At just 3km, Perrys Lookdown is a quick way to access the historic Blue Gum Forest and tranquil Acacia Flat Campground in the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains National Park. This steep track will test your legs and reward you with stunning views, haunting bird calls, and a burbling creek to camp alongside.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview

Perrys Lookdown is a 2.5km very steep, grade ‘hard’ track in the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW. The hike takes walkers from Perrys Lookout down into the Blue Gum Forest. From here it’s a short 500 metre stroll to Acacia Flat Campground.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace

About Perrys Lookdown Track to Acacia Flat Campground

The Grose Valley – where Perrys Lookdown and Acacia Flat Campground are located – is the only officially declared ‘wilderness area’ in the Blue Mountains National Park. It offers well-prepared hikers the opportunity to truly get away from it all, even just for one night.

Due to years of devastating rain (thanks La Nina) and bushfire, many other tracks and trails into the Grose Valley are either closed, currently undergoing repair work or somewhat overgrown. Perrys Lookdown is one of the few ways to enter this remote part of the Blue Mountains.

It has other advantages too: it’s the most direct access point to the Blue Gum Forest and Acacia Flat Campground as well as being a clear and well-maintained track.

But descending 656 metres in 2km can come at a price, and that price is jelly legs and wobbly knees. The upside? We enjoyed lunch in Blackheath, hit the trail, and were setting up camp by 4pm!

The highlight is undoubtedly Acacia Flat Campground: spacious, remote, gurgling creek, no crowds. And the Blue Gums – towering giants of the valley floor – sleek, strong, and ancient, stretching up into the heavens above.

Read more: What to Pack in Your Hiking First Aid Kit

History of the Grose Valley and Perrys Lookdown

For starters (and for always), Perrys Lookdown is on Dharug Country.

With European settlement came surveyors, explorers, and tourists enjoying the great outdoors. It’s debatable who ‘Perry’ was but it seems he was either Captain William Perry, Deputy Surveyor General in the early to mid 1800s, or Samuel Augustus Perry, also a surveyor, or perhaps a local innkeeper – various versions exist.

In any case, the Grose Valley was potentially going to become a railway route linking the east to the western side of the mountains. Thankfully the idea was abandoned.

In 1932 a group of forward-thinking local bushwalkers pooled their funds to buy out the private lease in the valley, saving it from being turned into a walnut farm. This saved the Blue Gum Forest and is widely acknowledged to be the birth of the conservation movement in Australia.

How to Get to Perrys Lookdown

By Car

From Sydney, head west on the M4 Motorway and Great Western Highway to Blackheath, which is a little over 100km. From Blackheath, it’s a 15 minute drive to the start of the track. Hat Hill Road takes you all the way to the track on a mix of sealed and dirt road. The parking at the trailhead is undulating dirt with a few dips and troughs to avoid.

By Train

Trains service Blackheath on the Blue Mountains Line which leaves from Central Station. The trip takes a little under 2.5 hours. From Blackheath, however, there’s no bus service to the track, so an Uber is your best option.

Where to Stay on Perrys Lookdown to Acacia Flat Campground

Why, Acacia Flat Campground itself!

It’s a spacious, flat area with multiple spots to pitch your tent among the Blue gums. As you walk along the narrow track through the campground you’ll notice clearings to your left and right. Simply wander along until you find a clearing that takes your fancy.

Each clearing has evidence of campfires despite a ‘no fires’ sign at the campground. NSW National Parks has restricted the creation of campfires here, and the surrounding bush certainly seems flammable so best to stick to what the signs say.


Perrys Lookdown to Acacia Flat Campground – An Overnight Hike-In Camp, Helen Johnston, blue mountains, tents surrounded by gum trees


Acacia Flat Campground stretches alongside Govetts Creek, so water is nearby and plentiful, although the advice is to collect and treat water from nearby Orang Utan Gully Creek at the southern end of the campground.

There are two pit toilets at the campground.

There’s no mobile reception in the Grose Valley, including Acacia Flat Campground, so you’re blissfully on your own down there. We took a PLB just in case.

Distance / Duration

3km / 2 hours each way

Skill Level


While Perrys Lookdown is a short and well-marked track, it’s very steep and therefore graded by National Parks as hard. Experience on technical trails and suitable gear (shoes with grip, hiking poles, and sturdy knees) is a must. Acacia Flat Campground has no reception or treated water. It’s fairly remote so is suitable for experienced hikers only.

