I have just returned from a weekend spent in Australia’s Blue Mountains where I was running a multi-day photography workshop. I have always enjoyed shooting and exploring up here and this trip reaffirmed my love for this part of the country. Below is a few images I captured over the weekend and my top 3 locations I recommend you check out if you find yourself in the mountains.
Lincoln’s Rock aka Flat Rock
Aussie’s have a way of not beating around the bush when it comes to naming locations, and Flat Rock is no exception. This place is exactly that, a flat rock overlooking a killer view of the Jamison Valley and Kings Tableland. When you are here, you are reminded how vast and rugged this iconic landscape is. We shot the rock at sunset, which is ideal since the sun sinks below the mountains across the opposite side of the valley. Along the way, the light disperses through various peaks and ridges, changing the scenery every minute. Without a doubt, the best part of Flat Rock is the peak that you see in the image below. A portrait on the edge has become the norm and if you have time and the sky is clear, consider heading back at night for some star gazing. There’s also a small ‘cave’ below the main platform as well. Flat Rock is located at the end of Little Switzerland Dr, Wentworth Falls.
Valley Of The Waters
Once again, another name that doesn’t muck around. If you like valleys and water, this is the place for you. I have had the pleasure of hiking this track a few times now and it never disappoints. For the initial leg, you find yourself surrounded by dense Aussie bush, however, as you begin to descend to the valley, you are soon sheltered by the shade of the rainforest accompanied by the sound water that has slowly carved the ancient canyons below. Although shooting waterfalls in bright daylight can be difficult, the valley still provides plenty of shade. A special moment occurred at Sylvia Falls as we were preparing to leave, the sun finally found its way through an opening in the trees and gently beamed its warm rays through the mist of the falls below. The light here was one of the highlights of the weekend for me.
Govetts Leap Lookout
Hands down, Govetts Leaps is my favourite place to watch the sunrise in the mountains. From here, it is evident how the mountains got their name, as eucalyptus mist rises from the trees and appears blue as it refracts light. This lookout provides panoramic views of the rugged Grose Valley and really emphasizes the sheer size of the Blue Mountains. On this particular morning, the light was absolutely ethereal and ignited the entire sky from east to west. On the drive over from our hotel, Lilianfels, I sensed something special was on it’s way as the clouds were quite dense and there was a perfect opening on the horizon for the sun to spread its light. The lookout has its own car park and as you step out of your vehicle, you’re encountered by an overwhelming site that makes you feel incredibly small. As I stood and looked across the valley I couldn’t help but think of Yosemite National Park and Milford Sound. This here really is one of Australia’s greatest vistas. I was more than grateful to witness this moment and share it with some awesome people who participated in my photography workshop.
Only two hours away from my home, I am fortunate to be so close to a place that makes me feel like I have stepped back in time to an ancient land untouched by man. I have seen many mountainous landscapes around the world, and although the Blue Mountains may not have the height or peaks as some of the others, there is a charm here that is like no other. It’s easy for us today to view and desire things that we don’t have. A single click on our phones can seemingly transport us a million miles from home, to a place that we think will be better than where we presently are. At the end of this weekend, I was reminded how important it is to appreciate and make the most of what you have in your own backyard. I think we all have a sense of adventure and wanderlust inside all of us, what better place to start then right outside your door. WP
If you would like to join me on my next photography workshop, please check out my workshop page or feel free to contact me with any requests. To keep up to date with my adventures and special offers, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter here.