The adventure begins when we take a turn off the Great Western Highway near Leura, onto Mount Hay Road.
After bumping across the rough, rutted road for about ten kilometres, we park and continue on foot, following an overgrown path.
Spring is wildflower season in the mountains. For most of the year, much Australian bush can appear a dull greyish-green. So flashes of colour really catch the eye.
After an hour of walking we arrive at a cave, halfway up the cliffs that line the valley. It was a favourite, secluded haunt of celebrated Australian writer Eleanor Dark, husband Eric and their family. They used to spend weekends here, hiking in via different routes so as not to leave a permanent trail, and swearing their children to secrecy about the location.
We can see why they’d want to keep it to themselves. The cave is deep enough to protect campers from the elements, but with a spectacular view out over the Grose Valley.
I’ve often walked to Evans Lookout, on the opposite side of the Grose Valley, but never found my way to Darks’ Cave. Though it is mentioned in some walking guides, the route is still unmarked. I’d explain how to get there, only I’ve been sworn to secrecy. If I told you I’d have to come and kill you.