Essential Gear for Perrys Lookdown and Acacia Flat Campground

For the Track

At Camp

  • PLB (free to hire from the National Parks Office in Blackheath)
  • Hiking tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Water purification tablets/straw
  • DEET for leeches and/or mozzies depending on time of year
  • Swimmers for lazing in the creek

Read more: How to Choose a Hiking Tent

What it’s Like to Hike Perrys Lookdown and Camp at Acacia Flat

Day 1: Blackheath to Perrys Lookdown

Distance: 3km
Duration: 2 hours

The approach to Perrys Lookdown is via Hat Hill Road, a 15 minute drive on part sealed, part bumpy dirt road. The first few minutes of the track take you to Dockers Lookout, where the real track begins.


Perrys Lookdown to Acacia Flat Campground – An Overnight Hike-In Camp, Helen Johnston, perrys lookdown track sign


Cutting across the hill to the right, the track first crosses a short bridge before switching back and forth in keeping with the contours of the land.

As the valley began to fall away below us, we headed down chiselled steps through a gap in the cliffs, into the cool shade of fern trees.

We quickly realised that the real work of the day had just begun. Handrails at key points offered us safety as we literally hung our weight off them to descend deeper and deeper into the valley.

Every now and then the trail eased its intensity, but never for long before we were winding sharply down another spurline.

Switching back and forth, ever downwards, our chit chat waned as we concentrated on our legs and each carefully placed footstep.

Our focus was broken now and then by the afternoon bird calls and then by the sudden appearance of a lithe man virtually skipping down the track behind us.

With just sneakers and a small day pack, he commented that he just needed some ‘space’ from home as he flitted past. I think he was some other breed of human.

Just as our legs had reached full jelly mode we finally entered the valley floor and a well-formed single track through the Blue Gum Forest, ancient trees towering up around us.

Ten minutes later we were at Acacia Flat Campground with an abundant choice of places to set up for the night.

The peacefulness of Acacia Flat Campground is worth every drop of sweat and effort it takes to get there. The gurgling Govetts Creek ripples with pools and submerged rocks under a backdrop of golden valley walls.

The Blue Gum trees stretch silently towards the sky, and the cool of the afternoon air beckoned us to just sit, relax, breathe.

After dinner, some wine, cheese, and a lot of laughs later, we crawled into our tent at hiker’s midnight (9pm) feeling a million miles from civilisation.


Perrys Lookdown to Acacia Flat Campground – An Overnight Hike-In Camp, Helen Johnston, blue mountains, acacia campground

Day 2: Up and Out

Distance: 3km
Duration: 2 hours

Both Alli and I felt that one night at Acacia Flat was just not enough, so it was a little sad to pack up and head out at 9am.

With 2km of straight uphill climb ahead of us there was no point procrastinating. We hit the steps with commitment and slogged upward at a steady pace, only stopping occasionally to catch our breath and have a drink.

As the track is fairly short, it wasn’t too long before we were back at the top where we began less than 24 hours earlier, feeling like we’d truly had an adventurous little break away.

Perrys Lookdown to Acacia Flat Campground – An Overnight Hike-In Camp, Helen Johnston, stairs down to acacia campground, rainforest

Tips For Hiking Perrys Lookdown and Acacia Flat Campground

  • We found our trusty hiking poles to be really helpful on the track due to its very steep nature. Not only do they spread the load in your body, they give added security on some of the gravelly steps.
  • For Acacia Flat Campground, we booked via NPWS website. It’s ridiculously cheap ($3 per person at the time of writing). I’m not sure how many people bother to book, but we felt that it’s good data for National Parks to know how often this remote campground is being used.
  • At the campground there’s nothing to sit on, so we took our lightweight hiking chairs – they were MVPs of the trip. To rest in a comfy chair off the cold ground at the end of a bit of a slog, with red wine, crackers, and cheese in hand was pure, extravagant hiking bliss.
  • The Blue Mountains Heritage Centre at Blackheath is at the end of Govetts Leap Road, five minutes out of town. It’s well worth a visit. This is where you can hire PLBs free of charge for your hike

FAQs Perrys Lookdown and Acacia Flat Campground

Where is Perrys Lookdown located?

The Grose Valley, Blue Mountains National Park

How do you get to Perrys Lookdown?

Perrys Lookdown is on Hat Hill Road, 100km west of Sydney. A car is the best way to get there.

Do you need to navigate on Perrys Lookdown Track?

No, the path is clear and easy to follow

How long is the Perrys Lookdown walk?

2.5km. It’s an extra 500 metres to Acacia Flat Campground

How hard is Perrys Lookdown?

It’s graded as ‘hard’ by the National Park and Wildlife Service, presumably because it’s steep.

What facilities does Acacia Flat Campground have?

There are two compost toilets at the campground, but there’s no running water, seating, or mobile phone reception.