Frequently Asked Questions

Sometimes I get surprised by how popular these pages became. I'm just glad they've been useful to you.

It's occurred to me that I'm missing that staple of web sites - a FAQ section - so here it is....

Accommodation - where should I stay

I live here, and I've never needed to use the local accommodation, so I can't give personal recommendations. Google brings up heaps of hotels, motels, and B & Bs.

Are there snakes?

Oh yes, there are snakes, lots of them, both venomous and harmless. Most of the time you won't even see them, but if you do, LEAVE THEM ALONE! Just move slowly away. Snakes are as scared of you as you are of them, and only bite to protect themselves - they don't eat people. Most bites occur when some wally pokes the snake with a stick - don't be that wally. In addition, ALL snakes are protected in NSW.

Common Blue Mountains snakes include the Red Belly Black Snake, Eastern Brown Snake, Death Adder, Copperhead, and Diamond Python. I've also seen Tiger Snakes, and Broad-Headed Snakes.

If one of your group is bitten, call for help immediately, don't wash the area (traces of venom will identify what's bitten you and the treatment required), and immobilise the person. Don't cut or suck the wound, and don't use a tourniquet - use a pressure immobilisation bandage instead.

Don't panic - deaths from snakebite are rare.

What's the best track for beginners?

How well do you know your beginner? To a degree, the best beginner tracks depend on the beginner and their abilities - and whether they'll complain about hills... For example, Narrowneck is usually in good condition, and has fabulous views, but beginners will moan about the big hills. Generally, though I recommend Faulconbridge Point (relatively flat, good views), Hanging Rock (short, only a few hills, amazing views) and the Oaks (very popular with riders of all levels, best suited to more confident beginners due to big hills, and rough singletrack sections).

Can I hire a bike?

Possibly. The places I knew of have closed. I think you're more likely to be able to hire a bike on the plains or in Sydney.

Where's the good stuff?

Good question, but you won't get it out of me that easily. The good stuff's good precisely because it's little known, because you have to put in a bit of effort to find it. If I tell you where it is, your thrill of discovery is lost, and the track runs the risk of becoming infested with bogans, 4WDs and motos thanks to the publicity. I don't know about you, but I enjoy riding tracks that aren't over used, covered in litter, or chopped to pieces by mechanical monstrosities.

The good stuff might also be illegal to ride - do so at your own risk.

Do you lead tours?

No. there's a big responsibility in leading tours, and tour guides should be accredited, AND licensed to lead tours into National Parks. I'm not. I'd expect them to have first aid cerification and to carry a kit as well. Pay an expert instead.

Why do I have to carry out food scraps?

Food decomposes anyway, right?

Yes, eventually it does, but it's a slow process and in the meantime it's just unsightly litter. Animals, including pests, are attracted to the scraps, which can be bad for them and the environment. Foods may also contain seeds that lead to weed growth. Blackberries anyone?

Can I get one of those emergency beacon thingies?

You know, the ones that pinpoint your location.

I believe it's possible to obtain emergency beacons (EPIRBs) through the Police at Springwood or Katoomba. Check with them. EPIRBs must only be used in a genuine emergency, as emergency services will scramble to find you if you set one off. Probably a good thing if you're going somewhere remote. Don't forget to tell others where you're going and when you should be back, even if you carry an EPIRB.

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