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Govetts Leap Lookout: 6 Best Things to Do When You Visit

Govetts Leap Lookout: 6 Best Things to Do When You Visit

Govetts Leap Lookout is one of the most famous lookouts in the Blue Mountains. Providing breathtaking views of Grose Valley and the waterfall called Govetts Leap, this is a lookout that you’ll have to visit. Best of all, there is more to Govetts Leap Lookout than just enjoying views from the marvellous vantage point in Blackheath – there are loads of great walks to do and places to visit near the lookout.

In this article, we’ll go beyond merely describing the lookout and waterfall. We’ll talk about all of the best things to do when visiting Govetts Leap in Blackheath. That way, you can make the most of your trip to this stunning part of the Blue Mountains.

About Govetts Leap Lookout, Blackheath

The Blue Mountains isn’t short of mesmerising lookouts. Alongside Echo Point Lookout and Wentworth Falls Lookout, Govetts Leap Lookout is one of the most well-known lookouts in the area. If you’re a first-time visitor to the Blue Mountains, you should definitely visit this lookout.

The views of mountains from a viewpoint called Govetts Leap Lookout in Blackheath.

After all, it’s one of the best lookouts overlooking the outstanding Grose Valley. Imagine a green eucalyptus forest dominating the floor of a valley, that’s dwarfed by high sandstone cliff walls. And, the lookout provides excellent views of Govetts Leap, which is a 180 metre high waterfall, that’s also known as Govetts Leap Falls, Govetts Leap Waterfall and Bridal Veil Falls. Confusingly, there is already a waterfall called Bridal Veil Falls in the Leura area of the Blue Mountains!

Originally built in 1927, the lookout underwent major upgrades in 2023. So, even if you’ve visited the lookout previously, it’s worth visiting again to see the new and improved setup.

A long and narrow waterfall called Govetts Leap is seen from the lookout with shaded cliff face behind it.

Best Things to Do at Govetts Leap Lookout

As mentioned, there’s more to Govetts Leap Lookout than simply the viewpoint itself. The lookout is a hub of activity, featuring a nearby visitor centre, while the lookout is a great base for exploring nearby waterfalls and doing other walks. In this guide, we’re going to reveal all of the best things to do at and from the lookout. On top of that, we’ll make sure to include loads of great photos of and near Govetts Leap Lookout to hopefully inspire your visit!

To kick things off, we’ll look at one of the best ways to experience Govetts Leap Lookout in Blackheath – watching sunrise!

Accommodation in Blackheath

Read about the best Blue Mountains accommodation

1. Watch Sunrise at Govetts Leap Lookout

A Govetts Leap sunrise is one of the most amazing sunrises you can witness in the Blue Mountains. If you can time your visit to the lookout for sunrise, you’ll surely have an unforgettable visit. Personally, Beck and I have visited the lookout on a few occasions. Twice during the afternoon and once for sunrise. For sure, our most enjoyable visit to the lookout was at sunrise!

The sun is low and piercing through a partly cloudy sky over Grose Valley

2. Explore the Base of Govetts Leap

Other than having gorgeous views of Grose Valley, one of the main attractions to see from the Govetts Leap Lookout is, of course, Govetts Leap! Sure, it isn’t one of the most voluminous or powerful waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. But, it has the potential to be a monster of a waterfall after heavy rain. With that said, even without too much rain, the incredibly high waterfall is still mesmerising to see.

One of the best ways to enjoy the waterfall is to walk to the base of it. By doing the Govetts Leap Descent Walk, it’s possible to reach the bottom of the waterfall. Unfortunately, this trail has been closed for some time due to rockfalls and landslides. It’s uncertain when it will re-open. Having completed the Govetts Leap Descent Walk previously, we can highly recommend doing it once it’s back open.

3. Go to Other Lookouts to See Govetts Leap

Not many people know that it’s possible to see the waterfall from other nearby lookouts. From Govetts Leap Lookout, you can do short walks to reach other lookouts that provide a different viewpoint to enjoy the waterfall. In fact, the Barrow Lookout provides even better views of the waterfall than from Govetts Leap Lookout!

A lookout called Barrrow Lookout overlooks Grose Valley
Barrow Lookout

Barrow Lookout

By following the Cliff Top Track from Govetts Leap Lookout, you can reach Barrow Lookout. Essentially, from Govetts Leap Lookout, you’ll walk 700 metres to reach the other lookout. Along the way, you’ll walk on a track that goes over Govetts Leap Brook, where you’ll find the top of the waterfall. From there, you’ll pass some small cascades, before reaching Barrow Lookout, which provides an excellent vantage point to see Govetts Leap.

Barrow Lookout gets you even closer to the waterfall compared with Govetts Leap Lookout. So, it’s worth going to Barrow Lookout to see the waterfall in all its glory. Also, from Barrow Lookout, you’ll enjoy more stellar views of Grose Valley.

