Let me first say, if you visit Sydney but don’t visit the Blue Mountains, you really haven’t gotten a genuine sense of what Sydney has to offer.
I spent the night camping out at one of the rare free nearby campgrounds in the Blue Mountains – Perry’s Lookdown Campground. I was making my way back to Blackheath – the nearest town – and saw the turn-off to Anvil Rock.
Not being very familiar with this part of the Blue Mountains, I wasn’t sure what this attraction was all about. I consulted Google Maps – and saw that the road didn’t lead that far off Hat Hill road – which I was on. 5 minutes later I was at the small and quiet carpark as the sun lowered in the afternoon sky.
It soon became clear from the simple sign boards on site that there were two things to do here – Visit the Wind Eroded Cave and walk up Anvil Rock.
I decided to do the latter, taking the path to my right. It’s a gentle walk/clamber up to the pinnacle with plenty of native flora on either side of you as you climb. Around half way up there is a lovely seat for contemplation. Hazy views over the surrounding mountains distract you from your upward journey and tempt you to stop and capture a few souvenir shots.
This particular seat is in memory of a local friend of the mountains – Joyce Brister, an avid volunteer in the Blue Mountains bush. The Blue Mountains is no stranger to this sort of plaque…you can find them in the most random places. I was once abseiling over a ledge near Katoomba, and found a similar plaque dedicated to another local at the bottom of my climb…just sitting amongst the shrubs – peaceful and isolated.
After a brief stop it is only a short way further to reach the summit.
Once you reach the top, the whole space just opens up and you realise that you were in a sheltered area on the edge of the lip of the Grose Valley, only now coming out into the open.
It’s a splendid climax to the walk – but it isn’t the only thing awaiting you. To my surprise, I spied an actual anvil. I had thought perhaps the name simply referred to the shape of the rock, but no.
I later found out that this anvil had been placed there at some time during the 1940’s and had given this spot its name. I searched for a plaque explaining this strange fixture, but could find none. Instead, there was a circular dial affixed to the top of the anvil showing the direction of recognizable landmarks.
From the journey to the Blue Mountains, to the circuitous journey to this location, I had been completely disoriented, so this made it all clearer again. It also helped identify some of the nearby mountains I was seeing – Mount Bank and Mount Hay.
There is also a deep and dizzying view down into the Grose Valley beneath. Magical mountain scenes!
Visiting Anvil Rock is a simple and free activity to do in the Blue Mountains. It doesn’t take long, but it’s so pretty it won’t fail to lift your spirits.
Getting there is no issue if you have some sort of transport. Car, motorbike – or if you are really ambitious a bicycle would work – but it’s too far to walk unfortunately at 8 km one way from Blackheath down Hat Hill Road.
Have you ever visited Sydney’s Blue Mountains? Are you planning to? Tell me all about your Blue Mountains plans in the comments below!