Rectangle: Rounded Corners: GOING PLACES-THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

The Blue Mountains are part of The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, which is Australia's most substantial mountain range making it the fifth longest land-based range in the world. It stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 miles) from Dauan Island in the Torres Strait off the northern tip of Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales, then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into the central plain at the Grampians in western Victoria.

Some people may think that the lookout at Echo Point where the Three Sisters stand, is the only spot that has the incredible scenery of the escarpments that this area is famous for.

Little do they know that the mountains are full of places equally as good if not better and are not commercialised & hardly have any people at them, something that we prefer so that we can have our picnics in peace.

Some of the places that we have visited are Mermaids Cave in Blackheath, Anvil Rock, Paul Harris Memorial lookout, Banks Lookout on The Bells Line of Road, Bellbird Hill lookout over the Hawkesbury Valley, Mt Blackheath Lookout which offers views over the Kanimbla Valley. Govetts Leap & Evans lookout, Megalong Valley which has a great camping area at the end of the dirt road, with another one also at the river near the 6ft walking track. This road travels through private property, so please be mindful of leaving gates as you find them. If open leave open, likewise if found to be closed leave it like that, as farmers could be moving livestock around.  Katoomba’s Narrow Neck Plateau, the many spectacular waterfalls throughout the mountains, Ingar Camping Grounds, McMahon’s Lookout, Mt Victoria, Hydro Majestic & Leura, all offering excellent views.

Another spot is The Hargraves Lookout Reserve located at the southern end of Shipley Plateau which has historical significance as one of the first scenic areas developed for tourists by the Blue Mountains Shire and later redeveloped by the Blackheath Municipal Council.

It is one of the more unusual lookouts of the region, providing extensive views of the southern Blue Mountains not available from any other tourist lookout within the area & has been often referred to as the "Rim of the World" or even the finest in the Commonwealth.

 William Hargraves had apparently stood on the spot in about 1885, hence the name, he purchased the Scotch Thistle Inn, Blackheath in 1878 and owned other land in the village in the 1880s & was commonly referred to as the Father of Blackheath.

 In the 1890s, he developed an extensive system of walking tracks at Medlow Bath, which was later incorporated into the Hydro Majestic grounds.

In 1935 a walking track was developed from Hargraves Lookout to Panorama Point.

Many would not realise that a special feature of this lookout is the stone shelter shed which has been constructed using Traditional Scottish building method which is characterised by the gravitational methods employed.

Each stone is laid upon stone, the weight of each bearing onto those immediately below without using cement between them, with arches, lintels and sills distributing the structural forces around openings.

In this tradition, walls were the primary loadbearing structural element, with piers, columns and buttresses of the same material emerging over the centuries as man sought to extend the architectural possibilities of stone construction.

This method of construction has been around for centuries, but I had missed this & Vicki quickly pointed it out so that I would photograph the building.

This particular construction does have some cement used in parts, possibly for safety reasons or to prevent the theft of the rocks.

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