“Never lose an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful. It is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, every fair sky, every fair flower.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Bridal Veil Falls cascades off the cliff at Govetts Leap, and falls 250 meters onto the boulders of Govett Gorge in the Grose Valley. We have been admiring this beautiful view of the falls and valley from the moment we arrived in Blackheath, and had always looked forward to following the aptly named falls into the valley below.
We set out on a gorgeous sunny winter day to attempt the descent into the valley beneath. Elijah in the backpack on Matt’s back; Leina and Cohen with their sticks as walking aids; and I with the camera, snacks and water.
We were spoiled with impressive views into the Grose Valley wilderness and the Blue Gum Forest and treated to the sounds of some of Australia’s native bush birds. There is nothing like the sight of white sulphur-crested cockatoos swooping and soaring above the forest below, and perching on the gum trees along the track. They may be one of Australia’s nosiest birds, but their attractiveness certainly makes up for it.
The track, at times, is perched right on the edge of the cliff with only tall gum trees and low shrubs between you and the distant valley below. The track takes you in and out of gullies, down well-worn hand-hewn steps, as well as man-made stairs. The track is narrow in parts, and sometimes saturated and dripping with water. Matt would help the kids get over the wet areas by lifting them, and they would squeal when running water would drip down the backs of their sweaters from the plants hanging off the cliff face!
The winter day couldn’t have been more brilliant. The sunshine was creating the most awesome rainbows in the waterfall and on the side of the cliff where the hanging ferns were trickling with water. We were slowing peeling off the layers of clothing under the suns warm rays during the hike.
We only made it three-quarters of the way down to the falls before stopping for the snacks and water, and then started our grueling ascent, as we were anticipating a lot of whinging on the hike back up (but nothing that a little spelling and “maths” game can’t distract them from!).
We hope to do this hike again before we leave, namely because it is just 10 minutes from our door, but also since we understand that there are “yabbies’” (small little crayfish) at the base of the waterfall that make great little pets (or a dinner main!). We also really want to see what the Blue Gum Forest and Bridal Veil Falls looks like from underneath – from a different perspective.
And I have to say, that although I have not been inside a church in the last few months, I see God’s awesome spirit on these breathtaking hikes in Australia. It is there in the azure sky, and the magical rainbows, and the yellow wattle flower and crest on the cockatoo, and in my children’s smiles. I am feeling very blessed and grateful for the opportunities afforded to us.