Friends have often whispered of the magic of the Cascade Falls Walk, located in the picturesque Macquarie Pass National Park, and I can tell you it didn't disappoint.
You access the start of the walk via a small car park on the right hand side of the very bottom of the pass, which I'm told can get pretty busy over the summer months. Walk across a grassed area and follow Cascades Stream along a well-trodden path through beautiful rainforest, until you reach the first of the fresh water pools. The first section of this walk is really easy, and mostly flat, even the littlest of legs could manage it.
The water here is deep enough for a splash, and there are some great rocks to clamber over. It is also a great spot for a sandwich and a bit of wildlife-spotting.
The second section of cascades is a bit more of an adventure as you cross the stream and scramble upwards, using the mud and old tree roots to pull yourself up. The kids - of course - loved this bit! And what awaits you at the top is just gorgeous. A deep, cool pool, surrounded by eucalyptus trees, made crystal clear by the constant movement of fresh water from the rocks above.
The trail continues upwards, and gets more challenging as you ascend to the third cascade. Although we didn't make it that far this time, I'm told there are ropes and steps to make it easier.
There really is no better way to connect with your kids than to be outside in nature, taking in the blue sky and fresh air and making memories. Even the delight of a late night surprise tick (or two!) didn't spoil the day :).