Despite offering one of the best views of the Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains, Anvil Rock in Blackheath is much less frequented than many of the other lookouts in the area. It’s reached by an easy 500m return walk from the carpark. The trail passes a bench which which commemorates Joyce Brister (1916 -2010), a resident of Blackheath and accomplished geologist, botanist, teacher and author.
There are some nice escarpment views along the track.
The lookout is hard to miss: it’s a weathered sandstone rock formation that resembles the shape of a blacksmith’s anvil. The lookout was named “Anvil Rock” in 1938 by Blackheath Council, the same year that an access road to the lookout was constructed.
An anvil donated by Stan Miller, Company Secretary for Bradford Kendall Industries who was a keen bushwalker in the area, was installed at Anvil Rock in 1948. A couple of years later a brass directional plate added to the anvil. This remained in place until around 1970, when someone pushed it over the cliff. It was found in 2005 during a police rescue operation, before being restored and re-bolted to Anvil Rock in 1948:
On the 26th February 2005 the Police Rescue Squad had the unpleasant task of conducting a body recovery at the base of Anvil Rock. Through the local grapevine Brian was informed by David West and Peter Rickwood of Blackheath that during the recovery the anvil had been located.
On Saturday 21st May 2005, Brian and his brother John walked in to the base of the cliff and finally located it. The anvil was lying at the base of a tree which had stopped its fall.
The anvil had remained completely intact despite being dropped onto sandstone from a height of 300m. This was no surprise as, being made of hardened steel; it had been designed to be pounded with a blacksmith’s hammer. It was light grey in colour and inside an ellipse was engraved the letters: “BK/Sydney/Aust” and below that “6 CWT”. This denoted the manufacturer, Bradford Kendall, where the anvil had been manufactured and its weight (672 lbs or 305 kg).Article by Brian Fox 2005 in Blue Mountains Local Studies
From the top of Anvil Rock, there’s a great view of Mount Banks to the east, on the opposite side of the Grose Valley.
To the south is Mount Hay, and Mount Hay Wall.
To the north-west is Blackheath Walls and Bald Head, looking up to the head of the Grose Valley.
It’s a great spot for both sunrise and sunset; the setting sun will give you the best views of the Grose Valley escarpments (the photos below are from sunrise).
Wind Eroded Cave
Another very short track from the same carpark goes to the Wind Eroded Cave, a large and weathered sandstone overhang.
Getting to Anvil Rock
The start of the short bushwalking track to Anvil Rock is at the end of Anvil Rock Road, which is off Hat Hill Road / Perrys Lookdown Road. It’s about an 8km (12min) drive from Blackheath, and 19km (25min) from Katoomba. A long section of the road is unsealed, but suitable for 2WD vehicles.
- Blue Mountains Local Studies – The Anvil Rock, Blackheath
- Trove – Anvil Rock Blackheath [photo]