Last stop of the day was the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens. I found out about them from the brochures at my accommodation, and the signs around town led me to the garden that was tucked away in a sleepy corner of Blackheath.
It was the wrong time of year for rhododendrons, but I was quite enchanted by this place. Set in a dell, the garden was a very peaceful place to be on a weekday.
There were some autumn leaves to view.
And a few flowers were in bloom to add to the colour.
All in all, a lovely day out.
One great thing about the Grose Valley is that it has plenty of viewpoints. About 5km away from Govetts Leap is Pulpit Rock. Its lookout is a five minute walk down some steps (pretty easy by Blue Mountains standards), until you come to this platform.
It gives you a view back to Govetts Leap and out further into the valley.
But wait, there’s more! For those unafraid of heights, you can venture down to other platforms that are really on the precipice.
I was too chicken to venture that far, but I saw some French backpackers that ventured into the realm of stupidity – they climbed over the barrier to grab some selfies of themselves seemingly dangling over the edge. Really? Sigh…
The following day, it was time to explore the other side of Blackheath. The most popular lookout is Govetts Leaps, on northern outskirts of the town. The view into the Grose Valley, is spectacular no matter the weather.
A few k’s down the valley is Pulpit Rock. I’ve always wanted to go there, and was all set to walk it down – but I didn’t count on the track conditions – steep, eroded and slippery.
To the right of the lookout, the waterfall was still running down the cliff-face – the dry winter hadn’t yet arrived.
To the left, the horseshoe-shaped cliffs were a rich green with ferns and other temperate rainforest plants clinging to the sandstone for dear life.
I did manage to get to Pulpit Rock, but that’s for another post.
Much of the walk was along a fire trail. Aside from scribbly gums, there were grass trees abound.
The trail led up to a high point on the plateau, marked by another lovely gum tree.
The view over Kanimbla Valley was lovely too.
Later in the day, I drove down to Hargreaves Lookout, on the tip of the plateau. It afforded views of both the Megalong and Kanimbla Valleys. It’s down an unsealed road, and so gets a fraction of the visitors that come to the more accessible lookouts in the Mountains.
Back in May, I spent a few days in the Blue Mountains. I based myself in Blackhealth, and stayed at this cute cottage on the Shipley Plateau.
On my first full day I did a circuit walk around the plateau. It started with a walk through the tall gum trees.
I’m always fascinated by scribbly gum trunks.
The vista soon opened out to a view of the fruit orchards and the Megalong Valley beyond.