Last updated: March 23, 2022
The Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains offers spectacular views of the Grose Valley and surrounding cliff walls.
Near 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 very close by.
How to Get There
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 (see map location).
You can also catch the Blue Mountains train to Blackheath, and then either walk or hop on a bus to the lookout from the train station.
The best time to visit is year-round, as long as it’s not raining. It does get cold during the winter months though so make sure you dress up warm when visiting during that 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 the cliff walls, are very impressive. The valley is home to several rivers and creeks, including the 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-east direction.
The original name of the waterfall was “Govett’s Leap”, as the word leap means waterfall in old Scottish dialect.
The area around the Govetts Leap lookout is also home to various picnic grounds, with lots of open space and covered picnic tables.
It’s one of the better picnic spots in the Blue Mountains, so you may as well make use of it.
It’s a day well spent, with beautiful views to soak in at the lookout, a few walks to do nearby, and a lunch to enjoy at the picnic ground amidst beautiful scenery.
There is a bit of confusion on the Internet around the name of the waterfall near 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.
Walking Tracks Nearby
Several bushwalking trails start at, or pass, the Govetts Leap Lookout. Some of these are quite long and challenging, but there are also shorter and easier walks.
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 make for an exciting day out in the Blue Mountains.
Please note that before travelling to Govetts Leap to do one or more of the below hikes, it’s always a good idea to check the National Parks website for any closures or other alerts.
1. Fairfax Heritage Walk
The 1.8 km 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 many visitors to Govetts Leap don’t even know that the George Phillips Lookout exists, but it is just as impressive as the Govetts Leap Lookout.
The Blue Mountains Heritage Centre is an interesting place to visit if you have the time.
This is where you can get expert advice on the various walking tracks in the area, Aboriginal heritage, plants and animals, and local activities.
2. Pulpit Rock Walk
The relatively easy 3.5 km walk to Pulpit Rock is one of the most scenic walking trails in the Blue Mountains. The trail offers excellent views of the impressive cliff edges 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. 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 surrounding scenery that make it such a beautiful sight.
There are two walking trails that lead to the Bridal Veil Falls. One short walking track to the top of the falls, and a longer track to the bottom of the waterfall.
The shorter walk brings you all the way to the top of the waterfall (crossing Govetts Leap Brook) and to the Barrow Lookout, from where the waterfall is clearly visible.
While this may be a short walk, it is also rather steep, and walking back to the car park from Barrow Lookout can be a bit of a challenge.
4. Cliff Top Walk to Evans Lookout
From the Barrow Lookout, you can continue the walking track to the Evans Lookout, overlooking the beautiful sandstone cliffs of the Grose Valley.
This popular walk is known as the Cliff Top walking track. It’s certainly not the hardest walk in the Blue Mountains, and with the spectacular views along the way, it’s a highly enjoyable hike.
5. Rodriguez Pass
The Rodriguez Pass is a hard walk that goes all the way to the base of the waterfall and then further into the valley. The stretch between the lookout and the base of the waterfall is also known as the Govetts Leap descent.
The Rodriguez Pass eventually connects with the Junction Rock walking trail and heads back up the cliffs to Evans Lookout and then back to the Barrow Lookout.
This is a challenging 10 km circuit track, so be well-prepared if you’re planning on undertaking this hike.