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Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Pulpit Rock is a prominent landmark in the Grose Valley, near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Australia. It is best seen from Govett’s Leap Lookout and appears in tens of thousands of photographs taken of the view of the valley from this place.

The Grose Valley from Govett's Leap Lookout 1958
What few visitors realise is that the view from the other side of the valley, looking back from near Pulpit Rock, is equally spectacular. The two are linked by a cliff top track, which we will describe in another blog entry.

To access the lookouts at Pulpit Rock by road, turn right along Hat Hill Road, Blackheath, which is the second road after the traffic lights at the Great Western Highway/Govett’s Leap Road corner, coming from the direction of Sydney. 5km along this road, Pulpit Rock Road branches off to the right. Follow it down to the parking area at the end of a one way loop.
The Pulpit Rock Lookouts from Govett's Leap Lookout 2011
There are bush toilets and a rustic shelter shed near the parking area. Allow 15-20 minutes each way to follow the track to the lookouts. A good map with directions and lots of information can be found on the Wild Walks website here.This is a wild, wind swept place with a great wildflower display in spring in particular.
There are three levels of lookouts and, if you are game, make sure you go right to the last one. I don’t think there is another Blue Mountains lookout quite like it.

Pulpit Rock itself can’t be seen from here but you can see Govett’s Leap (right) and the Grose Valley.
                                                                                                                                                                                 Mt Hay and Mt Banks stand out on your left. I haven’t been able to find any reference which uses the name “Pulpit Rock” earlier than 1875, but such a prominent feature would have been named quite early. The Grose Valley, as seen from the present Govett’s Leap Lookout, was first recorded by surveyor William Romaine Govett in 1831.

The Pulpit Rock Lookouts were officially  opened to the public in December 1935. There were numerous tracks, lookouts and improvements made in the Blue Mountains at this time as part of government relief programmes during the depression and the Pulpit Rock Lookouts are among the best of them.

You will find my You Tube video on this walk here . My Blue Mountains You Tube playlist will be found here. I have three other playlists - gem hunting/mining, Glen Innes, and New Zealand.. Please comment and subscribe!         

Monday, 29 July 2013


“Once I was young and now I’m old”. Well, getting older.

My love for the Blue Mountains of NSW began when I was very young. There used to be a family photo (taken at Govett’s Leap Lookout at Blackheath) in which I was about 5. Sadly, it seems to have vanished. But the memories have not.

Dad, Grandma and Mum - Blackheath 1957

My mother’s family were regular visitors to the mountains from Sydney and it’s not surprising that my parents continued the tradition. So have I, and my children and their children love the place too. Grandma Hayward in particular was a great inspiration to me, especially now that I realise that I am now around the same age she was in this photograph, taken in 1957.

When I reached the age of 70 a little while ago, Sue and I decided to move to the area. This Blog is all about how we are enjoying the Blue Mountains and Central West regions and, health permitting, hope to continue to do so for many years ahead.
The writer at Katoomba Falls caravan park 1958

At Katoomba Falls 1958

At Wentworth Falls 1962

We plan to take you along with us on many walks on the basis that if I can do them and enjoy them, so might you. Don’t be surprised to see none of the more difficult walks such as the Blue Gum Forest in the Grose Valley or Mt Solitary as I reckon they just might be a bit too much for me now.

We’ll also visit picnic areas, parks, lookouts and places of geological interest (another passion of mine). To make the most of the experience, you should subscribe to my You Tube channel here . I have four playlists - on gemstone fossicking in the New England district, one about Glen Innes (where we formerly lived), one on the Blue Mountains and one on New Zealand. 
You might also be interested in my other Blog here , which deals with fossicking and mineral deposits around Glen Innes.
John and Sue at Govett's Leap Lookout Blackheath 2007

Sue and I are looking forward to sharing some of our outings with you. We would be glad to hear from you by way of comments both here and on You Tube.

At Hinkler Park Katoomba 2009

The new generations. Blackheath 2004