BlackheathLocation: Blue Mountains
Blackheath is located near the top of the Blue Mountains. Blackheath has many cafes and restaurants, a large antique centre and other shops of interest to tourists. It is a popular destination for people from Sydney for a weekend excursion or a Sunday drive.
The area around Blackheath contains some of the most spectacular views in the Blue Mountains, including those over the Grose Valley from Evans Lookout and Govetts Leap in the east, and the lesser-known vista of the Megalong Valley from Hargraves Lookout in the west, past the tiny hamlet of Shipley. The area is also known for its colourful blooms in Spring and golden Autumn foliage as the weather begins to cool. In September, daffodils bloom and on the first weekend of November, Blackheath hosts an annual Rhododendron Festival. The Megalong Valley, about 18 km away, can be accessed from Blackheath.
Canyoners and rockclimbers base themselves at Blackheath for activities in the surrounding National Park.
Location: Blackheath is 120 km west north-west of Sydney, 11 km north-west of Katoomba and 30 km south-east of Lithgow. Elevation 1,065 metres.
Climate: Blackheath experiences a cool subtropical highland climate. Blackheath's average annual precipitation is just over 1000 mm. As the highest town in the Mountains, Blackheath receives snow in winter (two settled falls per season is the average with another five to ten days of light snow showers) and even in summer the temperatures are generally mild in comparison to other locations at the same latitude. Blackheaths location on a high ridge makes it vulnerable to strong and sometimes destructive winds, especially in the winter months when cold fronts surge up from the Southern Ocean, producing land gales. Blackheath can also be fog- and thunderstorm-prone, although this does vary notably from year to year.
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Campbell Rhododendron Gardens at the northern end of the town in Bachante St have 45 acres (18.5 hectares) of Rhododendrons and Azaleas planted underneath a native Australian Bush canopy. They are tended by the volunteers of The Blue Mountains Rhododendron Society of NSW, many of whom live in the town. The Gardens are a spectacular sight in the spring months of September through to November.
Bacchante Street, Blackheath. Ph (02) 4787 8965. Open daily 9am to 4pm. Entry by gold coin donation.
Blackheath has a number of lookouts close to the town off Hat Hill Rd, Pulpit Rock, Perrys Lookdown and Anvil Rock, overlooking the Megalong Valley. There are several walking tracks starting from the lookouts, including short walks to enjoy different views, longer half and whole day walks, and walks involving camping overnight or several days walk. Mount Boyce lookout is located just out of town towards Lithgow.
Govett's Leap: a short drive from Blackheath takes visitors to Govett's Leap, a lookout with spectacular views of the Grose Valley and nearby waterfalls. According to folklore, a bushranger named Govett rode off the cliff rather than be captured. This story is not verified by historical sources. In reality, the point is named after William Romaine Govett, an assistant to the Surveyor General of NSW at the time, who first came upon that spot in June 1831. Evans Lookout provides an alternate vantage point for views into the same canyon system.
Hanging Rock: one of the Blue Mountains most spectacular lookouts, Hanging Rock is somewhat off the beaten track. Though just 7km from Blackheath, it requires a little dirt road driving, walking and hiking, but the effort is well worth the view both of the rock, or from it if you are game enough to climb out. Hanging Rock is located close to Baltzer Lookout, which must be reached first.
So, is it really hanging? The answer is yes. The rock is separated from the cliff by a 80cm gap that narrows to a crack way down below. The rock itself is quite narrow with a tip hanging over the valley a hundred meters below. The gap between the cliff and the rock is not wide, there are no guard rails, so if you choose to cross over onto the rock itself, think not only of the dangers of literally stepping out into the air hundreds of metres above the valley below, but also, what if your weight is enough to make this rock fall?
Pulpit Rock to Evans Lookout Cliff Top Track: Time: 4 hrs 15 mins. 4.5 km ENE of Blackheath. Length: 6.6 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 619 m
The Cliff Top Track is one of the longer walks near Blackheath, and has constant views. The track follows the rim of the Grose Valley, with a side trip to Boyds Beach, and passes numerous lookouts with views of the Grose Valley and its waterfalls. This walk is an excellent one way trip from Pulpit Rock to Evans Lookout car park.
