The Blue Mountains is fringed by stunning sandstone escarpments to its north, south, east and west. The southern escarpment is well known as a national and international tourist destination, hosting the Three Sisters, Echo Point along with popular lookouts, walking tracks and climbing and abseiling sites.
As upgrades continue to the visitor infrastructure on the scenic southern escarpment, Blue Mountains City Council is turning the spotlight to the lesser known Eastern Escarpment. The scenic eastern escarpment is located on the eastern edge of the Blue Mountains, stretching from Lapstone to Hawkesbury Heights, and neighbouring western Sydney.
The Council is developing a masterplan that will help guide the future development of nature and culture based recreation and tourism opportunities in the lower Blue Mountains.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said, “The Eastern escarpment is a beautiful part of the Blue Mountains. It offers a wide range of recreational activities; supports a rich diversity of vegetation communities; and showcases important Aboriginal and European heritage.”
The masterplan will provide a coordinated approach to recreational planning and visitor facility management for the precinct by working with neighbouring land managers including National Parks, Crown Lands, Penrith and Hawkesbury City Councils.
The Mayor said, “This approach will provide opportunities for the management and upgrade of recreational facilities such as walking tracks, bike trails, lookouts and other visitor facilities across the precinct.”
The project site extends from Darks Common in the south, adjoining Blue Mountains National Park to Knapsack Reserve in the north and connecting with Yellomundee Regional Park. It is bounded by the residential areas of Glenbrook, Blaxland, Winmalee, Mt Riverview, Yellow Rock and Hawkesbury Heights to the west, and Lapstone, Emu Plains, Leonay and Emu Heights, and the Nepean River to the east.
Included in the scope of the plan are Darks Common and the 1892 Glenbrook Railway tunnel. These reserves are currently managed by Crown Lands and their inclusion in the masterplan process will allow a considered and coordinated approach to their future management.
Council will be developing the masterplan in the first half of 2017 and is currently seeking feedback on how resident and visitors use the area. Those interested in finding out more about the project and providing information on how they use the site can go to www.bluemountainshaveyoursay.com.au.
The draft masterplan is scheduled to go on public exhibition for further comment in June 2017.
Photo: Hawkesbury Lookout offers a great view of the Scenic Eastern Escarpment. Community comment is now invited from residents and visitors (photo credit Ian Brown).