Advocate
Jay Evans
31 Jan

Blue Mountains - Federal Pass Photo Adventure

Katoomba, NSW
Advocate
Jay Evans
Image: Jay Evans,
Join Jay for a photo adventure along the sublime Federal Pass in Katoomba

About the event

In the first of a series of Blue Mountains Photo Adventures scheduled for 2021, exclusive to Sony Scene, join Jay on this epic bushwalk along one of the historic gems of the Blue Mountains, the Federal Pass. 

This challenging bush walk will take us deep into the Jamison Valley along Fern Bower, Leura Forest, Dardanelles Pass, Federal Pass, Furber Stairs and Prince Henry Cliff Walk. We will pass some fantastic lookouts and waterfalls and stop to photograph the scenery as we travel, with plenty of opportunity to capture wide open valley views, shady rain forest, wildflowers and other flora, plus the chance to capture Lyrebirds as they dig around for food on their morning rounds. Bring your wide angle, telephoto and macro lenses, as this will be a walk offering the full gamut of beautiful Blue Mountains photography. 

As we travel, your guides will introduce you to the flora, fauna and history of the Blue Mountains giving photographers and non-photographers alike an enjoyable insight into this superlative World Heritage Listed area.

Our Route:  

  • Meet at the Solitary Restaurant
  • Descend Fern Bower into the Jamison Valley
  • Side trip to the old Leura Sewage Farm
  • Leura Forest
  • Dardanelles Pass
  • Katoomba Falls/Cooks Crossing
  • Optional - The Scenic Railway (fee applies)
  • Furber Stairs
  • Mid-Katoomba Falls
  • Juliets Balcony
  • Scenic World
  • Reids Plateau
  • Katoomba Cascades
  • Prince Henry Cliff Walk
  • Echo Point 
  • Return to the Solitary Restaurant

This Bushwalk is considered Grade 4 - Hard - Steep Stairs Down and Up - Muddy, slippery bush tracks.

Our adventure commences atop the 200 metre high sandstone escarpments of the Jamison Valley, and takes us on a descent down steep stairs through a shaded, cool, coachwood and fern lined gully with a number of small waterfalls to capture along the way.  Once on the valley floor we will traverse Leura Forest and the Dardanelles Pass taking us directly below the Three Sisters, before navigating the base of Katoomba Falls and Cooks Crossing.

"What goes down, must come up!" So to exit the valley we climb the literally breathtaking 951 steps of the Furber Stairs with spectacular valley views and photo opportunities along the way, plus side trips to Mid-Katoomba Falls and Juliets Balcony; or for those who prefer an easier trip, take the exhilarating ride on the Scenic Railway back to Scenic World (an additional one-way fee of $25 per person is payable at the top taking credit cards only).

Once we regather the team together at the top, and after a short break, we will conclude our trip following the Prince Henry cliff walk over Katoomba Cascades, visiting Echo Point and the Three Sisters, and then traversing the cliff top back to our starting point.

Weather Dependent - We will still host this photo adventure in light / medium rain. In the event heavy rain or storms are forecast we may cancel or postpone the event. If rain is forecast we will instruct you to bring a rain jacket. Also a small towel to cover your camera will help protect it from rainfall while on a tripod. Where temperatures will exceed 30 degrees, we may seek an alernative less strenuous bushwalk, or 

Meals & Water - You will need to bring some snacks or a packed brunch, large water bottle and spare water carrier as there are no facilities while we are inside the valley, and limited facilities along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk before we reach Scenic World or Echo Point.

NB - in warm weather, we recommend you carry a minimum of 2l of water. Safe water refill points can be found at Scenic World, Katoomba Cascades and Echo Point. Water in the valley is NOT safe to drink. We will provide further details of water carriage once we know what the forecast temperature will be on the day.

Fitness & Mobility Requirements - This walk, will cover approximately 10kms of distance in a loop. Despite us traversing well formed and maintained tracks, Bushwalking is a dangerous activity requiring a good level of fitness and self awareness.  We do not recommend you attending this bushwalk if you are suffering from any physical injuries or ailments (especially knees, ankles or hips) or suffer from medicated heart conditions or acute asthma. The bush walk sections will take us down and up steep and uneven national park stairs and bush tracks with access to some remote areas requiring creek crossings. You should ensure you are capable and prepared to cover this distance as while in the valley there are no alternative options to exit. Once back at the top, buses and taxis can be accessed at any point along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk.

Travel Light - We recommend you plan to travel light for this bushwalk. You will need a comfortable backpack and minimise the amount of equipment you bring to the essentials, including space for clothing and allow space to carry up to 2 litres of water. To maintain your comfort, we recommend pack weights including water of no more than 10kgs.

Parking - Car Parking is available on the roadside on Merriwa Street, Emily Street or Cliff Drive. Please allow yourself plenty of time to arrive and reach the meeting point in time for departure. 

Accommodation - Why not #goblue #stayanightortwo Due to the early start, we recommend you stay in one of Katoomba or Leura's many guest houses or hotels, giving you the opportunity to visit and capture the many other photographically stunning locations you can access nearby.

Jay is licensed to operate Photography Tour and Bushwalk activities in NSW National Parks under an Eco Pass License # LIC20/116.

