Start: Ridgewell Road
End: Baltzer Look out (return to Ridgewell Road)
Time taken: 3 hours
USP: Incredible views at the look out
Distance: 12km round trip
We’d seen a lot of amazing photos from this spot. It’s accessible by train but it’s a long journey. Around 3 hours one way from Sydney, which can take a fair chunk of your day if you plan to go there and back in one day. If you stay in the town for a few days though it’s a must do hike. A quick Google Image search of ‘Hanging Rock’ is all you need to get motivated.
We were staying in Blackheath Glen Holiday Park, just on the edge of Blackheath and a short 5 minute drive to the start of the walk. Driving a 14 year old camper van we opted to park up before the unsealed road began, but if you’re in a more solid vehicle, you can drive up the unsealed road to the public car park, knock a few k off the walk and start at the trail proper.
The walk up to the view point is easy enough. Wide, sandy fire trail cuts through a Gum forest with occasional views through the trees to the rolling green hills beyond. To be honest, the walk does get a little dull. The day we went there was very little bird life to be seen and each turn produced more sandy, winding, Gum lined fire trail.
Stick with it though. The good stuff is right at the end!
As you approach Baltzer look out you suddenly realise you’re on a high ridge leading into a deep gorge. The land drops away either side of you and the breeze starts to pick up. One final scramble up some rocks, past the information signs, round a bush and the final view smacks you round the face.
Either side the ridge drops away several hundred feet down steep cliffs into deep valley. A waterfall gushes out of a suspended valley to the right and Hanging Rock juts out of the bush down to our left. It’s an awe inspiring view!
We spent the best part of an hour scrambling around the cliff edge, shooting photos, peering over the edge and taking it all in. It’s worth getting up early for this one. On our way back around lunch time, there were several big groups heading towards the ridge. The view point genuinely gets quite narrow in places and we didn’t fancy manoeuvring around crowds of people intent on the perfect selfie with so much loose rock around.
The walk back followed the same rhythm as the walk out; Fire trail, sand, Gum trees, but the journey was definitely worth the destination to get to the best views we’ve seen yet in the Blue Mountains.