Home Information 11 Top-Rated Attractions and Things to Do in Australia’s Blue Mountains

11 Top-Rated Attractions and Things to Do in Australia’s Blue Mountains

by Jasbinder Singh

Blue Mountains National Park, which is part of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, is one of Australia’s most well-known wilderness areas. The park is located approximately 60 kilometres from Sydney, New South Wales, and is one of the city’s most popular day trips.

The Blue Mountains are a stunning mountain range named after the blue haze emitted by its many eucalyptus trees. Nature lovers will enjoy the rugged rock formations, pristine eucalyptus forests, abundant wildlife, waterfalls, ravines, and more than 140 kilometres of hiking trails and heritage tracks.

Blue Mountains National Park

There are numerous wilderness adventures to be had. The park’s rugged terrain is ideal for rock climbing, canyoning, caving, canoeing, abseiling, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping.

If you’re not feeling adventurous, you can view the park’s highlights from scenic lookouts or explore the park on your own via the self-guided Greater Blue Mountains Drive, an interconnected network of roads with 18 Discovery Trails that go deep into the park. The sweeping vistas can also be enjoyed via cableway, skyway, and the world’s steepest railway.

The charming mountain towns of the region are also popular weekend getaways from Sydney, especially during the summer, when the cooler temperatures provide a welcome respite from the city heat. In charming mountain towns like Katoomba and upscale Leura, where many writers, musicians, and artists live, you can enjoy galleries, lush gardens, gift shops, cafés, and heritage-listed hotels.

  1.  Blue Mountains Heritage Centre
  2.  Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum
  3. Jenolan Caves
  4. The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah
  5.  Leura
  6. Katoomba
  7. Hiking and Heritage Trails
  8.  Wentworth Falls
  9. Govetts Leap Lookout
  10. Scenic World
  11.  The Three Sisters

1.Blue Mountains Heritage Centre

You should visit the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre before embarking on any trails at Govetts Leap. There are interactive displays and videos that provide useful information about the park, and you can buy walking track guides, maps, and books about the area.

Where to Stay for Sightseeing in the Blue Mountains

Accommodation in the Blue Mountains ranges from elegant guesthouses to feature-rich resorts and budget-friendly motels. Check out these charming hotels and resorts near Blue Mountains National Park in Katoomba, Windsor, Blackheath, and Leura:

  • Parklands Country Gardens and Lodges: This opulent Blackheath guesthouse features charming cottages, lovely gardens, a private lake, and a day spa.
  • Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains – : This mid-range resort in Leura has plenty of amenities as well as beautiful views. During their stay, guests can enjoy upscale dining, indoor and outdoor pools, games rooms, tennis courts, and an adjacent golf club.
  • Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley: Modern rooms, multiple restaurants, a heated indoor pool, a fantastic spa, and floodlit tennis courts keep guests returning to this popular Windsor resort.
  • Sky Rider Motor Inn: This great-value hotel near Katoomba town centre has reasonable rates. The rooms are modernly decorated, and there is a barbecue area for guests to use.

2.Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum

Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum

Make time to visit this charming museum in Faulconbridge for a dose of art and culture in the mountains. The charming sandstone cottage here was home to the legendary Australian writer and artist Norman Lindsay from 1912 to 1969, and a collection of his works now honours his contribution to literature and the arts.

Lindsay is perhaps best known for his children’s book, The Magic Pudding, but even if you aren’t familiar with Lindsay’s work, this is a fun place to visit, especially if you enjoy art. The grounds also include an etching studio and a painting studio, in addition to the gallery.

The lovely formal gardens are a particular highlight. Sculptures adorn the lawns and fountains, and in the spring, wisteria perfumes the air. Guided tours provide valuable insight into this celebrated artist’s life and works.

3.Jenolan Caves

Jenolan Caves

Jenolan Caves, located on the southwestern edge of the Blue Mountains, are among the world’s oldest caves. You can explore any of the ten caverns, which feature breathtaking limestone formations, subterranean rivers, and fossilised remains.

You can also attend musical concerts in the Lucas Cave’s Cathedral chamber, which is said to have the best acoustics of any performance space in the world.

