Last updated: April 5, 2021
The northern part of the Blue Mountains, often referred to as the Mount Wilson area, is home to some fantastic walking tracks, beautiful sights, and interesting tourist attractions.
This area of the Blue Mountains is far less busy than the Wentworth Falls, Katoomba, Leura and Blackheath regions, even though there are so many things to see and do.
In this guide we are going to explore the Mount Wilson area in more detail, and we are including a list of five great highlights for you to consider.
About the Mount Wilson Region
Mount Wilson is a township and mountain in the northern part of the Blue Mountains. In this article however, when referring to the Mount Wilson area, we are essentially talking about the entire area that the Bells Line of Road passes through.
The Bells Line of Road runs between the town of Kurrajong in the east and the village of Bell in the west. It’s a 50 km winding tourist drive that is a pleasant alternative to the Great Western Highway of the Blue Mountains.
The drive in itself is a highlight too, with various interesting places to stop for a short break. The area is well known for cider tasting and home made apple pies, so you will find plenty of cafes, restaurants and breweries where you can indulge on all that local goodness.
The town of Bilpin is perhaps the most popular place on the Bells Line of Road. Also known as the Land of the Mountain Apple, Bilpin is home to various fruit orchards and beautiful gardens.
This is also the area where you will find roadside stalls selling home-made produce, and various eateries where you can try apple pie and other goodies.
Top 5 Highlights
In no particular order, here are 5 great highlights to explore in the Mount Wilson area of the Blue Mountains.
1. The Mount Banks Summit Walk
Mount Banks is one of the more recognisable landmarks in the greater Blue Mountains region, due to its characteristic rounded peak.
The hike to the summit of Mount Banks is also one of the best walks in the Blue Mountains, with fantastic scenery to enjoy from start to finish.
There are in fact two trails going up to the summit, with one of them being a true walking trail, and the other a fire trail suitable for bicycles.
The Mount Banks summit walk starts at the Mount Banks picnic area, which can be accessed from the Bells Line of Road.
2. Walls Lookout
The walking track to Walls Lookout is similar to the Mount Banks summit walk, but the views are in fact even better. The walk itself is also a bit easier, in the sense that it’s not very steep.
Walls Lookout is not a dedicated fenced lookout platform. Instead it’s an area on top of a cliff where you can wander around and enjoy the incredible views of the Grose Valley and the massive cliff walls that surround the valley.
The start of the walking track to Walls Lookout is also located on Bells Line of Road. Keep an eye out for the “Pierces Pass Picnic Area” sign, where you need to turn into Pierces Pass Road, and park at the small parking area.
3. The Rigby Hill Walking Track
The Rigby Hill walking track is a scenic 1.2km return trail that runs almost parallel to the walking track to Walls Lookout, with similar views to enjoy at the end.
This track is a fun and family-friendly walking trail suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Good shoes are definitely recommended though, as the surface is very uneven at times.
The start of the walking track to Rigby Hill is located at the very end of Pierces Pass Road where you will find a parking area. Note that this is a dirt road, but can be conquered with a conventional 2WD vehicle, as long as car is taken.
4. Pierces Pass
The Pierces Pass is one of the longer and more challenging walking tracks in the Blue Mountains, popular with experienced bushwalkers.
This adventurous hike descends into the Grose Valley, and continues all the way to the Blue Gum Forest along the Grose River.
It is of course also possible to do a shorter version of this hike, by simply descending into the valley and heading back up after reaching the river.
The starting point of the Pierces Pass is in the very same spot as the start of the Rigby Hill walking track, at the end of Pierces Pass Road.
5. Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
A visit to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is an absolute must when heading to the Mount Wilson area of the Blue Mountains.
Located in Mount Tomah and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is the only botanic garden in Australia located within a UNESCO World Heritage Area.
The park features 28 hectares of beautifully manicured gardens showcasing cool climate plants from all around the world.
It’s recommended to allocate at least one hour for a visit, although one could easily spend half a day wandering around and enjoying the unique scenery.