There are a couple of lookouts on Blackwall Mountain, a popular bushwalking (and mountain-biking) spot between Ettalong and Woy Woy. The reserve was named by Rock Davis, a shipbuilder, after Blackwall on the River Thames where many naval vessels were built.
Blackwall Mountain Reserve was known as Signal Hill. Rock Davis kept a watchman on top of Signal Hill to sight the arrival of vessels, in which he was interested, as they came to the entrance of Broken Bay. He would then send a steam launch to tow the ketches up to the wharf.Place Names of the Central Coast (E. Pratt)
Access is via a service trail from the end of Bay View Crescent, which ascends to a large water tank (it serves as a storage and water pressure control reservoir for the surrounding areas).
There’s a network of informal trails on the top of Blackwall Mountain: the main lookout is just below thre top of the mountain, and is reached by a not-so-obvious bushwalking track.
The Blackwall Mountain Lookout itself is very obvious once you reach it! The fenced platform offers sweeping views to the south over Ettalong and Wagstaffe on the other side of Brisbane Water, and out to Lion Island and Barrenjoey Head in the distance.
Continue along the obvious bushwalking track that follows the southern edge of Blackwall Mountain, with some more views from rock platforms along the track.
At the end of the track is what’s informally called the Rip Lookout (The Rip being the passage between Daleys Point and Orange Grove), where a rock cairn stands on a rock platform. There are similar views from here as from the Blackwall Mountain Lookout.
Getting to the Blackwall Mountain Lookout
There are some informal bushwalking / mountain-biking tracks up to the top of Blackwall Mountain; the main access is from the end of Bay View Crescent (Blackwall). None of the trails are signposted, but it’s hard to get lost in the very small reserve.