Tag: mid lower mountains

A Landscape Photographers Guide to Australia’s Blue Mountains


Inspired by other guides for photographers in well known areas of the world (eg: Colby Brown’s Yosemite) I thought I would put together a page / few screens that (a) demystifies the Blue Mountains for visiting photographers and (b) acts as a nice upfront, illustrated walkthrough to my more detailed location-by-location guide on this site. This ‘hotspot’ photo location list also details best gear to bring and best times etc:). The general tourist or hiking sites tend to not consider the ‘photogenic’ aspects of the mountains, even though many come for that, so this site is also a response to that.

For now though a broad sweep introduction to photographing Australia’s Blue Mountains – All text and images © Gary P Hayes 2017.

Print or Tablet friendly downloadable PDF version 1.8MB A Landscape Photographers Guide to Visiting the Blue Mountains, Australia


Lennox Bridge – Grade 1

Back to Gary’s Photo Guide Main Page

ABOUT: Another popular spot with local photographers who perhaps need something beyond waterfalls, mist, cliffs, valleys, rivers etc: One of the few photogenic architectural heritage spots in the mountains Lennox Bridge – opened in 1833, is the oldest surviving stone arch bridge on the Australian mainland. The stone work offers great texture and the foliage and leading lines from the channel & small river either end, provide lots of angles.

PHOTO EQUIPMENT TO BRING: A good wide angle is critical as the bridge is quite small and needs ‘opening out’. In bright sun you might want to consider a mild HDR, tripod and two or three shots to merge together. At night it is interesting too with tripod and a torch, as it still holds a main road you are not far from civilisation.

GETTING TO THE SPOT/S: An easy access car park, as per google location below right next to the bridge, steps down on the northern side of the bridge

Blue and Jellybean Pools Glenbrook – Grade 2

Back to Gary’s Photo Guide Main Page

ABOUT: Although on the surface these two pools may seem best for family afternoon swims they do have a lot to offer a patient photographer. Early morning or late afternoon they are a serene environment and the still water offers great reflectivity of the sky and trees as well as clarity to see to the bottom. Blue Pool is more enclosed forest feel and Jellybean a longer more ‘creek & camyon’ feel. Both are really wide bends in Glenbrook Creek.

PHOTO EQUIPMENT TO BRING: A mix of lenses to cover the relative expanses of water but also potential detail in the surroundings, including wildlife. Tripod for long exposures to smooth the ripples and a polariser very useful to remove reflection and see under the water.

GETTING TO THE SPOT/S: There is a fee system about to operate here because of demand in the warmer months and it is up to you whether to park at the top of the nature reserve area and walk down the road (an extra 30 mins walk, returning uphill) or pay $7 or so to park nearer to both pools. If you do drive down, both pools have parking areas and are about 4-8 mins walk to get to the areas. Blue Pool has more rocks to get to the best spots on the bend.

Corridor of Oaks, Faulconbridge – Grade 1

 Back to Gary’s Photo Guide Main Page

ABOUT: The Corridor of Oaks is a small town park area just off the main highway in Faulconbridge and a series of trees each planted by or representing each of Australia’s Prime Ministers. It is a good 30 minute diversion and particularly spectacular in Autumn when the trees display rich yellows, reds, orange colours in the low sunlight. Good avenue style shots can be had too.

PHOTO EQUIPMENT TO BRING: A moderate wide angle can give good coverage and a medium telephoto for detail of the colourful foliage or compressing the perspective of the image

GETTING TO THE SPOT/S: Well signposted nr Jackson Park, off the Great Western Highway, a left turn if coming up from Sydney and only 30 seconds drive, doubling back.


North Lawson Waterfall Loop – Grade 3

Back to Gary’s Photo Guide Main Page

ABOUT: Make sure you come on or after rainy days as these falls are tiny after a week plus of sun only. These are not really loop walks like  South Lawson falls and you often have to double back for certain falls or lookouts. The easiest route is Fairy, Dantes and St. Michaels falls offering three very different photo opps. Fairy is a magical red curved sandstone falls. Continuing down a 15 minute steep rock walk way you come to a fern underworld with falls at Dantes Glen complete with hobbit like bridge and high curved canyon walls. A further short one way walk to St. Michaels falls, the most popular in this area. You can go on a 2km walk to echo point which has surprising views for Lawson over the deep valley, but lots of tree cover and a 3km to Frederica Falls is again worth it if you have the time.

