Last updated: August 19, 2020
The Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains offers spectacular views of the Grose Valley and surroundings.
Around the lookout are several short and long hiking trails, one of them leading to the Barrow Lookout from where you can see the Bridal Veil Falls from close by.
How to Get There
In the Blue Mountains, follow the Great Western Highway to Blackheath.
In Blackheath, turn into Govetts Leap Road that will take you straight to the Govetts Leap Lookout. There is a large free parking area located right at the lookout.
You can also catch the Blue Mountains train line to Blackheath and then either walk or catch a bus to the lookout from the train station.
The best time to visit is all-year round, as long as it’s not raining. It can get very cold in winter so make sure you dress up warm when visiting during this time of year.
Govetts Leap Lookout
The lookout at Govetts Leap is arguably one of the most breathtaking lookouts in the Blue Mountains.
The panoramic views across the immense Grose Valley, surrounded by huge, vertical sandstone cliffs and waterfalls are very impressive. The Grose Valley is home to several rivers and creeks, such as the Grose River and Govetts Creek.
Govetts Leap was named after William Govett, a painter and surveyor, and also the first European settler to have visited this area.
According to the sign at the lookout, he first discovered this beautiful spot almost two centuries ago, in June 1831.
The Bridal Veil Falls (or simply Govett’s Leap) can clearly be seen from the lookout looking in a south-west direction.
The original name of the waterfall was “Govett’s Leap”, as the word leap means waterfall in old Scottish dialect.
The Govetts Leap lookout area is also home to various picnic areas, with lots of open space and covered picnic tables.
It’s a day well spent, with beautiful views to soak in at the lookout, a few walks to do nearby, and a picnic lunch to enjoy at the picnic ground amidst beautiful scenery.
Walks and Sights at Govetts Leap
Several bushwalking trails exist around the Govetts Leap Lookout, some of them long and some of them much shorter.
If you’re serious about hiking, it’s a good idea to park your car at the lookout in the morning and explore the whole area by foot. The various lookouts and sights will make this a very exciting day out in the Blue Mountains.
From the lookout, you can go north and do the Pulpit Rock Track (via Horseshoe Falls) and the Popes Glen Walk. Or you can venture south to the Bridal Veil Falls and the Barrow Lookout, or even further to the Evans Lookout.
The walking trail between Govetts Leap and Evans Lookout is also known as the Cliff Top Track. At Evans Lookout, you can do the famous Grand Canyon Walk, a popular and challenging 6km circuit bushwalk through lush rainforest.
There is a bit of confusion on the Internet around the name of the waterfall at the Govetts Leap Lookout. The signs at the lookout clearly state that it’s called the Bridal Veil Falls, but other sources say that it’s simply called Govetts Leap as the word “leap” is an old Scottish dialect word for waterfall.
It is also suggested that the real Bridal Veil waterfall is located near Leura. Interestingly enough, this is what Google Maps also suggests. So who should we believe? We are not sure, but in this article we use the name Bridal Veil Falls.
1. Fairfax Heritage Walk
The 1.8km Fairfax Heritage Walk is a family and wheelchair friendly track between the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre and the Govetts Leap lookout.
The highlight of this short and easy walk is the George Phillips Lookout which offers incredible views of the Grose Valley. The irony is that most visitors to Govetts Leap lookout aren’t aware of the George Phillips Lookout, which is just as impressive.
The Blue Mountains Heritage Centre is an interesting to place to visit if you have the time. This is where you can get expert advice on that various walking tracks in the area, Aboriginal heritage, plants and animals, and local activities.
2. Pulpit Rock Walk
The relatively easy 3.5 km Pulpit Rock Walk is one of the most scenic walking trails in the Blue Mountains. The trail offers excellent views across the very impressive cliff-lines that surround the Grose Valley.
From the Govetts Leap Lookout, the first part of this walking trail takes you to the Horseshoe Falls which is only 15 minutes away.
The trail ultimately leads to the Pulpit Rock Lookout from where you can enjoy sweeping views across the valley.
3. Popes Glen Walk
The Popes Glen Walk starts from an intersection with the Pulpit Rock Walk and takes you to Popes Glen Reserve in Blackheath.
It’s an easy bushwalk that takes around 1 hour to complete.
4. Bridal Veil Falls and The Barrow Lookout
Bridal Veil Falls is certainly not a very wide waterfall, but it’s the height (180 metres) and the impressive surrounding scenery that make it such a beautiful place on earth.
There are two walking trails that lead to the Bridal Veil Falls. One short walking track to the top of the cliffs, and a longer track to the bottom of the waterfall.
The easy 15 minutes bushwalking trail guides you all the way to the top of the waterfall (crossing Govetts Leap Brook) and to the Barrow Lookout, from where you can see the waterfall very clearly.
5. Cliff Top Walk to Evans Lookout
From the Barrow Lookout, you can follow the Braeside bushwalking trail back into Blackheath along the Govetts Leap Brook.
A better option is to keep following the main track to the Evans Lookout, overlooking the beautiful sandstone cliffs surrounding the Grose Valley.
This popular walk is known as the Cliff Top walking track.
This is definitely not the hardest walk in the Blue Mountains, but with the spectacular views along the way, it’s a highly enjoyable walking track.
6. Rodriguez Pass
The other walking trail, the Rodriguez Pass, is much harder and takes you to the foot of the waterfall. The stretch between the lookout and the foot of the waterfall is also known as the Govetts Leap descent.
The Rodriguez Pass ultimately connects with the Junction Rock walking trail and brings you back up the cliffs to Evans Lookout and Barrow Lookout.
This is a huge 10km circuit trail so be well-prepared if you’re planning on undertaking this massive hike.
Lots of free parking is available right at the Govetts Leap Lookout. From the lookout simply follow the walking trail to the Barrow Lookout and the Bridal Veil Falls.