Last updated: May 19, 2021
The Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains offers spectacular views of the Grose Valley and surroundings.
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 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 line to Blackheath, and then either walk or catch 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 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 the huge sandstone cliffs, are very impressive. The 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-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 spots, 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 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.
Walks and Sights at Govetts Leap
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.
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 most visitors to Govetts Leap aren’t aware of the George Phillips Lookout, which is just as impressive.
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 cliffs, 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.
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 surrounding the Grose Valley.
This popular walk is known as the Cliff Top walking track. It’s definitely not the hardest walk in the Blue Mountains, but with the spectacular views along the way, it’s a highly enjoyable hike.
5. Rodriguez Pass
The other walking trail, the Rodriguez Pass, is much harder and goes all the way to the base of the waterfall and 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.
Free parking is available at the Govetts Leap Lookout. From the lookout you have the option to do one or more of the various bush walking tracks nearby.