Last updated: August 8, 2023
The Rock Lookout is a scenic vantage point in the Mulgoa Valley that offers panoramic views of the Nepean River and the Blue Mountains.
Nearby Rileys Mountain Lookout is also worth a visit, which can be reached via a 5 km return bushwalking track through beautiful scenery.
Read on, and find out how best to get there, where to park your car, and where to find the two lookouts.
|The Rock Lookout to Rileys Mountain|
|Distance:||5 km (return)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate (mildly steep sections)|
How to Get There
The Rock Lookout can be accessed via a short trail starting from the car park at the end of Fairlight Road in Mulgoa (see map location).
To get there from Penrith or the M4 Motorway, follow Mulgoa Road towards the Mulgoa town centre, and turn right into Fairlight Road.
Note that the last couple of kilometres of Fairlight Road is unsealed. There are quite a few potholes, but overall this road can be negotiated with a 2WD vehicle as long as care is taken.
The parking area at the end of Fairlight Road is reasonably large, so you should be able to secure a spot to park your car.
The Rock Lookout to Rileys Mountain
The below map gives you an idea of where both lookouts are located in relation to the car park.
As you can see, the Rock Lookout is very close to the car parking area, whereas Rileys Mountain Lookout is quite a bit further away.
To get to the Rock Lookout from the car park, simply follow the short walking trail heading west towards the river.
It’s a short and easy path to follow, but it does include some steps and uneven ground, so good hiking shoes are recommended.
1. The Rock Lookout
Once you see the location of the lookout, it’s immediately clear where this vantage point got its name from.
The lookout is located on top of a large rock on the rim of Nepean Gorge, or Fairlight Gorge, overlooking the Nepean River.
A set of stairs with handrails on the left side of this rock will get you to the top, from where you can take in the stunning views of the river and the Blue Mountains right in front of you.
Be mindful that The Rock Lookout is unfenced, so please be careful, especially if you have children with you.
Once you’ve finished exploring this beautiful spot, retrace your steps towards the car park, where you have the option to continue hiking to Rileys Mountain.
2. Rileys Mountain Lookout
If you’d like to visit Rileys Mountain Lookout after the Rock Lookout, follow the walking track signposted as Rileys Mountain Trail.
Note that this trail is also a popular mountain biking and horse-riding track, so you may need to share the trail with others.
For the most part, this track is a mild ascent up to the mountain, but it never gets very steep. On a positive note, the return trip is much easier, as you will be mostly descending.
Rileys Mountain was named after James John Riley, who was the first mayor of Penrith in the 1870s.
The lookout on Rileys Mountain is a bit smaller than the Rock Lookout and is also unfenced, so please be careful when exploring.
The views are also quite similar, but since this lookout is higher up, the views are perhaps a bit better.
If you’d like to go for an even longer hike, the main track continues to Mulgoa Trig and eventually Nepean Narrows Lookdown, which is an extra 3 km one way.