The hike to Hanging Rock is one of the most popular treks in Australia’s Blue Mountains. On the walk you’ll be rewarded with stunning views, plus Hanging Rock is easily one of the most Instagrammable locations in The Blue Mountains! It can be a little tricky to find though, so here’s all you need to know about how to find Hanging Rock in The Blue Mountains!
A trip to The Blue Mountains makes for a great day out or weekend away from Sydney. There are lots of photo-worthy spots in The Blue Mountains such as Katoomba and Wentworth Falls, however these places are always fairly crowded as they are fairly easy to access and so this is where the tour groups always go. If you are looking for somewhere in The Blue Mountains that is a bit more remote and a lot less crowded then definitely head to Hanging Rock!
Important things to know before you go to Hanging Rock:
– It is a 12km round hike down an unpaved track.
– You have to walk, you cannot drive to Hanging Rock.
– The last bit of the hike involves climbing down a steep mountain about 100 metres. There are no steps and the path is unmarked but there is a dirt track you follow.
– Only once you have gone down this dirt track will you be able to see Hanging Rock.
– If you want to actually get onto Hanging Rock you will need to jump across a gap that is about 80cm wide. Only do this if you are capable.
– Before you arrive I really recommend you download offline maps such as google maps or maps.me. You will need it to find the route to Hanging Rock as it is not that straightforward to find nor is it clearly marked.
How to get to the Blue Mountains by train
From Sydney’s Central Station you can take the Blue Mountains line. The train takes 2 hours and leaves roughly every hour. The timetable is below, alternatively click here to view the online version.
How To Get To Hanging Rock
1. Head to Blackheath
To reach Hanging Rock you’ll need to get off the train at Blackheath. Walk onto the main road that runs right next to the train line (Great Western Highway). Turn left, walk for about 10 minutes and then you’ll see Ridgewell Road on your right. Walk down Ridgewell Road right until the end.
If you are driving, drive down Ridgewell Road and at the end you’ll see a space on your right where you’ll be able to park your car. You’ll know where it is as the road ends and there is a big metal gate preventing vehicles from driving further (see picture below left).
Ridgewell Road is a dirt road and within less than a kilometre the road turns into Burramoko Fire Trail. Cars are NOT permitted on Fire Trails, hence why there is a big metal barrier to stop any vehicle access except fire trucks. You must walk the rest of the way now.
2. Walk along Burramoko Fire Trail for almost 6km to Baltzer Lookout
Walk along Burramoko Fire Trail for just over 5 km. The track is wide, mostly flat, easy to follow and it is a straight line all the way, although I do recommend you download an offline maps to be sure you are going the right way and also so you can see how far you have walked! It should take you around 1.5 hours to walk and you’ll end up at Baltzer Lookout (you’ll see the sign for Baltzer Lookout when you get there). There are lots of trees surrounding the track and you will see a lot of trees damaged by the bushfires of 2019 whilst you are walking (see picture above right). Most of the trees on the route seemed to have got burnt by the bushfires, although there is a lot of regrowth already which is good.
You’ll most likely see some locals riding up here on their bikes or running this track.
3. Go to the end of Baltzer Lookout and then turn left
When you see the sign for Baltzer Lookout Hanging Rock continue going straight up the slight hill. You’ll walk for about 100 metres and then you’ll be near the cliff edge and be able to see stunning views of the Blue Mountains (see below left). Note you won’t be able to see Hanging Rock from here! I thought it would be there at the end and would be really easy to spot but it is not yet visible. From here you need to turn left and climb down the side of the mountain a little to be able to see Hanging Rock. Note there is NO sign for Hanging Rock and the path is unmarked. This was where I really struggled to find the path as it wasn’t at all obvious where to go! Also please be careful here as it is unfenced – especially if it is windy!
Turn left and follow the path down the side of the cliff. The path is not obvious at all – there are no steps or signs but you can see a path has kind of been marked out in the form of some rocks and tree roots. Perhaps before the bush fires and the floods the path was more obvious, but it certainly wasn’t obvious when I went. The picture above right is the spot where you need to turn left.
The path is fairly steep, and be careful if it has rained recently as it can be a bit slippy. Hanging Rock is probably only about 100 metres down so it should just take you a few minutes to go down. This is how the path looks from the bottom:
As you descend the side of the mountain Hanging Rock will come into view below you. It looks quite small at first, but when you finally get down level and up close with Hanging Rock it looks so impressive.
4. Enjoy the view
Hanging Rock is such an Instagrammable spot, and because of the long time it takes to get here, it means you’ll often have the viewpoint all to yourself! The view out onto Hanging Rock and the Blue Mountains is really stunning. You can get some really nice pictures near the side of the cliff but obviously please be careful!
5. Climb onto Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock is very close to the viewpoint so you can even walk to the end of Hanging Rock if you are brave enough! It takes less than a minute to get across, that’s how close it is, but beware you need to jump across an 80cm gap to get onto Hanging Rock! This gap separates Hanging Rock from the main cliffs and this is why it is called Hanging Rock as it is literally hanging off the cliff edge! You can see the big crack and gap from the viewpoint. As I was on my own I didn’t want to risk jumping across. Only jump across if you are capable – it is about a 20 metre drop down the gap!
By the way, abseiling down Hanging Rock and rock climbing back up is allowed! I didn’t see anyone doing it, and I doubt many do as it looks far too scary!
What to bring to Hanging Rock
- Wear trainers as the dirt path is fairly uneven. Especially if it has rained lately it is a little bit muddy.
- Bring water and possibly some snacks as it is a long walk and there are no amenities along the way.
- Bring a torch if you plan to be there for sunrise or sunset incase you have to walk part of the way in the dark as there is no lighting.
When to visit Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock can be visited any time of the day. Obviously aim to go there early in the day or later in the afternoon if it is a particularly hot day as you will be walking a lot in the sun. Sunrise and sunset are beautiful here at Hanging Rock, but beware this means walking part of the hike in the pitch dark which I don’t really recommend, especially if you are alone.
If you will be here late in the day I don’t recommend to stay too late. I got to Hanging Rock late afternoon, but I made sure I got back to Blackheath before it got dark as I didn’t want to walk alone in the dark.
Whichever time you visit Hanging Rock it won’t ever be crowded as it is not on the main tourist route of the Blue Mountains.
Day Trips From Sydney
The Blue Mountains are a really great day trip from Sydney. If you are looking for more trips to take from Sydney, why not visit Palm Beach? Palm Beach is Sydney’s most northern beach and the location of where the TV soap opera Home and Away is filmed! Click here to read more!
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