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Friday, 3 January 2014

THE BRAESIDE WALK, BLACKHEATH BLUE MOUNTAINS NSW AUSTRALIA

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This beautiful walk is not one with a long pedigree, no mention being made of it in any publication I can find before 1946. It is shown on a map of 1935 as “Walk to Govett’s Leap”. 

 

There are several possible access points: (a) from Govett’s Leap Lookout, by taking the Cliff Top walk down to the crossing over Govett’s Leap Brook, where the northern end of the track begins. (b) by following the power line tracks from near Connaught Rd and Cleopatra St. and (c) from James Rd, which is a gravel road leaving Braeside St near Bell St. going through to Evan’s Lookout Rd. This crosses Govett’s Leap Brook just above the old railway dam; the southern access to the track is nearby. A parking area and a small picnic area are located here, making it the simplest access point to the walk, which basically follows the creek down to the brink of Govett’s Leap.
Govett's Leap Brook crossing
Braeside is an appropriate name, meaning approximately “the bank of a creek”. The name of the street is identical to several older cottages in Blackheath, none of which were actually in the present street of that name. Braeside St is the obvious source of the name of the walk and it appears to have been named before 1920.
Robinson's 1952 map
The original water supply for the railway (steam engines use lots of it) was drawn from swamps in what is now the Memorial Park. Two dams were subsequently constructed here; however they proved inadequate as railway traffic increased and a dam was built on Govett’s Leap Brook in 1906. From here, water was pumped up to a reservoir in Whitley Park then fed by gravity to the railway station. This system was abandoned in 1927. The dam wall and brick and stone foundations remain.
Click here to download the Wild Walks map and information for the area.
My video on the walk is here. My Blue Mountains You Tube playlist is here . I have three other playlists: gem hunting/mining, Glen Innes and New Zealand.
Railway dam and picnic area
                                                                                       

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