One of the most famous and popular lookouts in the Blue Mountains, Govetts Leap Lookout provides sweeping views of sandstone escarpments and the sheer cliff walls along the Grose Valley. There’s also a good view from here of Govetts Leap, or or Bridal Veil Falls.
Situated near the western end of the Grose Valley, the lookout looks all the way down the valley to the Blue Gum Forest and Mount Banks in the distance.
Govetts Leap Lookout was developed in the late 19th century by the Blackheath Progress Association, and on 20 April 1900 the Rodriguez Pass was officially opened, which desends from here into the bottom of the valley. The lookout was significantly upgraded in 2023, and has a large carpark, toilets, picnic tables, a visitor centre and a number of different vantage points.
Govetts Leap was named after William Govett, a painter and assistant surveyor in the Surveyor-General’s Department of NSW, who discovered the lookout in 1831 when he was surveying on the old Bathurst road.
The fall itself did not impress Govett like the splendor of the environment, the gigantic grey precipices, the tremendous chasms, the vast, inaccessible ravines, the clouds and mists, the rolling vapors, the grim, savage-looking, bare rocks, and all the other scenic grandeur of the mountains. He was more impressed by the awful abyss a mile and a half south of the “Weatherboard Inn,” an abyss so deep that no bottom could be seen, down which descended a stream larger than the “Govett’s Leap,” also supplied by swamps. He wrote: “Upon coming to the edge of the precipice, nothing can sufficiently represent the tremendous magnificence of the scene.”Wonders of Blackheath Gorge and Canyon Nature in her Wildest Mood,, The Daily Telegraph, Fri 25 Nov 1921 (p14)
Bushwalks from Govetts Leap Lookout
There are a number of bushwalking trails that start from or near the lookout area:
- The Cliff Top Track follows the top of the cliffs to the south, as the name suggests, to Evans Lookout (3.5km one-way)
- Pulpit Rock Track follow the cliffs to the north, to Pulpit Rock (4.2km one-way)
- Jungle Creek Circuit does a loop via the base of Horseshoe Falls (3.7km loop)
- The Rodriguez Pass Track descends into the Grose Valley – it was closed in 2022 due to landslides and is unlikely to be re-opened.
Getting to Govetts Leap Lookout
The lookout has a large parking area at the end of Govetts Leap Road, 2.7km (4min) drive from Blackheath. It’s a short, wheelchair-accessible walk to the lookout platform.
- National Parks (NPWS) – Govetts Leap Lookout