A touch of adrenaline makes this lookout more than just a good view.
With Mount Blackheath’s more famous sister lookout – Hargraves Lookout – so close by it’s tempting to bypass this one when exploring the upper mountains, but I urge you not to.
Mount Blackheath Lookout offers not only spectacular views over the pastoral paradise that is the Kanimbla Valley – as well as surrounding cliffs – but it’s also a great vantage point for watching paragliders launch off the side of the mountain and drift like enormous, colourful birds around the landscape.
The main lookout is at the end of the dirt Mt Blackheath Rd and has a well-signed track leading to a fenced lookout area. This is alone is stunning, but there are a few side paths off the main track leading to various unauthorised lookouts that beg for exploration. If you do check these out, you do so at your own risk. Down to the right of the main lookout the view takes in both the Kanimbla Valley and the cliffs below Mt Victoria, and to the left – the cliffs of Shipley’s Plateau. Both offer a unique opportunity to watch of the gliders as they soar and spiral on thermals close to the cliff edges.
The gliders’ take-off point is on the left as you approach the end of Mt Blackheath Rd, a short way before the main lookout. It’s worth checking it out to see the view from a different aspcet and to see the way the gliders set up and analyse the breeze for the best moment to take flight. You’ll also get to witness the slightly terrifying take-off process, all of which makes you ponder whether you’d have the nerve to run off the side of the mountain and into the sky in a flying armchair. (If the answer is ‘yes’, you’ll have to travel to Stanwell Park near Wollongong where the closest hang-gliding operators are located. Tandem flights are not offered in the Blue Mountains.)
- Time: 30 mins
- Distance: A short walk from the lookout car park
- Getting there: Turn right off Shipley Rd onto Mt Blackheath Rd
- Style: Lookout