Grand Canyon, Cliff Top and Braeside Walks: Time: 4 hrs 30 mins. 3.3 km ESE of Blackheath. Length: 9.3 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 603 m
The Grand Canyon, Cliff Top and Braeside tracks are an excellent way to see the great diversity of the Blue Mountains National Park in the Blackheath area, from the Neates Glen rain forest, through the void of the Grand Canyon, to the separation of plateau and valley by the Cliff Top walk. The walk then finishes with a creek-side stroll along the Braeside Track. It truly is a wonderful walk.
Grand Canyon, Cliff Top and Pope's Glen Track: Time: 7 hrs 30 mins. 0.2 km NNW of Blackheath. Length: 15.6 km. Blue Mountains National Park Climb: 913 m
This walk is a fantastic way to see many of the highlights of this part of the Blue Mountains National Park. The only major descent and climb on the walk is on the section through the Grand Canyon, which is an experience in itself, especially if you ve never been in a canyon before. The track then continues along the cliff tops with excellent views over the Grose Valley and surrounding cliffs. The vegetation change along these sections is interesting, with areas of drier and wetter foliage dispersed along the track.
Blackheath to Blue Gum loop: Time: 2 Days. 0.2 km NNW of Blackheath. Length: 24.1 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 1335 m
This walk is great for fit people getting into overnight walking, with its fantastic scenery and nostalgia as a classic overnighter. The change from being on the plateau, to in the valley is a dramatic one as the track passes through the bush, canyon and rainforest. Staying the night near Blue Gum Forest in Acacia Flats also adds to the experience. With the public transport options, access to this walk is made easier.
Perrys Lookdown to Blue Gum Forest: Time: 4 hrs. 7 km NE of Blackheath. Length: 4.3 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 656 m
The wonderful walk from Perrys Lookdown into the Blue Gum Forest follows a clear an steep track into one of the regions bushwalking and conservation icons. Allow plenty of time to explore the majestic Blue Gum Forest, looking up the tall trees and enjoying the birds flying through the area. The track is steep and the valley tempts visitors to stay and enjoy for a long time. If you want to stay overnight, Acacia Flats campsite is only 500m from the forest. To return to the car park, retrace your steps up the hill.
Pierces Pass, Blue Gum Forest, Acacia Flats to Perrys Lookdown: Time: 5 hrs 30 mins. 8.8 km NE of Blackheath. Length: 10.4 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 774 m
If you can organise the car shuttle or taxi, this is a great day walk. The track descends from the walls of Pierces Pass into another world along the Grose River, with its tall Blue Gum Forest. The optional side trip to Acacia Flats provides a great place to stop for lunch, and a toilet stop, before climbing up to the brilliant views from Perrys Lookdown.
Govetts Leap Loop: Time: 4 hrs 30 mins. 0.2 km NNW of Blackheath. Length: 8.7 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 380 m
This walk, from Blackheath Train Station, is a fantastic way to see some of the iconic areas of the Blue Mountains in the Blackheath area. The walk heads through Popes Glen to Govetts Leap via a wonderful stroll along the creek, before breaking out to the views of the Grose Valley. The stunning views over the valley, waterfalls and bush make this a great walk with public transport access.
Victoria Falls Lookout
Victoria Falls Lookout to Blue Gum Forest: Time: 6 hrs 30 mins. 6.9 km N of Blackheath. Length: 13.8 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 1102 m
This long day-walk follows a remote track down from Victoria Falls lookout, passing the waterfall, and into the Grose Valley, to the famous Blue Gum Forest, a scenic and historic highlight of this area. From the Blue Gum Forest, the walk climbs steeply to finish at Perrys Lookdown. You will need to organise a car shuttle, or a taxi for this walk.
Asgard Kiln and Mine: Time: 2 hrs. 7.5 km N of Blackheath. Length: 5.6 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 221 m
The walk to the Asgard Kiln and Mine is a great, quick trip which passes through some interesting swamp environments. The track does not get bogged in the swamp but passes along a dry service trail and bush track. The Asgard Kiln and Mine is well worth the visit, but don't forget to take a torch!
