Blue Mountains tour operator tells hikers to ‘steer clear’ of deep valley walks after Wentworth Falls landslide tragedy

Blue Mountains tour operator Graham Chapman says he is “not surprised” there was a landslide on a popular hiking trail west of Sydney after weeks of wet weather.

A tour operator has warned visitors to the Blue Mountains to ‘avoid’ walks in the deep valleys after two people were killed in a freak landslide.

A British family of five were on the Wentworth Pass Loop, west of Sydney, when tragedy struck around 1.40pm on Monday.

A 49-year-old father and his nine-year-old son suffered serious injuries and died at the scene.

A 50-year-old mother and another 14-year-old son suffered serious head and abdominal injuries, while another teenager, a 15-year-old girl, is miraculously unharmed.

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Blue Mountains Day Tours owner Graham Chapman said he was “not surprised” a landslide occurred after weeks of disastrous wet weather which saw more than 800mm of rain, destructive winds and flash floods.

“We’ve had so much rain over the last few months and in fact the last three years that there’s really a lot of moisture on the ground,” he told the first edition of Sky News Australia on Tuesday morning.

“As a tour operator…I wouldn’t go down that deep valley system at all. It just rained too much.

“My advice to people is yes, come to the beautiful Blue Mountains, we need your help, we need your tourist dollars.

“To be honest, I would avoid all those tracks at the bottom of the valley at the moment. We’ve had over 800mm of rain, it’s built on the sandstone and water is still gushing out of the cracks.”

NSW Police have confirmed the family are British nationals on holiday in Australia.

Officers are working with the British Consulate to contact other family members in the UK.

“It’s heartbreaking, there’s no doubt about it. I mean, when it happened yesterday, it changed my day. I heard that when they passed away, I literally cried,” said Mr. Chapman.

“It’s even more heartbreaking for us in tourism because you know what, it’s been a hell of a couple of years across the world and we tour operators, we’ve been doing the hard stuff.

“And we’re finally opening our borders and bringing people back, and it’s heartbreaking in many ways to see that happen.”