Last updated: August 30, 2023
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 leading to the Barrow Lookout, from where visitors can see the Govetts Leap Falls from very close by.
Keep reading to learn more about this incredible lookout, how to get there, and things to do nearby.
How to Get There
In Blackheath, turn into Govetts Leap Road, which will lead straight to the Govetts Leap Lookout. There is a well-sized 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. Sunset and sunrise are the most spectacular. It does get cold during the winter months, so it’s best to 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 large cliff walls, are very impressive. The valley is home to several rivers and creeks, including 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 Govetts Leap Falls (or simply Govetts Leap) can be seen from the lookout when looking in a southeast 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, if only for a quick snack and a drink.
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 some confusion 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. There is, in fact, a Bridal Veil Falls in Leura. It’s all very confusing, but we prefer to call the waterfall at Govetts Leap Lookout the Govetts Leap Falls, or simply Govetts Leap.
Walking Tracks Nearby
Several bushwalking trails start from, or pass, the Govetts Leap Lookout. Some of these are pretty 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 on foot. The various lookouts and trails make for an exciting day out in the Blue Mountains.
Please note that before travelling to Govetts Leap to do one or more hikes, it’s always a good idea to check the National Parks website for any closures or other alerts.
1. Govetts Leap and the Barrow Lookout
Govetts Leap is certainly not a very wide waterfall, but the height (180 metres) and the surrounding scenery make it such a beautiful sight.
There are two walking trails that lead to the Govetts Leap waterfall. One short-ish walking track to the top of the falls, and a longer track to the base of the waterfall.
The shorter walk leads to the top of the waterfall (crossing Govetts Leap Brook) and to the Barrow Lookout, from where the waterfall is 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 challenging.
2. 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 not the most challenging walk in the Blue Mountains, and with the spectacular views along the way, it’s an enjoyable, family-friendly hike.
3. Fairfax Heritage Walk
The 1.8 km Fairfax Heritage Walk is a wheelchair-friendly trail 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 fantastic views of the Grose Valley.
Interestingly, many visitors to Govetts Leap don’t even know that the George Phillips Lookout exists, but it is just as impressive as the main lookout.
The Blue Mountains Heritage Centre is an interesting place to visit if you have some time to spare.
This is where visitors can get expert advice on the various walking tracks in the area, Aboriginal heritage, plants and animals, and local activities.
4. Pulpit Rock Track
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 walls surrounding this part of the Grose Valley.
From the Govetts Leap Lookout, the first part of this walking trail leads to the Horseshoe Falls waterfall, which is only 15 minutes away.
The trail ultimately leads to Pulpit Rock Lookout, where visitors can enjoy sweeping views over the valley.