Twin Falls Lookout

By following the Pulpit Rock Track, you can access a lookout called Twin Falls Lookout. From Govetts Leap Lookout, you’ll walk around 250 metres to reach Twin Falls Lookout. As you may expect from the name of the lookout, you’ll be able to see two waterfalls. To your right, you’ll spot Govetts Leap. To your left, you’ll see Horseshoe Falls. Again, confusingly, there is another waterfall in Hazelbrook in the Blue Mountains with the same name!

Admittedly, the views of Govetts Leap are better from both Govetts Leap Lookout and Barrow Lookout compared with Twin Falls Lookout. But, Beck and I still recommend going to Twin Falls Lookout. That’s because you’ll also get to see a second waterfall. And, if you want to see a third waterfall, you’ll need to come this way anyway.

Below, we’ll talk about these other waterfalls you can see in the Blackheath area other than just Govetts Leap.

A thin waterfall called Govetts Leap is seen from Twin Falls Lookout in Blackheath after doing a walk along the Pulpit Rock Track

4. Chase Other Waterfalls From Govetts Leap Lookout

Of course, the Blue Mountains is jam-packed with loads of amazing waterfalls. Below, we’ll talk about the two closest waterfalls to Govetts Leap in Blackheath.

Horseshoe Falls

As mentioned, you’ll get to see Horseshoe Falls from Twin Falls Lookout. Horseshoe Falls is another amazingly high waterfall (approx. 160 metres) to chase. After visiting Twin Falls Lookout, if you continue walking on the Pulpit Rock Track, you’ll soon reach Horseshoe Falls Lookout, where you can enjoy more views of the waterfall. Admittedly, your views of the waterfall will always be slightly impeded by bushland. But, you’ll still get a good look at the waterfall.

By continuing the Pulpit Rock Track, you can arrive near the top of Horseshoe Falls. But, you won’t be able to see the waterfall from any of the lookouts near the top of the waterfall. Albeit, one of the benefits of walking to the top of Horseshoe Falls is seeing another waterfall on the way – Taylor Fall.

Taylor Fall

Near the top of Horseshoe Falls, you’ll find Taylor Fall, which flows along Popes Glen Creek. Without exaggerating, Taylor Fall is one of the most underrated waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. The petite cascade waterfall gracefully tumbles into a shallow pool below.

A small waterfall

5. Start Walks From Govetts Leap Lookout

Govetts Leap Lookout is an excellent base for doing walks in the Blue Mountains. Below, we’ll talk about the most popular walks that you can start from the lookout.

A warn sign neat Govetts Leap Lookout in Blackheath provides instructions for walks

Govetts Leap to Evans Lookout (Cliff Top Track)

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 6.4km
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 320 metres
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Map: AllTrails

The Cliff Top Track is one of the most popular walks to do from Govetts Leap Lookout in Blackheath. As mentioned, during the Cliff Top Track, one of the highlights is enjoying views from Barrow Lookout. From there, you can continue along the Cliff Top Track to reach the well-known Evans Lookout. At this lookout, you’ll enjoy more spectacular views of Grose Valley.

FYI – if you have enough energy once you arrive at Evans Lookout, you could consider doing the majestic Grand Canyon Track. You could complete this circular walk from Evans Lookout and then return to Govetts Leap Lookout.

Views of mountains and eucalypt forest
Evans Lookout

Fairfax Heritage Track

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.4km
  • Time: 30–45 minutes
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 75 metres
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Map: AllTrails

Typically, you’ll start the wheelchair-accessible Fairfax Heritage Track from the Blue Mountain Heritage Centre. From there, you’ll follow the paved path to the George Phillips Lookout before arriving at Govetts Leap Lookout. You can then return to the heritage centre via Govetts Leap Road. Of course, nothing is stopping you from completing this circular walk from Govetts Leap Lookout.

Bonus tip: if you’re short on time, you can always follow a small section of the Fairfax Heritage Track from Govetts Leap Lookout to reach George Phillips Lookout. The walk between these two lookouts is only around 250 metres. From George Phillips Lookout, you’ll enjoy yet another stunning view of Grose Valley.

Green eucalyptus forest dominates the floor of the valley, and is dwarfed by the brown cliffs surrounding it.
George Phillips Lookout

Pulpit Rock Track

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 7.2km
  • Time: 2–3 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 475 metres
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Map: AllTrails

The Pulpit Rock Track is one of the best walks starting from Govetts Leap Lookout. As mentioned, by doing this walk, you’ll see Horseshoe Falls and Taylor Fall. Albeit, even before you reach Twin Falls Lookout to catch your first glimpse of Horseshoe Falls, you’ll reach a superb lookout called Laws Lookout. Truth be told, Laws Lookout is one of our favourite lookouts in the area.

Anyway, from Taylor Fall, it’s possible to continue the Pulpit Rock Track, which ultimately reaches the Pulpit Rock Lookout. Certainly, this is one of the best walks to explore Grose Valley.

