Lockleys Pylon is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Blue Mountains. It’s a scenic spot away from crowded tourists traps, with 360 degree views and displays of wildflowers. I was invited on this trip by NSW National Parks, along with ten other hiking / photography enthusiasts. The park ranger told us about the Indigenous culture of the area, and shared with us a deep connection to land. One of the most important things I learned is that to get people to care about nature, you need to inspire them to see it for themselves.

What’s the hike like?

From the carpark it’s about 3 hours return hiking, with a low to medium difficulty level. Bring some sun protection because there’s no shade up along the ridges. In winter it can get windy and cold so be prepared for that too. Bring some snacks to enjoy at the Pylon, and about 1-2 litres of water.

Indigenous History of the Area

At the start of the hike we had a traditional welcoming smoke ceremony to rid us of bad spirits. During the hike the ranger showed us a few tools that Indigenous people use to gather and build things. In particular, a type of stone axe unique to the area was traded amongst the hundreds of Indigenous Nations that lived in Australia before the British arrived. We also learned about how people lived within communities out here – people shared with others and lived by a set of group oriented rules. Here at Lockley’s Pylon you’ll be able to see the first protected area of the Australian bush. The Blue gum forest in the valley was bought over in the 1930s to protect it from development and logging.

Photography Tips

When I go hiking I leave a lot of my bulkier gear at home. I mainly used my 35mm equiv lens to get landscapes, portraits and closeups. Don’t bother with tripods and heavy things that you probably won’t use. I find it more enjoyable being able to move easily, finding different angles rather than dragging around all my stuff. The best landscape views are at the actual Lockley’s Pylon, but there are some nice views along the way too. For macro photography there are heaps of wildflowers!

Can you fly a drone at Lockleys Pylon?

As with all national parks in NSW flying a drone without ranger permission is forbidden. You can try contacting them but I would just leave the drone at home. Having said that, there aren’t many trees to crash into and there are some decent landing spots for drones so it should be safe enough anyway.


It’s located in the Blue Mountains National Park, near Leura. The entrance to the hike is at ‘Lockley’s Pylon Trailhead’. Getting here requires driving on hilly dirt roads for about 8km. I recommend taking a 4WD for this – or at least a car with a ride height above 160mm. I took my 2wd Suzuki Swift but it was a lot of work having to navigate all the potholes and rough surfaces – don’t try with a small car unless you have experience off road.

More photos

Thanks to NSW National Parks for organising this trip! Lockey’s Pylon is now one of my favourite places in the Blue Mountains. Here are some more photos from the day. I’ve realised that you can see Govett’s Leap across the valley – which is a great place for sunrise. I’ll be making a blogpost about it soon.