To the north-west of Sydney you will find the popular Blue Mountains, a rugged region known for its dramatic scenery, pristine nature and scenic vistas. Home to some of the most stunning waterfalls, gardens and wildlife, the Blue Mountains have been attracting holiday-makers the world over for decades. A must on any traveller’s hit list, the Blue Mountains are dotted with quaint villages, guesthouses and art galleries, so you can easily spend a night or two there; however, day trips are also possible for soaking up all the lovely sights.
From how to get there to where to eat, we detail how to spend the ultimate day in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.
HOW TO GET THERE
There are various ways to get to the Blue Mountains, which include by car, train or coach.
If you have a hire car, it’s a simple 1-hour drive from the centre of Sydney and you will get to see all the beautiful scenery along the way.
If you are sans car, don’t fret, the train is a relaxing and romantic way to travel to the Mountains. With trains leaving from Central Station every hour you can jump aboard an air-conditioned double-decker mountain train and be there within the hour. Click here to book.
There are also many tour companies who offer day trips, whether you want a private tour or group tour. Coaches generally leave from Circular Quay, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from InterContinental Sydney. Take a peek at all-inclusive coach tours here.
WHERE TO EAT
Set in the historic Savoy picture theatre building, Avalon Restaurant and Cocktail Bar at Katoomba is a triple threat, combining quaint art-deco charm with hearty food, friendly service and spectacular Blue Mountains views.
18 Katoomba St, Katoomba
The Lookout, Echo point
Perched on the edge of the Blue Mountains Echo Point escarpment, with breathtaking views of the Jamison Valley, The Lookout, Echo Point is a beautiful spot to refresh with a feed and some drinks, while savouring the incredible scenic surrounds.
33 Echo Point Rd, Katoomba
There is nothing like a freshly baked rustic loaf of bread, and this must-stop shop delivers every time. Some say that Hominy Bakery has the best bread in the Blue Mountains, with its signature loaf being the crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle sourdough (a recipe that has been in circulation for over two decades).
185 Katoomba St, Katoomba
WHAT TO DO
The Blue Mountains are beautiful from all angles, with a plethora of picturesque places within the ranges to visit.
Make a beeline for the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in Mount Tomah, which is the only botanic garden in the world located in a World Heritage area. With those kind of statistics, you know this is a spot not to be overlooked.
For the adventure seekers, the 340 million-year-old Jenolan Caves will impress – these are the world’s oldest discovered open caves. For this excursion, friendly guides will show you through a choice of eight spectacular show caves, which are suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
For those who like to go chasing waterfalls, the Wentworth and Katoomba Falls are two of the must-not-miss destinations to visit. With soaring cascading falls in a tree-filled setting, the falls both have nearby picnic areas so you can settle in for a session if you managed to bring your own lunch.
Last but not least, we highly recommend the Three Sisters rock formation, one of the Blue Mountains’ best-known sites. The clifftop platform has views of three landmark weathered sandstone peaks, which hold a sacred place in Aboriginal folklore.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
We would suggest you allow a minimum of eight hours for a day trip, including the one-hour travel time on either side. This will ensure you get to see all the sights and experience the true magic of the Blue Mountains.