Unfortunately, Pulpit Rock Lookout has also been closed for some time due to safety concerns. Thankfully, though, part of the Pulpit Rock Track can remain open even if Pulpit Rock Lookout is closed. That means it’s still possible to visit Laws Lookout and see Horseshoe Falls and Taylor Fall.

Dan at a lookout near Govetts Leap Lookout called Laws Lookout in Blackheath during a walk on the Pulpit Rock Track
Laws Lookout

Braeside Walk (Govetts Leap Loop Track)

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 6.8km
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 230 metres
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Map: AllTrails

The Braeside Walk (AKA the Govetts Leap Loop Track) is a great circular walk option. Overall, the walk combines multiple trails, including part of the Cliff Top Walk, the Braeside Trail and Popes Glen Walk. The walk also involves doing some road walking through Blackheath. Personally, Beck and I didn’t get a chance to do this walk, but it’s certainly a good option if other tracks are closed or you want to do a slightly easier walk with less elevation.

A walking track
Braeside Trail

Rodriguez Pass Walking Track

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 11.6km
  • Time: 4–5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 865 metres
  • Difficulty: Very hard
  • Map: AllTrails

The Rodriguez Pass Walking Track is a challenging walk for experienced bushwalkers. Rated Grade 5, you’ll need your wits about you to take on this walk. Unfortunately, the track has been closed numerous times when Beck and I have visited the area. So, again, this is another walk we haven’t completed yet. But, by all accounts, it’s an adventurous walk with difficult trail navigation.

The circular walk involves doing Govetts Leap Descent and navigating Rodriguez Pass as well as following part of the Grand Canyon Track and the entire Cliff Top Track.

Cliff Top Track

6. Visit the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre

Last but not least, you should visit the Blue Mountain Heritage Centre while you’re in the area. The visitor centre has excellent educational displays depicting the history of the area, including details about the Dharug people – the Traditional Custodians of the land. Otherwise, the centre is a great place to pick up a souvenir or use the bathroom. You’ll find plenty of parking on-site.

A visitor centre

Things to Know Before Going to Govetts Leap Lookout

So, that’s all of the best things to do during a visit to the lookout. Below, we’ll cover some practical tips about visiting.

Read about the best tours in the Blue Mountains

Where Is Govetts Leap Lookout?

The lookout is located in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. The Blue Mountains are around a two hour drive from Sydney. For directions, click on the interactive map below.

A screenshot of a map showing the location of Govetts Leap Lookout
Govetts Leap Lookout map

How to Get to Govetts Leap Lookout

The easiest way to get to the lookout is to drive there. With the recent upgrades, there is now a huge parking area next to the lookout.

It isn’t impossible to get public transport to the lookout from Sydney. But, we don’t recommend it as you’ll likely have a much slower journey compared with driving. If you need to use public transport, you’ll catch a train to Katoomba Station. From the station, you can catch a bus to the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre in Blackheath. From the visitor centre, you can walk to the lookout.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Govetts Leap Lookout Accessibility

With the recent upgrades, the lookout is now completely accessible to those with mobility impairments. Indeed, you’ll find paved wheelchair-accessible paths from the parking area to the lookout. Specifically, there are two designated accessible car parking spots near the lookout. There is also a wheelchair-accessible toilet available.

At the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, you’ll also find two designated accessible parking spaces. In addition, the Fairfax Heritage Track is also paved and wheelchair-friendly. So, those with mobility impairments can easily get between the lookout and the visitor centre.

Govetts Leap Lookout Facilities

The lookout has exceptional facilities. Other than having accessible parking and toilets, there is a large picnic area next to the lookout, featuring sheltered picnic tables.

Picnic area at a lookout called Govetts Leap Lookout in Blackheath

Hiking Gear For the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is a phenomenal place for hiking. Below, you’ll find some of our favourite gear when hiking in the Blue Mountains.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Govetts Leap Lookout FAQs

Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the lookout.

What Is Govetts Leap?

It’s a 180 metre high waterfall in Blackheath.

What Is the Story of the Govetts Leap?

Govetts Leap history and folklore is very interesting. The legend goes that an escaped convict turned bushranger, named Govett, leapt off the cliff at the waterfall to avoid capture from the police. Albeit, in reality, the waterfall was named after Englishman William Romaine Govett, who was a surveyor who found the waterfall in 1831. The word ‘leap’ is actually a Scottish word, which means a small waterfall.

Is Govetts Leap Lookout Open?

The lookout may close for various reasons. To check if the Govetts Leap Lookout is closed, head to Blue Mountains Local Alerts on the NSW National Parks website.

Is There Camping at Govetts Leap Lookout in Blackheath?

There is no camping at the lookout.

Do you have any questions about Govetts Leap in Blackheath? Please let us know in the comments below.

We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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