Vale of Avoca lookout

Lower Grose Valley area in Blue Mountains National Park

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Vale of Avoca lookout offers glorious views across the deep gorges and wilderness of the Lower Grose Valley, in World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, near Richmond.

What to
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water, sturdy shoes
Please note
  • This lookout is unfenced, please take extreme care.
  • Stay back from cliff edges at all times and ensure children are supervised.
  • You can drive, mountain bike, trail run or walk to the carpark, then walk the 140m to the lookout.

Perched 250m above the wild Grose River, Vale of Avoca lookout is only 15mins drive from Richmond or Kurrajong but feels worlds away. Soak in the wild landscapes of the Lower Grose Valley on the 140m walk from the carpark to the lookout.

From the unfenced sandstone rock platforms admire the natural amphitheatre of forest-clad mountains plunging into deep, v-shaped gorges. The round hump of Mount Hay, near Katoomba, can be seen in the distance.

Bring a picnic, meditate, indulge your inner artist, or spot the local wildlife, wedge-tailed eagles are common here. You might glimpse the rare glossy black cockatoo, or even a koala.

The lookout is also home to many uncommon plants, including the native cranberry and critically endangered scrub turpentine. One of the world’s rarest species of heath, sparse heath, grows below the lookout and by the Grose River. Look for its cream, tubular bell-shaped flowers from April to June.

To make a day of it, enjoy a bushwalk to the Grose River, via nearby Waterboard fire trail. Allow 3 hours for the 5km return walk. In spring and summer, you can cool off in the pristine river, or try your luck fishing for Australian bass.

When you’re ready to leave, explore more of the Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Property along Botanists Way.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Vale of Avoca lookout.

Getting there and parking

Vale of Avoca lookout is located in the Lower Grose Valley area of Blue Mountains National Park. To get there:

From Richmond:

  • Head northwest on the B59 Kurrajong/Bells Line Road towards Lithgow
  • Cross the Hawkesbury River then turn left onto Grose Vale Road
  • Follow for 7km then turn left onto Cabbage Tree Road and drive 3km
  • At the end of the sealed road, continue 1.5km on Vale of Avoca fire trail to the top carpark, at the gate
  • From the gate at the carpark it's a 140m walk to the lookout.

Road quality

  • Mixture of sealed and unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles (no long vehicle access)

Weather restrictions

  • All weather


  • Parking is available at the gate at the end of the fire trail.
  • Street parking is also available at the southern end of Cabbage Tree Road, a 1.5km walk or bike ride to the lookout.

By bike

Mountain bike access to Vale of Avoca lookout is only available via public roads.

By public transport

From Richmond, take the 680 bus Grose Valley/Grose Wold loop service to the corner of Grose Vale and Cabbage Tree roads. It a 4.5km walk along Cabbage Tree Road and Vale of Avoca fire trail to the lookout.


  • The nearest public toilet facilities are located in Kurrajong village, 7.5km along Grose Vale Road, or 10km south at North Richmond.
  • There are no rubbish bins at the lookout, so please take all rubbish with you.


Maps and downloads

Safety messages

  • Keep well back from cliff edges at all times, especially when taking photos.
  • Please stay on tracks and be aware of your surroundings and footing.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.


Disability access level - hard

Access to the lookout is via a wide, unpaved path that travels slightly uphill for 100m. The last 40m is via low natural sandstone platforms, which may be difficult to access for wheelchairs, prams and visitors with limited mobility.



A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.


Camp fires and solid fuel burners


Camping is not permitted at the lookout. Please camp in designated campgrounds at Burralow Creek campground (4WD access only) or Wheeny Creek campground.


Cycling is not permitted on the 140m track from the carpark to the lookout. You can mountain bike on public roads then walk from the carpark to the lookout. Bring a bike chain, lock, and walking shoes.

Gathering firewood



Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.


NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Vale of Avoca lookout is in Lower Grose Valley area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A sanctuary for plants and animals

A koala sits on the branch of a eucalypt tree. Photo: John Turbill/DPIE

The diverse environments of the Lower Grose Valley are a sanctuary for many rare and threatened species. Endangered plants include sparse heath, unique to the lower Grose River area, leucopogons, and the fluoro-yellow Gordon’s wattle. Conservation efforts and plentiful grey gums support one of the few known koala colonies in the Hawkesbury. Tall forests of blue gum and mountain gum are home to vulnerable yellow-bellied gliders. Camp overnight at Burralow Creek campground and you may hear the calls of some of Australia’s rarest forest owls, including the southern boobook owl. Burralow’s peat swamps, 1 of 3 threatened ecological communities (TECs) in this area, are home to the nationally endangered giant dragonfly. In the damp surrounds of Transit of Venus walk’s waterfalls, the Blue Mountains water skink can be found.

  • Vale of Avoca lookout Vale of Avoca lookout offers glorious views across the deep gorges and wilderness of the Lower Grose Valley, in World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, near Richmond.

In the footsteps of early tourists

Waratahs in bloom, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Barry Collier/OEH

Follow in the footsteps of Victorian-era tourists drawn to the fresh mountain air, pretty waterfalls, and native wildflowers including waratahs. Walk along Transit of Venus walking track from Woodbury Street in Woodford, and stop for a picnic at Edith Falls. Enjoy the natural beauty of Burralow Creek, near Kurrajong Heights (4WD access only). Burralow Creek has a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years of habitation by the traditional Darug People, to early colonial attempts at farming rice, and later cattle farming and mining efforts.

Ancient landscapes

Lower Grose Valley views, Vale of Avoca lookout, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH

Stand atop Vale of Avoca lookout and you’ll get a sense of the forbidding terrain faced by early European explorers. The wide valleys of the upper Grose Valley narrow into deep, V-shaped gorges in its lower reaches, formed over millennia by geological uplift and erosion. Stunted heathland covers the exposed escarpment, while tall eucalypt forests crowd the valleys. In protected pockets you’ll find microclimates like upland swamps, and ancient rainforest from the Gondwana days.

  • Vale of Avoca lookout Vale of Avoca lookout offers glorious views across the deep gorges and wilderness of the Lower Grose Valley, in World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, near Richmond.

Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area

Forest of Blue Gum trees, Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

Blue Mountains National Park is 1 of 8 national parks and reserves that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA). In 2000, UNESCO recognised the area's outstanding geology, biodiversity, and Aboriginal significance. The GBMWHA lies within the Country of the Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri, Darkinjung, Wanaruah and Dharawal People. With 1 million hectares of rugged plateaux, sheer cliffs, deep gorges, it protects unique ecosystems teeming with rare plants and animals. Over 95 species of eucalypt trees have evolved here over millions of years, making it the most diverse eucalypt forest in the world. The Lower Grose Valley area provides some of the easiest access to the park’s only declared wilderness, the Grose Wilderness, and its pristine river.

  • Vale of Avoca lookout Vale of Avoca lookout offers glorious views across the deep gorges and wilderness of the Lower Grose Valley, in World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, near Richmond.

Plants and animals protected in this park


  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

    The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

  • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

  •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

    With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

  • Eastern bentwing bat. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Eastern bentwing-bat (Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis)

    Eastern bentwing-bats congregate in caves across the east and north-west coasts of Australia, in colonies of up to 150,000. These small Australian animals weigh around 13-17g and can reach speeds of up to 50km per hour. Eastern bentwing-bats use both sight and echolocation to catch small insects mid-air.


  • Flannel flowers in Wollemi National Park. Photo: © Rosie Nicolai

    Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi)

    The delicate flannel flower is so named because of the soft woolly feel of the plant. Growing in the NSW south coast region, extending to Narrabri in the Central West and up to south-east Queensland, its white or pink flowers bloom all year long, with an extra burst of colour in the spring.

  • A red triangle slug on the trunk of a scribbly gum tree in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

    Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

    Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • Close up photo of a waratah flower, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

    Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

    The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

  • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

    Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

    The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

Environments in this area