Much of Glenbrook’s appeal is its natural swimming holes, as we found out at the height of summer in late December last year. So, I feel a little mean posting this in the backend of autumn. But, to be fair, there is plenty to do and learn in the Glenbrook area and I’m keen to visit again soon.
Let’s begin by acknowledging the Dharug & Gundungurra people, the Traditional Owners of this land. On the map, you’ll find Glenbrook at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, just west of Penrith, on the other side of the Nepean River (known as Yandhai in the indigenous language). I tried looking for the Glenbrook area’s original name, but neither Aussie Towns nor the Geographical Names Board of NSW provide any information.
This absence of information is doubly disappointing when you consider that one of the area’s main attractions is the 4.4km (one way) walking track to Red Hands Cave, “one of the best examples of Aboriginal rock art” out there. If you know anything about the First Nations history of the area, please get in touch.
There’s plenty else to do if you’re strapped for time or not able to walk so far. For example, you might take a dip in the Jellybean Pool – it’s just a short walk downhill from the carpark & tourist centre. There are also a number of lookouts, campsites and family-friendly walking tracks down to the Nepean River in the vicinity. Check out the National Parks or Wild Walks websites for all the details.
But on our visit, we escaped the crowds and followed the Glenbrook Gorge Track. The track took us down to Glenbrook Gorge Beach but we pushed on a little further. We were rewarded with the tranquil beauty of the gorge, the challenge of navigating the creek’s huge boulders and, in our solitude, the thrill of a skinny dip in one of the secluded pools.
As always, thanks for reading. All photos were shot on 35mm film, using my little Ricoh Shotmaster. I got my camera from Lucky35, a vintage film camera exchange based in Chippendale, Sydney. Don’t forget to subscribe, follow me on Instagram and reach out via Twitter.