60kms · 50 mins by car · 60 mins by public transport
961 population (2016 Census) · 160m elevation
Lapstone is the first town at the eastern end of the Blue Mountains. As you drive along the M4 Motorway from Sydney you ascend Lapstone Hill.
The name Lapstone was given to the town due to the many water-worn stones in the area. These stones were similar in appearance to those used by cobblers who would hold the stones between their legs in order to work the leather when making shoes.
Lapstone contains a few notable marks of history mostly on the boundary between Glenbrook and Lapstone.
Turn off the M4 Motorway at Emu Plains and take the Great Western Highway to ascend Lapstone Hill. Here you can view the ruins of a Gatekeeper’s Cottage at John Whitton Memorial Place.
The walking track from John Whitton Memorial Place leads you to the Knapsack Viaduct. This sandstone structure was built around 1967 as part of the railway and was designed by John Witton. Of particular note is the fascinating architecture.
In 1938 the viaduct lost its original form when the highway was built as the structure was widened to allow for the road. Road traffic ceased in 1993 when the M4 motorway was extended and the bridge is now a pedestrian/cycleway. The beauty of the block sandstone viaduct with piers reaching 38 metres high can best be appreciated from the deep sandstone gully. If you continue further along the walking track you will come across the old Lapstone Zig Zag Railway (not as famous as the Lithgow Zig Zag Railway). The Lapstone Zig Zag was built in 1867 and was the first of its kind for the state of New South Wales.
The Lapstone Zig Zag Railway
The Zig Zag Railway at Lapstone (actually within the Glenbrook Boundary) was built as part of the line from Penrith to Weatherboard (Wentworth Falls). The three tiered system allowed trains to negotiate the steep ascent.
A small section of the Zig Zag Railway can still be seen today, as can the remains of the private Lucasville Station.
Lapstone also offers interesting walks and views including the Darks Common and Bluff Lookout walks. Bluff Lookout (on the boundary of Glenbrook and Lapstone) overlooks the Glenbrook Gorge and Glenbrook Creek.
The lookout is situated over the railway tunnel located between Glenbrook and Lapstone stations. Other features of Lapstone include tennis courts, netball courts, Lapstone Oval, the Reserve and Skarratt Park.