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Saturday, 23 November 2013

THE FAIRFAX HERITAGE TRACK, BLACKHEATH BLUE MOUNTAINS NSW AUSTRALIA


Family group about to commence the walk October 2004

On the track September 2013















The Fairfax Heritage Track was constructed in 1986/7 to provide an easily accessible pathway from the National Parks and Wildlife Heritage Centre to Govett’s Leap Lookout in Blackheath. It is identified as a wheelchair accessible route and this is indeed true, a rarity in Australian national parks. The only problem might be the return trip up the hill from the lookout, which is somewhat steeper and has a number of “humps” where drains pass underneath. It would be better for someone to walk back up and bring a vehicle down to the lookout.

Classic shelter shed July 2007
At George Phillips Lookout July 2009
The route is well signposted and passes through a variety of vegetation types, each clearly indicated. There are seats at regular intervals as well and this makes this simple walk a joy for any lover of the Australian bush.

Perhaps the highlight of the walk is George Phillips Lookout, where the path dramatically emerges from the bush onto one of the most spectacular views in the Blue Mountains. It’s only a few minutes walk from here to the Govett’s Leap Lookout car park where there always seems to be lots of visitors. I guess this spot is Blackheath’s equivalent to Echo Point at Katoomba, (without the parking fee). However I doubt if one in a hundred takes the track to George Phillips Lookout, which is great if you would like to just sit and enjoy the view in peace.

Photo courtesy of the Blue Mountains City Library
The original sign erected at George Phillips Lookout in 1946 had these words: “National Reserves. George Phillips Lookout. In appreciation of the able and energetic service of Ex-Alderman George Phillips, a pioneer of the district and active member & Secretary of the Blackheath Group of the Blue Mountains Sights Reserves from 1917-1939. Opened by the Blackheath Municipal Council 28-1-1946”. No doubt there are similar stories which could be told about all our Blue Mountains beauty spots but it is up to us to ensure they are recorded.

For the Wild Walks pages on the Fairfax Track click here .

For the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service click here . For my video of the walk, click here.

For my Blue Mountains You Tube playlist click here . I have three other playlists - on gem hunting/mining, Glen Innes and New Zealand. Please comment and subscribe.

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