The Blue Mountains is Popular With Daytrippers From Sydney and Overseas Visitors Alike
World heritage listed, a "City Within A National Park" these are just some of the descriptions and labels the Blue Mountains near Sydney wears with pride. Majestic escarpments, magical waterfalls and pools, amazing forest walks are just some of the gifts of nature this area has to offer. For most visitors a trip to the Blue Mountains means hopping off a tourist bus at the Three Sisters lookout followed by a trip on "The Scenic Railway" then back on the bus to Sydney.
The Three Sisters Rock Formation, Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales, Australia
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The Blue Mountains
The area known as The Blue Mountains is located about an hour west of Sydney. It consists of a string of villages spread along The Great Western Highway which traverses the ridge of the range from the western plains of Sydney to the Central West region of New South Wales. From Lapstone in the east to Lithgow in the west is 83km and takes around an hour and a half to drive without stops. In the north of the region is the less populated Bells Line Of Road which connects Kurrajong with Lithgow.
Surrounded by National Park, The Blue Mountains is a wonderland of bushwalking trails which lead to delightful falls and picturesque pools, stunning outlooks and magnificent lookdowns.
This photo of a Banksia flower was taken by me on the Katoomba Falls walk.
The Blue Mountains Region
Katoomba Falls Walking Track
This is a really easy walk with not too many stairs to descend or climb. Commencing at the car park near the Katoomba campground at the old Kiosk, there is a short descent down to the bottom of Katoomba Falls. From there the track follows a sandy bottomed creek which meanders through ferns and taller trees until you reach a lookout to the east of the Three Sisters. This can be a round trip or you can continue on to Echo Point and The Three Sisters.
Get Yourself Some Good Hiking Boots
Your Walk Will Be More Pleasurable If Your Feet Are Comfortable
Vasque Women’s Wasatch GTX Hiking Boot
Even on short walks, the Blue Mountains tracks can be uneven, rocky, muddy or have protruding roots. I recommend good hiking boots even if it is only a one hour stroll as there are often unexpected surfaces to negotiate.
Six Foot Track Katoomba
A view from Cliff View lookout in Nellie’s Glenn area (less a kilometer south of the western end of Six Foot Track, west of Katoomba). The cliff on the left is under Katoomba’s west side (Peckman’s Plateau), the one of the right – part of Radiata Plateau.
Image used under a Creative Commons licence from Wikimedia Commons
If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.
Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.
Come for a ride on the world’s steepest railway!
The Scenic Railway
The Indiana Jones theme is a great touch!
Hand Feeding The Wild Birds At Scenic World
Admittedly it’s a little bit theme park but it is still a fantastic way to get a Blue Mountains experience if you are limited in time. It is also a great way for those with limited mobility to get a bottom of the valley experience that might otherwise be denied them. There are several ways to see the valley but the most popular is to descend via The Scenic Railway, ‘the world’s steepest railway’ walk along the rainforest boardwalk to the lower Scenic Cableway station then return via the Cableway. While waiting to board the Scenic Railway visitors will usually see wild birds including these colourful King Parrots which we spotted while waiting to board one misty day
The Rainforest Boardwalk
Once you reach the bottom of the Scenic Railway take the Scenic Walkway for a wonderful look at the rainforest of the Jameson Valley. There are a number of options from the direct ten minute walk through to a 30 minute winding route all of which end up at the bottom station of the Scenic Cableway for the return ascent journey out of the valley.
I took this photo of the boardwalk when I took my cousin and his wife out for the day.
Spend A Couple Of Hours At Scenic WorldWorld's Steepest Train! Scenic Railway Blue Mountains.
Warning Notices Along The Scenic Walkway
Don't Let These Warnings Put You Off A Short Stay in the Blue Mountains
Photo taken by me.
Blue Mountains Cafes
Grab A Coffee Or A Bite To Eat After Your Walk
The Blue Mountains has some fabulous cafes. They are all very different, most combine coffee with another experience, a gallery, a deli, an antique store. Exploring Blue Mountains cafes is an experience in itself.
- The Hatters Cafe at the bottom of Katoomba Street is warm and welcoming. Open for breakfast seven days, dinner fRiday and Saturday and coffee and cake anytime, this licensed cafe caters for kids and tricky diets alike.
- The Talisman Gallery on the Great Western Highway in Little Hartley showcases beautiful wrought iron and metalwork alongside the eatery where you can grab a coffee or enjoy a meal of woodfired pizza.
- The Conservation Hut is a must-visit. Situated on the edge of the escarpment overlooking the beautiful Jamison Valley. Start or finish a number of lovely walks from here into the Valley Of The Waters across to Wentworth Falls or the beautiful Nature Track circuit. Enjoy good coffee and a lovely cake selection in front of a warming open fireplace.
- The Blue Mountains Chocolate Company is down Lurline Street on the way to Echo Point. Of course the star of this cafe is the chocolate which is handmade on site. They also supply interesting chocolates from around the world. For a delicious and warming alternative to coffee, order the hot chocolate which comes as warmed milk over a flame to which you add the chocolate as desired!