1.4 km return, 40 minutes
After a week of winter rain, I was relieved that the sun finally came out on the last day of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. With our daughter spending the long weekend with my parents, Andrew and I decided to take our two-year-old son for an easy walk to the Nepean Lookout in Glenbrook. The Nepean Lookout boasts stunning views of Fairlight Gorge that was carved by the Nepean River along part of a fault line running along the eastern edge of the Blue Mountains.
To get to the track, we set our GPS to “Bruce Road, Glenbrook”. We followed Bruce Road until we reached the NPWS entrance gates. After paying for our $65 multi-park annual pass, it was $8 for a single park day entry, we started our car sightseeing driving down along the paved Oaks Fire Trail. There was a small creek crossing and I was relieved that our car easily drove over the 200 mm of water running across the crossing. The paved road turned to red dirt track and at the Oaks Picnic Area, we veered left following the signs to the Nepean Lookout which then led to the Nepean Lookout Car Park. The track is past the locked gate at the end of the Nepean Lookout fire trail.
Our son wanted to be carried at the start of the walk but shortly after, he asked to walk so he could use his walking stick properly. The wide fire trail was perfect for him to be let loose as Andrew took photos while I scrutinised the barks of trees trying to identify Scribbly Gum, Black Ash, and Sydney Peppermint trees from the hints provided by Veechi Stuart in the second edition of her book, Blue Mountains Best Bushwalks. There is now a third edition available!
The walk to the lookout was indeed short for a fairly long drive as Wild Walks described in their track notes. When we got to the Lookout, we were lucky to be the only ones there. We chose a safe spot to lay our picnic and enjoyed a good half hour picnicking and basking in the sun on the cold unfenced sandstone lookout. The water in the Gorge was still and our view was interrupted only by occasional specks of white from the cockatoos crossing the Gorge over the treetops.
We were careful to hold on to our son at all times, a task he made easy because he himself was scared to run around knowing that it was a sheer drop if he stood too close to the edge. As Andrew took more photos, I spent some time with my son inspecting and taking photos of the sandstone. The sandstone typical in this side of the Blue Mountains is the yellowish Hawkesbury Sandstone which is the type of sandstone used in most old buildings in Sydney like the Art Gallery of New South Wales, St Mary’s Cathedral, and some of the remaining original buildings in Sydney University.
We decided to head back after our son finished observing some ants and inspecting the lichen on a rock he was climbing. We returned the way we came.
On our way back to the car park, my son came across some bike tracks that he thought were butterfly tracks.
There were more families on their way to the Lookout with picnics on hand as we neared the car park. As Andrew once again drove along the Oaks Fire Trail, I saw more walking tracks and a potential campsite I missed on the way in. We will definitely visit this part of the Blue Mountains again soon.