PHOTO EQUIPMENT TO BRING: Most of the falls are very enclosed and you are below them so bring as wide a lens as you have. Also the ground can get slippy so a spiked tripod is useful, especially if you put it in the rock pools oh and bring a good lens cloth as the falls spray can get on your filters.

GETTING TO THE SPOT/S: See the actual park map below which has San Jose Ave as the ‘you are here’, but instead go to the end of St Bernards Drive and park (which is around the corner from Lawson swimming pool). From there it is 5 mins easy stroll to Fairy, then a deep 15 min descent to……

Hazelbrook Waterfall Loop – Grade 3

Back to Gary’s Photo Guide Main Page

ABOUT: A popular route for waterfall fanatics taking in order, Burgess, Oakland and Horseshoe Falls or reversed depending on where you park. Oakland and Horseshoe, allow you to get behind the cascades for some dramatic shots looking out and they are not too slippy. As usual these falls come to life after a good 2-3 days of heavy rain, so expect a trickle if there has been no rain for a week or so.

PHOTO EQUIPMENT TO BRING: Tripod & wide lenses a must. Consider a neutral density filter too for long exposures of 5-10s. As you can get close to the falls a good wide angle 17 to 35 is a must and bring a good lens cloth as the falls spray can get on your filters.

GETTING TO THE SPOT/S: There are two ways to access this trio of falls. For Horseshoe Falls first park on Oaklands road east of the falls and take the 450m or so easy track, which goes past a few smaller falls too. Burgess is about another 10 minutes down the trail and depending on time you could skip Burgess and return on the same track.

To do Burgess first, park at the small layby area on Winbourne Road, take the route which is on the other side of the road from this small parking bay. It goes downhill through a wood for 15 mins and then follows the river down to each of the falls. You could walk out the other side on the map above so you don’t have to double back, but you need two cars ideally.

Terrace & Victor Falls Hazelbrook – Grade 3


Back to Gary’s Photo Guide Main Page


ABOUT: A beautiful fern gorge with two moderate falls Terrace and Victor, plus a few rock pools. Terrace falls is most spectacular with around eight cascade levels finally dropping into a pool you can walk around in moderate flow and a cave/overhand to one side. Victor is two higher falls in a small grotto and is stunning after rain and, is the first falls you come to from the Terrace Falls Road Gate. 

PHOTO EQUIPMENT TO BRING: Tripod & wide lenses a must. Considered a neutral density filter too for slow exposures. As you can get close to the falls a good wide angle 16 to 35 is a must and bring a good lens cloth as the falls spray can get on your filters.

GETTING TO THE SPOT/S: At the ‘usually’ locked steel gate at the end of Terrace Falls Rd, walk about 15 minutes downhill on the gravel road you will then come to a map board (see below) which says Victor and Terrace are about 1 and 2km walk away on a small trail respectively – this crosses the creek twice, the last time above the top cascade of Terrace (be careful on those in heavy flow). The track can be slippy and overgrown in very wet weather so wear decent shoes.

Victor Falls right side

South Lawson Waterfall Loop – Grade 3

Back to Gary’s Photo Guide Main Page

ABOUT: A 3 km long circuit that takes in (order) Adelina, Federal, Junction, Leslie and Cataract waterfalls. Each have their own unique character and you are able to get very close to each of them – the image above is low flow, so recommend you visit after 1 or 2 days of rain for best effect. The track is a bit overgrown in places but otherwise a moderate grade walk of about 3km.

PHOTO EQUIPMENT TO BRING: The walk can be done in 2 hours but that doesn’t include tripod setups and a few scrambles for position here and there. As you can get close to the falls a good wide angle 16 -35 is a must and bring a good lens cloth as the falls spray can get on your filters.

GETTING TO THE SPOT/S: After you park you will see signs guiding you down to Adelina first. You could also park further down Honour Ave (at the Cataract St junction) and do the circuit in reverse, starting at the bigger Cataract Falls.