Views for Days

Breathe in the fresh mountain air and soak up the mesmerising vistas at these easily-accessed lookouts.

By Julie Miller

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Here in the Blue Mountains, there is no shortage of incredible views, with the rugged sandstone escarpment that encircles our region the perfect platform for gazing out across the azure-tinged World Heritage-listed wilderness that cushions the earth below.

Our most visited viewpoint commandeers the famous Three Sisters at Echo Point, Katoomba, with two million annual visitors making the pilgrimage to admire and take selfies. But there are plenty of lesser-known lookouts where you can avoid crowds, allowing the incredible panorama before you to penetrate and inspire your soul.

For easy access to some of the most stunning vistas in the Blue Mountains, hop on (and off, all in your own time) the red double-decker Explorer Bus, which stops at 37 attractions including nine lookouts, from iconic vistas and popular waterfalls, to lesser-known outcrops offering a different perspective of the Jamison Valley.

“It’s hard to beat Cahill’s Lookout at sunset as the sun sinks behind the Great Dividing Range and the colours change over the Megalong Valley,” says Damien Booth from the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus. “behind you, the sandstone escarpments of Narrow Neck Ridge and the King’s Tableland dazzle like gold leaf.”

Narrow Neck Lookout is another viewpoint that constantly surprises Damien. “It is ever-changing. It can be a complete white-out one minute and the next, you can see forever!

“A phenomenon called the “Phantom Falls” happens there, where thick cloud falls from one valley to the other and looks like a waterfall of cloud. It’s incredible. There are views to the Megalong Valley and the Great Dividing Range. Narrow Neck Ridge, Mt Solitary, the Ruined Castle, King’s Tableland and Katoomba Landslide are all visible and the changing colours are stunning.”

While lacing up your hiking boots is all part of the enjoyment of exploring this region, the good news is that most of these lookouts require little to no effort, with many of them accessible to all abilities. From plummeting waterfalls, to rock platforms with unencumbered 360 degree views, here are some suggestions for places to feast your eyes.

  1. Prince of Wales Lookout

Echo Point, Katoomba

The latest enhancement to the lookout at Echo Point gazing towards the iconic Three Sisters is the Prince of Wales platform, an all-access, night-lit boardwalk extension that offers the closest view of the comely rock formation. Defying gravity above the Jamison Valley, the viewpoint is part of a new Gathering Place, where traditional owners can tell their stories and share the significance of this sacred part of Country with the world.

  1. Katoomba Falls Lookout

Cliff Drive, Katoomba

Accessed by the new 1.3 kilometre Katoomba Falls Night-lit Walk, this viewpoint offers magnificent views of the Jamison Valley across to Mount Solitary, the Three Sisters and Orphan Rock, as well as an jaw-dropping vista of the plummeting Katoomba Falls. After the recent rain, this veil of water is at its finest bridal glory as it tumbles over the sheer escarpment in several terraces.

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  1. Olympian Rock-Elysian Rock

Olympian Parade, Leura

Located opposite the Leuralla Toy Museum in Leura, these hidden twin lookouts - joined by the metal Buttenshaw Bridge spanning a gaping chasm - offer spectacular rear-end views of the Three Sisters and Narrow Neck as well as a mesmerising southern panorama of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This is a beautiful spot to welcome the sunrise, with convenient benches to relax and soak in the majesty. The path to the lookout, while short and easy, is not wheelchair accessible.

  1. Wentworth Falls Lookout

Wentworth Falls Picnic Area, Wentworth Falls

The picnic area at Wentworth Falls has it all – grass to lay a picnic rug, barbecue facilities and great views of the thundering Wentworth Falls, arguably the king of all Blue Mountains cascades. Gaze out across the terraced waterfall from the level-paved lookout clinging to the edge of the escarpment, allowing its energy to invigorate and inspire. Pause to soak in the negative ions emitted by the falls, or continue down the trail for a closer view of the upper cascade tumbling into a crystal pool.

  1. Lincoln’s Rock

Little Switzerland Drive, Wentworth Falls

This unfenced flat rock platform with unencumbered views across Jamison Valley to Mount Solitary is a favourite amongst Instagrammers and for special celebrations – including the occasional wedding – due to its incredible photo opportunities. You really feel like you’re on the edge of the world here, with the sheer drop into the abyss not for those with vertigo. Take care near the edge, and hold onto your little ones’ hands as you absorb the majesty before you.

  1. Hargraves’ Lookout

Shipley Road, Blackheath

Pack some bubbles and nibbles and head to this stunning lookout on the western side of Blackheath for the ultimate sunset views. Recently upgraded with new platforms, paving, fencing, an accessible ramp and facilities, this lovely quiet viewpoint gazes across the bucolic twin valleys of Megalong and Kanimbla, with the escarpment exploding with colour as the sun dips below the horizon. A short trail along a rocky spit leads to a smaller lookout for those who want to stretch their legs.

  1. Govetts Leap

Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath

Feast your eyes upon one of the Blue Mountains’ most iconic views across the wilderness of the Grose Valley, a tapestry of green against the sheer walls of the sandstone escarpment. Enjoy the play of light as the sun dances under clouds, while the distant thunder of waterfalls tumbling into the void is tempered by the haunting call of black cockatoos as they glide on thermals. This view never gets old.

  1. Tunnel View Lookout

Glenbrook

Located in the Glenbrook section of the Blue Mountains National Park, Tunnel View gives a different perspective of the Blue Mountains, with incredible views of the craggy Glenbrook Gorge leading to the Nepean River. This is a great place for a sunset drink, to absorb the silence, to watch birds or admire wildflowers; while the lookout is also a special place for train buffs, with views of the rail cutting and two historic tunnels.

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