Search This Blog

Saturday, 19 April 2014

ROCKET POINT LOOKOUT, WENTWORTH FALLS NSW AUSTRALIA



Rocket Point Lookout from Princes Rock
Rocket Point Lookout is one of the oldest constructed lookouts in the Blue Mountains. Like Fletcher's Lookout and the Princes Rock Lookout, which is immediately across the valley, all have a “parapet” construction (now reinforced with the usual steel poles, bars and wire). It is believed that the work was done by Peter Mulheran, some time in the 1880’s and probably largely by him alone.
Mulheran is one of the best known names associated with Wentworth Falls. He was operating a small guest house and guiding service at the time and appears to have undertaken to build many of the tracks we know and love today. Later on he was a member of the Wentworth Falls Reserves Trust. We owe the man a great debt indeed.
Another well known Wentworth Falls name from those days is Captain John Murray. He was the Chairman of the Trust at the time Peter Mulheran and his assistants were engaged in the construction of the now famous National Pass track. This track descends into the valley by means of a staircase carved from the cliff face below the Rocket Point Lookout. Murray is generally credited with having identified the route by being lowered over the cliff on a bosun’s chair. No doubt his seafaring background qualified him for this job, but he would have been over 70 at the time.
Approaching the lookout from Wentworth Falls

The name “Rocket Point” appears in a “Herald” article dated 17th October 1889, which is several years before the Murray’s arrival in Wentworth Falls. Some have attributed the name to his practice of firing off flares or rockets from this point to enable people below to get a compass bearing on the point. The dates are against this being the correct explanation. Others use the name “George Murray”, but I can find no such person associated with Wentworth Falls in those days.
An obituary of John Murray appeared on page 6 of the Sydney Morning Herald for Tuesday 4th February, 1919.
The Mountaineer guidebooks (early 20th century) contain remarks that the cliffs of Rocket Point are the highest in Australia at 1,000 feet, though how true either statement is, I cannot say. Whatever the truth, this is a most impressive spot and well worth a visit. The lookout is only about a 15 minute walk past the stepping stones at the top of the falls, branching off the National Pass track.
The Wild Walks information on Rocket Point may be downloaded here. My video of the walk is here.
Top of the Falls from the lookout
 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment