|Bonnie Doon Falls|
Commencing at the picnic area adjoining the Cahill’s Lookout car park, in the western part of Katoomba, a little used track leads out across Peckman’s Plateau to an almost unknown lookout. The views out here are as good as anywhere around Katoomba and it is surprising that little has been done to promote this spot or even to let the public know of its existence.
Harry Peckman was one of the great “characters” of early Katoomba. He moved there in 1884 and spent most of his time as a horse cab and coach driver. He was a great “spinner of yarns” and many visitors attested to how much his knowledge and enthusiasm for the mountains added to the enjoyment of their visit.
|Harry Peckman 1920's|
He wrote much poetry, not of the highest quality, it has tot be admitted, but words which overflowed from his heart and revealed the inner man. He died in October 1934 at the age of 88, by which time he must have been one of the best known residents of the Blue Mountains. The "Nepean Times" of 22nd December 1888 had this to say: “He has graphically portrayed the varied and sublimities of Govett’s Leap with a delicacy of feeling which was as welcome as it was unexpected. The poem in question was recited by the author, and was received with marks of great approval.”
The Nepean Times of Saturday 6th October 1934 tells the story of Harry Peckman on page 6. He occupies a unique position in Blue Mountains history. A biography titled “The Prince of Whips: The Life and Works of the Blue Mountains Pioneer Harry Peckman”, by Jim Smith and John Low, may still be available for purchase.
|North's Lookout across the valley|
The Plateau named after Harry and his family was apparentlygiven this name because they cleared a track to viewpoints on the cliff edge. The present walking track, decrepit picnic area and fenced lookout probably date from the early 1970’s. The lookout provides a fine view of the lowermost of the Bonnie Doon Falls, once known as “Ethel Falls”. There are also great views of Radiata Plateau and Nellie’s Glen. It is the best spot to see these places, which are well off the path of most tourists. The track to the lookout is easy, if a little overgrown, and the return walk takes rather less than an hour.
My video about Cahill's and Peckman's lookouts may be found here.
The Blog entry about Cahill's Lookout may be found here. My Blue Mountains You Tube playlist is here . I have three other playlists - on gem hunting/mining, Glen Innes and New Zealand. Please comment and subscribe.
NOTE: THE LOOKOUT AND PICNIC AREAS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED BECAUSE OF A RECENT BUSHFIRE! (November 2014)
|Radiata Plateau from Peckman's Plateau Lookout|