Discovery Trail: The Mounts
- 48 kms (one way)
- Driving Time
- 1 hr (one way)
- Road Conditions
- Highway, narrow sealed roads and gravel roads
- Bowens Creek
- A very spectacular and varied high mountain drive. One of the best places to see mountain rainforests and a botanist's delight! The excellent complete circuit across Bowens Creek can be completed by bicycle.
- Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, Grose Valley lookouts and walking tracks, Mount Wilson forests, lookouts and gardens.
- Narrow, winding roads through Mount Wilson and Mount Irvine.
This discovery trail takes in part of the main Greater Blue Mountains Drive (and The Botanists Way) along Bells Line of Road, almost completing a full circuit. From Berambing go westward along Bells Line of Road to the first optional diversion - 2km down Valley Ridges Road on the left to Waratah Picnic Area. Back on the main tour, the road climbs up onto the basalt top of Mount Tomah and the entrance to Mount Tomah Botanic Garden on the left (entry fee). This is a 'must-do' stop to enjoy gardens of mountain and cool climate plants from across the world, informative displays, great views and perhaps a picnic or restaurant meal. Further along Bells Line of Road glimpses of the stupendous Grose Valley begin to appear on the left. But it's much better to stop in at one (or all!) of three places to get a closer look. Mount Banks is the first, 9.5km from Mount Tomah. The unsealed road leads through heathland 1.3km to the carpark, picnic area, viewpoint and walks. The turnoff to Walls Lookout and Pierces Pass is another 1.5km on. Pierces Pass Picnic Area and trackhead is 1km down the unsealed road, while the walk to Walls Lookout starts from the carpark just off the main road.
Leave Bells Line of Road about 2km further west and follow the Mount Wilson Road to the rich basalt cap of Mount Wilson. Beautiful garden estates (sometimes open to the public), tree-lined avenues and lush temperate rainforest on the edge of the scratchy sandstone wilderness make for a novel experience. Don't miss the two expansive lookouts - Wynnes Rocks (off Queens Avenue) and Du Faurs Rocks (turn off at the bush fire shed). On the way towards the sister summit of Mount Irvine is the Cathedral of Ferns - a lovely picnic area with tall gums and rainforest walks. The sealed, winding road to Mount Irvine passes through superb wet forests of various types. Just before Mount Irvine (a residential area with no public facilities), continue straight ahead down the unsealed Bowens Creek Road, to our journey's end at a small picnic site on the creek. The road across the creek and up the other side back to Berambing is closed to motor vehicles but lucky cyclists can continue on.