The Blue Mountains is famous for the Three Sisters Echo Point lookout and the Wentworth Falls lookout, both of which undoubtedly offer some of the best panoramic views of the region. One an average weekend you get hundreds of tourists flocking in buses to these lookouts, and it's challenging to try and take in the beauty of the mountains without a jostle from a nearby tourist.
Having seen both the Three Sisters and Wentworth Falls, I now recommend five hidden and less touristy lookouts which offer unparalleled views of the cliffs and valley, but without the buses and crowds. All lie within 30 minutes drive of each other and can easily be covered within a day. It is an easy day trip from Sydney and it is free, so there's no excuse to not hop into your car and start heading out that way already.
Hassans Walls Lithgow
This lookout is the furthest out west, but also the highest in the region at approximately 1100 metres above sea level. According to the tourism Lithgow website, it looks out to Mt Wilson, Mt York, Mt Tarana, Mt Blaxland and the whole Hartley Valley. You can also look out to Kanimbla, Megalong Valleys and Mt Bindo to the south.
Hassans Walls comes across as a local's secret. You see local kids fooling around having a good time. The fences are few and far between so you feel like you are threading on unchartered territory. Being the highest lookout, you feel breathless standing at the top, like you are on the edge of the world.
Sublime Point lookout lives up to its name. It is so underrated that there isn't a website providing more information about this lookout. We found this lookout simply by looking at Google maps and deciding that it must be worth the quick 15 minute drive from Leura village. We were blown away, needless to say. The curve and depth of the valleys makes you want to scream out "I am king of the world" and hear your echo bounce across the wide open space.
There are viewing platforms that protrude out onto the valley. To get there, simply follow Sublime Point road till the very end and you will reach the carpark before a quick walk up some stairs to the viewing platforms.
I rate this lookout 4.5 out of 5, and you should not miss this.
Hargraves Lookout sits at the end of the Shipley Plateau and offers views of the Megalong Valley. It is fairly isolated on a normal day so expect some peace and quiet as you admire the views of the valley. Although not as impressive as the other lookouts, it still ranks highly amongst the locals.
If you are feeling more adventurous, follow the hidden path to the left of the viewing platform and you will come to a protruding rock face. It is fairly safe to walk right out (takes a good 10 minutes) as long as you are wearing the right shoes.
I rate this lookout 3 out of 5, and it's worth stopping by if you're in the area.
Considering the views that Govetts Leap Lookout offers, I'm surprised that it is not more crowded and popular amongst tourists. The panoramic viewing platform allows you to take in the entire Govetts and Grose gorge.
It is nothing short of spectacular. If you look to the right of the viewing platform, you'll see a waterfall flowing off the vertical cliff edge and it makes for a sight to behold.
If you look further down you can see walking tracks leading to more viewing platforms that appear hidden amongst the trees.
Equipped with picnic benches, toilets and access to plenty of bushwalking tracks, Govetts Leap lookout is a hidden gem waiting to be uncovered.
I rate this lookout 5 out of 5. Enough said.
Evans Lookout is connected to Govetts Leap lookout via a 90 minute walking track. It offers similar views of the Govetts and Grose gorge. On a good day, you can see waterfalls flowing off the cliff edges.
It is worth stopping by Evans lookout if you are in the Blackheath area but if you had to choose between Evans and Govetts Leap, I would go for the latter. Having said that, Evans lookout ranks 4 out of 5 in my cards so it is worth stopping by if you are on a roll.