Anvil Rock: Time: 15 mins. 6.6 km NE of Blackheath. Length: 0.5 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 14 m
A nice walk if you are in the area, and worth doing before Pulpit Rock lookout. This walk is not as busy as many of the other lookout walks in the area. The view across the valley is fantastic. The lookout makes a great place for a picnic lunch, and the lack of crowds makes it that much more attractive.
Beauchamp Falls: Time: 2 hrs. 4 km ESE of Blackheath. Length: 3.1 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 350 m
The walk from Evans Lookout to Beauchamp Falls is magical journey, passing through the bottom part of the Grand Canyon. The views from Evans lookout are stunning, with the lush canyon environment providing a very different environment to enjoy. The walk then continues down the creek to Beauchamp Falls. If you don t have the time to do the whole of the Grand Canyon walk this is a great compromise.
Baltzer Lookout, Hanging Rock: Time: 3 hrs 30 mins. 3.1 km NNE of Blackheath. Length: 7.6 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 266 m
This walk to Baltzer Lookout rewards you with excellent scenery and a view over the stunning Hanging Rock (aka the Finger). The track is mainly management trail, and would be great on a mountain bike (to the end of the management trail). The large cliff edges are unfenced and quite exposed, so do take care. Although short and relatively unchanging in scenery, the walk to Baltzer Lookout is well worth it.
Blaxland Station to Boulder Pool: Time: 2 hrs. 1.1 km NE of Blaxland. Length: 4 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 217 m
This walk is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle, enjoying a quiet retreat beside Glenbrook Creek. This walk takes a direct route from Blaxland Station down to a pool of water with a large boulder. A wonderful place to relax and unwind. Stop off at the bakery or cafe in Blaxland for a treat.
Blackheath Station to Junction Rock Loop (via Grand Canyon and Popes Glen): Time: 8 hrs 30 mins. 0.2 km NNW of Blackheath. Length: 18.2 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 1254 m
This circuit starts in Blackheath and heads down into the Grand Canyon and Rodriguez Pass. The track goes through a wide variety of ecosystems and changing views along the way. An interesting part of this walk is the change in mood of the cliffs that surround the Grose Valley as the light conditions change throughout the day.
Braeside, Govetts and Pope's Glen Track: Time: 3 hrs 30 mins. 0.2 km NNW of Blackheath. Length: 8.7 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 375 m
This walk is an excellent way to see some of Blackheaths best views, without the big climbs in and out of the Grose Valley. The round trip from the station shows off Bridal Falls, and other cascades along the cliffs. A large part of this walk is near the cliff edge, with stunning views spanning out across the Grose Valley.
Braeside Walk: Time: 1 Hr. 2.1 km ESE of Blackheath. Length: 2.5 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 72 m
The Braeside Walk is an excellent connecting trail to the Cliff Top walk, between Evans and Govetts Lookouts. The track has its own quiet picnic area, which could make a nice spot for lunch along this creekside walk. The track builds up to its climax at Barrows Lookout, overlooking the Grose Valley and Bridal Veil Falls, before returning along the same track.
Collier's Causeway: Time: 2 hrs. 0.4 km W of Blackheath. Length: 3.1 km. Blue Mountains(LGA). Climb: 380 m
Collier's Causeway is a fantastic walk with many views of the Kanimbla Valley and varied scenery. The track mostly travels under the imposing cliffs between Centennial Glen and Porters Pass, with waterfalls, ferny glens and heath flowers along the way. The track is a great one-way trip from Bundarra St to Burton Ave with access to many climbing areas along the way.
Cliff Top Track: Time: 1 hr 45 mins. 2.6 km ENE of Blackheath. Length: 3.2 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 224 m
The Cliff Top Track is a breath-taking walk around the edge of the Grose Valley, between Govetts Leap and Evans lookouts. The many lookouts along this track show off the stunning Grose Valley. The track also showcases Govetts Leap from close up, at Barrows Lookout, and further away, from Govetts Leap Lookout.