Dripping with natural beauty and history, Nellies Glen is a Katoomba landform named after the daughter of a 19th century entrepreneur John Britty North for whom the main lookout above the glen is now named. Phillip Hammon and Phillip Pells’ tome, “The burning mists of time”, records that he was an early local councillor and member of the Sydney Stock Exchange. North also made a path from his home near Shell Corner down into the Glen to visit his “Glen Shale Mine”. It crossed the top of Bonnie Doon Falls, home to Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii, the Dwarf Mountain Pine. This is among Australia’s rarest plant species, growing only in the spray of south facing waterfalls between Wentworth Falls and Katoomba.
From Nellies Glen the gubernatorial couple, Lord and Lady Carrington, began their horseback journey to Jenolan Caves, guided by the renowned poet and horseman, Harry Peckman. The charming switch-backing bridle path was partly obliterated in 1968 when former Blue Mountains engineer, the late John Yeaman, launched the second unsuccessful attempt to directly link Katoomba and Megalong by road.
The late Les Maxwell was a lonely figure as he operated a piece of council machinery alone near the cliff edge, trying to create fill for the road which ended being too steep (source: Smith, Jim, lectures in local history, Blue Mountains TAFE 1991).
In the late 1990s, former Deputy Mayor Terri Hamilton was among those who championed the now partly successful revegetating of the resulting scar.
The Glen is now a landmark on the Six Foot Track.
© Don Morison