Monday, 9 October 2017

A Peek at the Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains, New South Wales.

The iconic Three Sisters formation – best seen on a chilly Winter’s night from Echo Point.
Echo Point is a popular lookout and access point to many walking trails along the clifftops and down to the valley below.

The Three Sisters are weathered sandstone peaks overlooking the Jamison Valley.
The Jamison Valley is the valley on the south of the major Blue Mountains towns of Katoomba, Leura and Wentworth Falls.

Under the Echo Point view deck on the very edge of the cliff

Looking up Dogface Wall sandstone cliff from Federal Pass. A landslide brought it down.

Built along the base of the cliffs Federal Pass is a magnificent walk through Jamison Valley. It passes dense forests, waterfalls, picnic spots and scenic views of the dramatic cliff lines, and the iconic Three Sisters. It can be accessed from at least four places, with each access point including a challenging climb down and back up the valley.

Standing in ‘The Landslide’, a large rockfall into the valley.
The actual landslides occurred over a few months back in 1931.

No visit to the Blue Mountains is complete without setting foot at one of the most famous lookouts in Australia: Govett's Leap lookout. Many of the finest views and photos in the Blue Mountains are from here. There are tracks descending into the valley or following the Cliff Tops to Pulpit Rock or Evans Lookout. 
Govett’s Leap to Pulpit Rock

Govett’s Leap was named after William Govett who was surveying the old road to Bathurst. The lookout is a great vantage for surveying the northerly views to Pulpit Rock, Mount Banks and the upper reaches of the Grose Valley.

In 1903 Rodriguez Pass (named after Thomas Rodriguez who was instrumental for its construction) was constructed underneath the Govett’s Leap Falls, to connect to Evans Lookout and Govetts Leap.

Two waterfalls on the north side of Blackheath are perhaps the highest waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. These are Horseshoe Falls (above) and Govetts Leap (below, also known as Bridal Veil Falls).
Unlike the waterfalls of Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba these two waterfalls do not hit the half-way ledge.

Rodriguez pass

The Grose Valley lies at the heart of the Blue Mountains National Park. 

Pulpit Rock jutting out at middle left, the remote isolated pinnacle of a lookout is far from the popular tourist spots. This tourist can only admire from a distance. Someday I might get there...

Horseshoe falls
In the centre of the Grose Valley lies the magnificent Blue Gum Forest.

Blue mountains to Mount Hay
Rodriguez Pass

Govett’s Leap lookout.

The magnificent Govetts Leap (Bridal Veil Falls) is a 180m drop to the base of the cliff. The water sprays dancing in the breeze is quite mesmeric.

Sandstone Cliffs from Govetts Leap Lookout.

Grand Canyon Track.
Gum trees on the Grand Canyon Track.
By early in the twentieth century there were numerous tracks down from the clifftops to the valley. To link them, a track down Grand Canyon was constructed. 
Sandstone walls, waterfalls and abundant native plants line this awesome Grand Canyon track, a hidden gem deep in the Blue Mountains.
The historic loop track is intimate and adventure-filled with always something amazing around the next bend. It is well-shaded and meanders through luscious native vegetation of ferns and golden wattles, and escorted by Greaves Creek.

A girl once said to me: 'It's my way or the highway.'
I took the high way.


Grand Canyon Track falls

I found my way out of the Grand Canyon tunnel back to the landslide area.

Lyrebirds are regular sightings in the forest floors along Federal Pass.

Climbing grubs
What can you tell me little birdie?

In the Blue Mountains, the trail lead to somewhere.
Pulpit rock
Banks Wall is the western escarpment of Mount Banks.
Banks Wall has the highest cliffs on mainland Australia (up to 510 metres high).

Blue Mountains and Grose Valley.
The peak at left on the near escarpment is Mount Banks. Named after the famed botanist Sir Joseph Banks, Mount Banks (1,034m) is a landmark along The Botanists Way in the Explorers Range.
Blue Mountains

Banks Wall stretches for 2 kilometres