The steep walking track from Perrys Lookdown near Blackheath to the Blue Gum Forest at the bottom of the Grose Valley is a challenging but rewarding bushwalk adventure.
The Acacia Flats camping ground is only 500m away from the forest where you can set up your tent and stay overnight in beautiful surroundings.
|Perrys Lookdown to Blue Gum Forest|
|Distance:||4.4 km (return)|
|Grade:||Hard (very steep)|
How to Get There
Head to Blackheath via the Great Western Highway. In Blackheath, turn east into Hat Hill Road and follow the signs to Perrys Lookdown.
Hat Hill Road turns into Perrys Lookdown Road. Be careful as this is a dirt road with a few rough sections, but it’s manageable with a 2WD car.
There is a small car park and a campground right at the start of the walking track, which will guide you to Perrys Lookdown, Blue Gum Forest and Acacia Flats.
The walking track starts at the “Perrys Lookdown Track” signpost next to the car park.
While this is certainly not a very long walking track, it is a very steep one and you should allow at least 3-4 hours to complete the return walk.
The first highlight is Perrys Lookdown, a lookout point that offers panoramic views of the Grose Valley and the high sandstone cliffs of Mount Banks.
The views of the valley below will give you an idea of how far down the track will go to get to the Blue Gum Forest.
Not too far away from Perrys Lookdown is the Dockers Lookout which offers similar views, albeit from a slightly different angle. From the Dockers Lookout you can see glimpses of the Blue Gum Forest at the bottom of the valley.
Take a moment and have a look at a memorial that was created for four boys of the Church of England Boys Society. Tragically, in November 1957 these boys lost their lives in a bush fire in that area.
Blue Gum Forest
From the two lookouts, the track zigzags its way into the valley to the Blue Gum Forest.
Located at the intersection of the Grose River and Govetts Creek, the Blue Gum Forest is an impressive collection of majestic eucalyptus trees.
If it wasn’t for the efforts of local bushwalkers, the Blue Gum Forest would have been axed in the 1930’s.
A farmer by the name of Clarrie Hungerford managed to purchase a lease of the forest. His plan was to clear the gum trees for farming purposes.
Local bushwalkers became aware of his drastic plans and urged him to save the forest. Hungerford agreed to sell back the lease for 130 Australian Pounds, a huge amount of money in those days.
The funds were eventually raised, Hungerford gave up the lease, and Blue Gum Forest was saved from destruction.
The government soon turned the area into a protected reserve named Blue Gum Forest. In 1962, Blue Gum Forest became officially part of the Blue Mountains National Park.
Acacia Flats Camping Ground
Located on the bottom of the Grose Valley, Acacia Flats is a beautiful camping ground surrounded by tall Acacias and Blue Gums. There are lots of flat sections in the area where campers can set up their tents.
As can be expected, facilities are minimal with one pit toilet and old tree logs to sit on. Water can be retrieved from Govetts Creek that runs next to the camping ground.
Blue Gum Forest and the camping ground are located at an intersection where several walking tracks connect. This makes the camping ground the perfect base for bushwalking in the area.
From the camping ground, you can hike to Lockleys Pylon and Du Faur Head going south-east, to Govetts Leap or Evans Lookout via Junction Rock going south-west, to Victoria Falls going north, and of course to Perrys Lookdown going west.
Park your car at the Perrys Lookdown campground right at the start of the walking track to the Blue Gum Forest.
Please be mindful that Perrys Lookdown Road is a dirt road with a few rough sections so it’s recommended to drive carefully.