The Three Sisters are arguably the most famous lookout in the Blue Mountains. And it’s a stunning spot indeed with a fascinating Aboriginal story. But after a few trips around the region, I’m highly convinced most visitors actually skip the true best lookout in the Blue Mountains. I was a dozen times more impressed by Pulpit Rock (Blackheath) than by the famous Three Sisters.
Off the beaten path and surrounded by the immensity of the Blue Mountains, Pulpit Rock lookout is my favourite lookout in the region.
And after abseiling and canyoning, a visit to Pulpit Rock Lookout may be the best way to experience the immensity of the Blue Mountains.
A short set of stairs leads to a platform with great views of Pulpit Rock, a pinnacle detached from the cliffs. With the Grose Valley below, sometimes described as the Australian Grand Canyon, and Mount Banks and Mount Hays in the background, it’s already stunning. But the best is yet to come.
You can continue down the stairs to reach the pinnacle. As you stand on the platform built on Pulpit Rock, you are surrounded by the majestic Blue Mountains. It’s breathtaking. It’s one of these places where you feel tiny. Those who are scared of heights may feel a bit challenged as they dominate the canyon. Others may dream of having wings to follow the beautiful black or white cockatoos over the canopy.
How to go to Pulpit Rock (Blackheath)
Although Pulpit Rock is a fantastic lookout, it’s still off the beaten track. We found two options to reach Pulpit Rock:
- via a 2WD dirt road: you can park your car at the end of Pulpit Rock Road (access via Hat Hill Road);
- via the Pulpit Rock walking track from Govetts Leap Lookout.
From the end of Pulpit Rock Road, it’s a short 400-metre walk (one way) to the lookout.
Public transport to Pulpit Rock (Blackheath)
There is no public transport to Pulpit Rock.
If you don’t want to hire a car, you may be interested in joining a tour. It’s the easiest way to enjoy Pulpit Rock and optimise your time in the Blue Mountains. This small group tour* and this private tour* both have Pulpit Rock and Govetts Leap on their itinerary (please double-check if changes occurred).
Alternatively, for a budget option, you can catch the train to Blackheath on the Blue Mountains train line. From the Blackheath station, you can walk (3 km one way) or catch a bus (698) to the Govetts Leap Lookout. From there, you can hike to Pulpit Rock (see below).
Govetts Leap to Pulpit Rock walk
We were travelling with two cars so we chose to park one at Pulpit Rock and the second one at Govetts Leap lookout. It allowed us to walk one way (3.5 km) and have plenty of time to explore other beautiful lookouts near Pulpit Rock and Blackheath.
I loved the diversity of the walk. It offers constant, beautiful views from different angles over the Grose Valley, its canyon and waterfalls (Bridal Veils Falls and Horseshoe Falls). The surroundings were always changing as we walked near the cliffs, passed eroded caves, through the forest and across a river.
As the track stays at the top of the cliffs, it’s one of the easiest walks in the Blackheath area (grade 3, moderate difficulty). I managed to do it wearing a walking boot (but I probably shouldn’t have tried), but it wasn’t as easy as I expected compared to the Wentworth Falls walk we did the day before, for example.
Things to do near Pulpit Rock (Blackheath)
Although you should plan time to stay for a while at Pulpit Rock lookout to admire the view, you won’t spend a full day there. There are other lovely spots to explore nearby.
Venture south towards Evans Lookout
If you have two cars and wish to walk a bit longer, you can park one car at Evans Lookout (+3km one way, before Govetts Leap lookout) and start the walk to Pulpit Rock from there. This track mostly stays at the top of the cliffs.
We didn’t go all the way to Evans Lookout. Instead, we opted to walk to Barrow Lookout and Bridal Veil Falls from Govetts Leap. It is a short return walk (30 minutes in total), but it starts with a 200-metre descent that you will have to climb on the way back.
Drive north to Anvil Rock and the Wind Eroded Cave
Anvil Rock and the Wind Eroded Cave are less than 10 minutes away by car from Pulpit Rock, at the end of Hat Hill Road (dirt road).
If you haven’t had enough of the views of the Grose Valley, it’s worth checking out Anvil Rock. It’s a short and easy walk (5 minutes) that provides once again fantastic views from a different angle. If it works in your itinerary, you may want to start with Anvil Rock before going to Pulpit Rock to keep a growing wow effect.
The Wind Eroded Cave is also a 5-minute walk, and for once in the Blue Mountains, it’s flat! Although you may have seen overhangs created by the wind on a few other walks in the Blue Mountains, this one will feel special. It’s gigantic!
The Perry’s Lookdown is another lookout not far away by car. Honestly, it’s not as good as the other views over the valley.
Go a bit further to Victoria Falls
A visit to the Blue Mountains isn’t complete without seeing waterfalls. The most famous ones are Leura and Wentworth Falls. But you may want to go off the beaten track again and check out Victoria Falls, a dozen kilometres away from Blackheath.
The Victoria Falls lookout, 400-metres away from the car park, is another lookout on the valley. It’s nowhere as good as Pulpit Rock and you cannot see the falls from there. Although the drive on a crest was lovely, it’s not worth going all the way there just for the lookout.
But if you feel like walking 3 kilometres on a steep track, you can get the opportunity to see the Victoria Cascades and Falls from the top of the falls to the bottom.
Have you been to Pulpit Rock (Blackheath)? Share your experience in the comments below!
Where is Pulpit Rock (Blackheath)?
You’ll find in blue on the map below Pulpit Rock lookout and the Pulpit Walk track. The grey icons show the other places I mentioned in the article.
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