Rectangle: Rounded Corners: GOING PLACES-BLUE MOUNTAINS CONTINUED

Just up the road from this lookout is the Mount Blackheath Lookout along Mount Blackheath Road. Being right at the very end of Shipley Plateau, it offers excellent views of the Kanimbla Valley. The area has picnic tables & near the lookout there is a new 1076-metre high ramp built for hang glider take-offs, which weather permitting might give you the opportunity to see gliders riding the thermals after launching from this popular site.

On the Bells Line of Road, there is Mt Wilson, Mt Tomah Botanical Gardens, Wheeny Creek along with many more superb places for you to explore & always a photographer’s paradise.

 At the start of the Mountains near Penrith you can see, the Knapsack Gully Bridge, which was built in 1846, for the railway to go over the deep gully, along with The Lennox Bridge at Mitchell’s Pass, which was built between 1832-1833 & the Lapstone Zig Zag that was for the trains to get up the steep slope. The train would haul the carriages up to a siding, then the steam engine would be uncoupled, moved to the back of the train via another track, & haul the carriages up to the next siding at a higher point, with the procedure repeated until the train was at the top, so it could continue its journey over the mountains.

Exactly as at the Lithgow end, but on a smaller scale.

 At the Mt Victoria end, you have Hartley just near the base of the Mountains & a little further on there is the city of Lithgow & its surrounds.

The Blue Mountains are justifiably world famous. And it’s not just those World Heritage-listed landscapes that draw people back. Grand gardens, fabulous food (much of it with equally fabulous views), crisp mountain air, heritage hotels, galleries and artisans, and a string of townships each with their own charm, there are few better places to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself.

You can make the trip by heading up the mountains from Penrith along the M4 Motorway through, Lapstone & Glenbrook where the road becomes the A32 (The Great Western Highway), all the way to Katoomba, then onto Blackheath & Mt Victoria.

Here you can continue to either journey through to Lithgow down Victoria Pass or turn off at the Darling Causeway through to Bell at the intersection at The Bells Line of Road (B59), where if you turn left, you will end up at Lithgow or by turning right, takes you back to Richmond or Windsor.

Once here, you can take Castlereagh Road back to Penrith to complete a round trip of about 152kms.  If you decide to travel through to Lithgow on the A32 at Mt Victoria then back to Bell on Chifley Road, add an extra 42 kms to the trip.

Note the Bells Line of Road is very steep, winding & remote with not many places for fuel & coffee till you get to Bilpin.

There are many attractions to see from either way through the mountains & the view is constantly changing as does the weather, from very hot to snow in the upper reaches & with each new season comes endless delightful photographic possibilities, so go ahead, make your day, no, your weeks, as you explore the area.

 Please note that some areas within the Blue Mountains National Park are currently closed because of recent severe storm damage.

You can check via the NSW National Parks site.

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