street or catch a train to Waterfall and walk from the station
- Duration: 3.5 hours with 3 children (one of whom is still coming to terms with walking but was verykeen to give it a go), including a very long morning tea and a popcorn/snack stop on the way up the hill
- Felt a lot longer than the advertised 3.2km, due to topography and tired little legs
- There is a shortcut right after the initial steep descent on Bullawarring track (look for string around a tree just as you get onto the firetrail)
- Most exciting bird find was the yellow tufted honeyeater, feeding on insects in the canopy of eucalpyts
- Other birds included the standard cast of wattle birds, New Holland honeyeaters and brown (I think) thornbills
- We saw evidence of wallabies (scats) and also a mysterious bird whose print on the sandy track in the gully we have yet to identify
- We did the walk in mid-July on a clear but crisp day
- Once in the sun in the valley, it was quite warm
- Print out the track notes: the path wasn’t as easy to find as I would have thought
- We took a wrong turn on the way back and followed a path that petered out into the bush: we had to go off track for 50 metres or so up a steep slope to find the path again (pretty easy going and quite fun, especially after we stopped off for popcorn and snacks on a big sandstone slab)