It was a perfect day for our Saturday hike to Paradise Pool. It used to be something of a secret spot, requiring local knowledge to locate its whereabouts, but the Blue Mountains City Council have actually put up several signs now. My guess is that local residents grew tired of intrepid hikers finding routes through their properties in search of the rumoured swimming hole. It’s now much easier to find but has lost some of it’s mystery as a result. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less beautiful.
Hanging Rock was likewise spectacular. There was more evidence of this season’s abundant warratah bloom on the five km firetrail which leads you out to the viewing point. I could see splashes of red dotting the landscape everywhere I looked.This really has been a bumper year for wildflowers.Saw some sweet graffiti and some slightly doctored signs:
People actually do all of these things: rope swinging, slack lining and base jumping (as though rock climbing and abseiling aren’t adrenalin inducing enough)! You can watch videos of some of these shenanigans here (warning: not for the faint hearted).
Hanging Rock itself never ceases to inspire and amaze. It is one of my favourite lookouts in the Blue Mountains. I can’t believe people risk their lives swinging off this ledge and penduluming into the valley below. It’s terrifying enough clambering down to a point where you are level with the rock from Baltzer Lookout above.
Hanging Rock, like Paradise Pool, never used to be signposted, in an attempt to minimise access (hence the addition of the two gates preventing visitors from driving directly to the site), but it’s so frequently visited now that it is deemed safer to warn about the dangers of extreme adventure sports than try to keep the location a secret. Not all rope swinging adventures at the rock have gone smoothly, as can be seen here, and there are yet sadder stories than this, but climbers know the risks they’re taking when they step off that ledge. And what an amazing way to see the valley!Happy to have my feet planted firmly on the ground… 😉👣