Govetts Leap – a popular lookout and waterfall located in the Blue Mountains – is sometimes referred to as Bridal Veil Falls as the water cascades over the cliff face in a way that creates a misty, veil-like effect. (The name Bridal Veil Falls is quite common for waterfalls around the world that have this type of appearance, and the name likely originated from the resemblance of the waterfall to a bride’s veil, which is often long and flowing).
The official name of the waterfall is Govett’s Leap, named after William Romaine Govett, a surveyor who first discovered the area in 1831. The name “leap” is a Scottish word for waterfall.
In one of these articles he described his discovery of the cataract, falling into the Grose Valley, which he named Govett’s Leap. “Two small swamps,” he wrote, “near Blackheath, a dreary spot, which the road crosses, afford the shearers a constant supply of water, and these after junction, run rapidly over the cliffs and fall into the deep abyss. The entire fall, which is estimated at 1200 feet, gives this cascade a grandeur that is worthy of notice. An absurd legend grew up afterwards that Govett’s Leap was named after a bushranger who jumped his horse over the precipice when pursued by troopers.Govetts Leap in The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Oct 1931
The stunning waterfall drops 180m over the Taylor Wall to the base of the cliff, before flowing through Govett Gorge and down the Grose Valley. The most popular vantage point to see the waterfall is Govetts Leap Lookout.
A short (but steep) walk down to the Breakfast Rock Lookout and Williams Lookout provides a similar view of the falls, but avoids the crowds.
Further along the cliff-line to the south, the Cliff Top Track crosses the creek just above the falls, and the Barrow Lookout provides another view of the waterfall from the top.
Getting to Govetts Leap (Bridal Veil Falls)
The easiest way to see the waterfall is from Govett’s Leap Lookout, where there is a large parking area at the end of Govetts Leap Road, 2.7km (4min) drive from Blackheath. The lookout has public toilets, picnic tables and access to water. From the carpark it’s a short, wheelchair-accessible walk to the lookout platform. A bushwalking track descends a short way down the cliff line (via a few sets of stone steps) to provide additional viewpoints over the waterfall and the Grose Valley.
The Rodriguez Pass Walking Track (which has been closed due to landslides since 2022) descends into the Grose Valley from Govetts Leap Lookout, and crosses Govetts Leap Brook below the waterfall.