Offering some of the most spectacular views over the Megalong Valley, Hargraves Lookout is located near the end of the Shipley Plateau in Blackheath. (Unlike Pulpit Rock, Govetts Leap and Evans Lookout – which are equally spectacular and overlook the Grose Valley, the Hargraves Lookout provides a completely different perspective.)
From the main lookout next to the carpark you get sweeping views over the Megalong Valley and the cliffs of the Narrow Neck Plateau to the south.
On a clear day, you can as far as Oberon, about 40km to the west, and Medlow Bath to the east.
Just below the top lookout, another fenced vantage point faces a similar direction, but provides better views of Coxs River Valley and the Kanimbla Valley to the west.
A rough walk tracking descends along the narrow ridge to the end of Panorama Point – it’s unfenced and has a few stone steps of varying quality (the walking track was opened in 1935, twenty years after Hargraves Lookout was officially opened).
Near the end of the ridge is Hargreaves Trig.
Just beyond the trig station is a fenced lookout platform, perched over at the end of the ridge.
The views from here are spectacular, as there’s nothing in front of the lookout other than the cliffs of the Narrow Neck to your left, Kanangra Walls straight ahead and Coxs River Valley and the Black Range on the right.
Although the views from the main Hargraves Lookout are not too different from those at the end of the ridge, it’s worth doing the shot walk.
Hargraves Lookout was opened by Councillors of the Blue Mountains Shire on 17 March 1915, and is historically significant as one of the first scenic areas developed for tourists by the Blue Mountains Shire. It was named after Blackheath pioneer William Hargraves (1839-1925), who was one of the first settlers at Blackheath and Medlow, and developed an extensive system of walking tracks at Medlow. (He was also the second son of Edward Hargraves, the man credited with the discovery of gold in Australia.)
A new sight of exceptional beauty and grandeur was opened at Blackheath by the councillors of the Blue Mountains Shire. The members of the Blackheath New Sights Committee accompanied the councillors. The new sight is probably one of the most extensive on [sic] the Blue Mountains.
Members of the Blue Mountains Shire visited Blackheath today for the purpose of inspecting the new beauty spots, which have been opened up owing to the vigilance of the New Sights Committee. The new lookout at the end of Shipley Road, which gives a magnificent view of the Kanimbla Valley, was the main point of interest. At this spot the councillors were entertained at luncheon by members of the committee.
The lookout opens up one of the finest valley views on the Mountains. At present the spot has not been named, but it is suggested that it be called Hargrave’s Lookout, to perpetuate the name of the father of Blackheath, who discovered 30 years ago the neck of land on which the lookout is erected.”Heritage: Newsletter of the Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage Organisations Inc, May-June 2019
Getting to Hargraves Lookout
The Hargraves Lookout carpark is about 7.5km (15min) from Blackheath, via Shipley Road – the last couple of kilometres are unsealed but suitable for all cars. The carpark has a shelter and toilets. From the carpark there are a couple of lookout platforms reached via a short, concrete, wheelchair-accessible path. A rough walking trail descends to the end of Paradise Point, where you’ll find Hargreaves Trig and another small, fenced lookout.