Narrow Neck, also known as Narrow Neck Plateau, is a significant natural feature in the Blue Mountains National Park near Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia. It is a long and slender peninsula that extends southwards from Katoomba for about 10 kilometers and ends at Clear Hill, overlooking the Wild Dog Mountain.
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The plateau is characterized by its sandstone cliffs and divides the Jamison Valley to the east from the Megalong Valley to the west
The area is accessible via Glenraphael Drive, which is a dirt road suitable for most two-wheel-drive vehicles under good weather conditions, leading up to a locked gate. Beyond this gate, the road is open only to walkers and mountain bike riders
The Narrow Neck trail is a popular spot for walking, bike riding, and climbing, offering several descent routes into the adjacent valleys
One of the most popular walks in the area is the Golden Stairs, which provides a rough descent to join the Federal Pass, allowing access to the Jamison Valley and other popular day walk sites such as Mount Solitary.
For those interested in cycling, the Narrow Neck trail is a challenging ride that is suitable for both novice and experienced cyclists. The trail offers breathtaking scenic views, wildflowers, and photo opportunities, with the cliffs falling away on either side at certain points, giving a sensation of being on top of the world
The trail also opens up to heathland with spectacular views over Lake Burragorang.
Birdwatchers can enjoy the presence of various species, including honeyeaters like the eastern spinebill and New Holland honeyeater, as well as migrating yellow-faced honeyeaters and wedge-tailed eagles.
The area is also known for its banksias and other nectar-producing plants, which attract these birds, especially during breeding seasons.
Narrow Neck has a rich history and was a popular bushwalking area in the early 20th century due to its easy access from Katoomba. However, with the rise of the motor car and the construction of the fire road out to Clear Hill around 1960, bushwalkers began to explore more remote areas. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Narrow Neck, particularly around the passes onto and off the plateau.
In summary, Narrow Neck Plateau is a prominent and scenic feature in the Blue Mountains, offering outdoor enthusiasts a variety of activities such as hiking, cycling, birdwatching, and rock climbing, with stunning views of the surrounding valleys and wilderness.