Techniques covered

  • Bushwalking for Landscape Photographers
  • Landscape Photography Essentials
  • Capturing the Blue Mountains

What to bring

  • Mirrorless or DSLR Camera & Lenses
  • Lens Choice - Wide Angle 16-35mm, Telephoto 24-105mm. You may wish to bring a Macro lens.
  • Tripod & plates/mounts for your camera
  • Shutter Remote
  • Charged Batteries and empty memory cards
  • Good Camera/Neck Strap
  • Landscape filters inc Grad ND and CPL (if you own them)
  • Comfortable Camera Backpack
  • Good Hiking boots or Walking shoes (waterproof high ankle support boots are essential)
  • Hiking clothing suitable for the weather
  • Small towel, Rain jacket & Pack cover if rain is forecast
  • Hiking poles if you use them
  • Snacks or packed breakfast
  • Water bottle (750ml minimum main bottle recommended)
  • Spare Water bottle or carrier (1l minimum recommended)

Event FAQs (For general FAQs, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page)

We recommend dressing in hiking appropriate clothing with good hiking boots preferably with high ankle support. Bring a wide brimmed hat or cap if forecast sunny, and a light rain jacket if rain is forecast. A comfortable backpack is essential. A pack cover will be essential in rain.
Car Parking is available on the roadside on Merriwa Street, Emily Street or Cliff Drive. Please allow yourself plenty of time to arrive and reach the meeting point in time for departure. 
This walk, will cover approximately 10kms of distance in a loop. Despite us traversing well formed and maintained tracks, Bushwalking is a dangerous activity requiring a good level of fitness and self awareness.  We do not recommend you attending this bushwalk if you are suffering from any physical injuries or ailments (especially knees, ankles or hips) or suffer from medicated heart conditions or acute asthma. The bush walk sections will take us down and up steep and uneven national park stairs and bush tracks with access to some remote areas requiring creek crossings. You should ensure you are capable and prepared to cover this distance as while in the valley there are no alternative options to exit. Once back at the top, buses and taxis can be accessed at any point along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. 
Minors are welcome, however must be aged 16 or over. Responsible Adults must take full responsibility for ensuring minors are fit, able and eager to complete challenging Grade 4 bushwalks.
You can catch a train to Katoomba Railway Station. The walk from the Station to the meeting point will take approximately 30 minutes down Lurline Street and turning Left onto Merriwa Street.
You can contact Jay at jay@jaydidphoto.com.au or SMS on 0410 168408
EXTREME WEATHER POLICY At the peak of summer in the Blue Mountains, temperatures and conditions become very variable, and on some days temperatures can exceed 30 degrees centigrade, likewise storms and heavy rain can arrive at any time, and the bushfire season commences meaning high fire danger and smoky days are a possibility. To ensure your safety while attending our tours, we manage activities based on the conditions on any given day and will apply the following policies: We will still conduct tours in light or medium rainfall. We will advise you to bring rain jackets should rain be forecast. If Lightning storms are approaching, all outdoor activities may be suspended or we will seek shelter until storms pass. When temperatures reach or are expected to reach 30 degrees or higher, bushwalking activities may be suspended in favour of locations easily accessible by vehicle or appropriate to the conditions. When daily fire danger ratings exceed VERY HIGH, or active fires have, or are expected to bring the Air Quality Index rating to Poor or above, bushwalking activities may be suspended in favour of locations or activities easily accessible by vehicle or appropriate to the conditions. MEDICAL CONDITIONS, FIRST AID AND INDEMNITY If you suffer from any medical conditions or allergies, please inform us in complete confidence prior to the tour. This includes asthma, anaphylaxis allergies, heart conditions, epilepsy, type 1 diabetes or allergies caused by insect bites. If you require any prescription medications, please ensure you bring a supply enough to last 7 days. If you suffer from anaphylaxis allergies, you must ensure you carry your Epipen at all times. If you suffer from asthma, you must ensure you carry your reliever medication at all times. You must ensure you are of good health to participate in this tour. A reasonable level of fitness and high level of personal awareness are required. While we are certified First Aiders, carry First Aid kits, carry Personal Locator Beacons, and ensure alternate communications are available where necessary, we cannot guarantee if a medical emergency arises, that we are able to get you the help you need. As a consequence, we must ask that you assume all medical, physical and legal responsibility for yourselves on this workshop or tour, and exclude the organisers and its representatives from any liability arising from medical issues or injuries that may occur during the tour. You will be asked to complete and sign a medical and indemnity release/waiver on arrival prior to commencing the tour.
Jaydid Photo is a COVIDSafe business. Attendees will be asked to sign a separate COVID declaration on arrival to declare they have not been subject to symptoms, awaiting on the result of or having received a positive test result, have not arrived from overseas in the past 14 days, and have not visited a declared Hotspot as per NSW Health guidelines. This event takes place in an open air environment, where we will practice social distancing as we travel. Guides will carry hand sanitiser and surgical masks for all participants.

Advocate

Jay Evans

Jay Evans

Hi, I am Jay Evans. A Nightscape, Landscape, Nature and Astro Photographer based in the Blue Mountains and also a passionate Tour Guide and Educator.

I...

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Jay is a wonderful host, friendly and passionate about his love for the Blue Mountains, where our photowalk was located, and his love for photography.”

Megan Chambers, Prince Henry Cliff Photo Walk
GOVETTS LEAP SUNBURST
Three Sisters from Echo Point

This workshop was absolutely fantastic. Jay was so knowledgeable about the Blue Mountains NP and the flora and fauna living within it.”

Joan Faras, Prince Henry Cliff Photo Walk

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