Adventure cave clambering tours, spooky night tours, and easy strolls along the boardwalks are all available. Make a reservation in advance. Because the tours can be lengthy, parents with younger children may prefer the self-guided tour.

4.The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah

Autumn leaves at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Australia’s highest botanic garden, is the sister to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and a must-see for plant enthusiasts. The gardens are located on a basalt ridge about 300 metres above sea level, with stunning views of the Blue Mountains wilderness.

The garden’s main theme is cool-climate plants, primarily from the Southern Hemisphere. You can walk through gardens organised by geographical origin and compare and contrast how plants have evolved in each region.

North American Woodland and the Heath and Heather Garden are among the featured gardens, and you can enjoy a stroll through The Jungle, a 33-hectare tract of Blue Mountains rhododendron.

5. Leura

Leura Cascades

Leura, just three kilometres east of Katoomba, is known for its health spas and lovely cool-climate gardens. The main street is lined with cherry trees, and the 19th-century cottages and Edwardian-style buildings give it the feel of an English village.

Do you want to go shopping? Leura Mall, located in the village centre, is an enticing jumble of antique stores, galleries, and gift shops. In addition, some of the most charming Blue Mountains restaurants and cafés can be found here.

One of the most popular things to do in Leura, aside from sightseeing, is to visit the Everglades Historic House and Gardens. If you have a green thumb, you’ll feel right at home here. Everglades, designed by Danish-born Paul Sorensen, is a delightful array of native and European-style plantings with spectacular views of the Jamison Valley.

Leura is also an excellent starting point for some enjoyable free activities. Sublime Point, located to the south, provides breathtaking views of the Jamison Valley. For more nature, take a stroll along Prince Henry Cliff Walk to Leura Cascades, a lovely spot to spread a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch. Listen for the distinctive song of the lyrebird while you eat your sandwiches, and after lunch, you can walk to several waterfalls and lookouts from here.

6.Katoomba

The Carrington Hotel, Katomba

Katoomba is the largest town in the Blue Mountains and a popular tourist destination. Katoomba, along with the smaller neighbouring towns of Wentworth and Leura, grew rapidly from a coal-mining town to a popular holiday destination in the second half of the nineteenth century.

With so many things to do in Katoomba, it makes an excellent base for a trip to the Blue Mountains. Scenic World, The Three Sisters, Echo Point, The Giant Stairway, and the Prince Henry Cliff Walk are all located here. It is centrally located in Blue Mountains National Park, and the town itself is densely packed with galleries, boutiques, antique stores, cafés, second-hand bookstores, and excellent restaurants.

Visit the Blue Mountains Visitor Information Centre for more information on things to see and do in Katoomba.

The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is also worth a visit, and it is one of the best things to do in the Blue Mountains when it is raining. The Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, one of Australia’s top regional art galleries, is located in the centre. There is also a World Heritage Exhibition here, with exhibits on this one-of-a-kind World Heritage-listed environment. The lookouts also provide breathtaking views of the surrounding 

You’re in luck if you enjoy waterfalls. The town’s eponymous Katoomba Falls are a must-see, especially when they’re in full flow. Follow the Katoomba Falls Round Walk, a two-kilometer circuit trail that begins at Scenic World, to see them. Beautiful photos of the multi-tiered cascades tumbling over jutting sandstone lips can be taken along the way.

Katoomba is easily reached by train from Sydney.

7. Hiking and Heritage Trails

Hiker on a trail in the Blue Mountains

Exploring some of the park’s 140 kilometres of hiking and heritage trails is one of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of this World Heritage wilderness. Many of the trails date back to 1825.

The historic National Pass is one of the most popular trails. The trail, which is carved into the edge of a cliff, begins at Conservation Hut and leads to the Valley of the Waters. You can admire a series of graceful waterfalls before continuing on to the historic Grand Stairway, which was hand-built more than a century ago with picks and shovels. The walk concludes with breathtaking views at Wentworth Falls and Jamison Lookout.]

The Prince Henry Cliff Walk, which runs from Katoomba Cascades to Gordon Falls, is another popular trail. This popular hike features jaw-dropping valley views, spring wildflowers, and some of the park’s most iconic features.

The Jellybean track is a great family hike, especially on a hot summer day. This easy trail descends into Glenbrook Gorge to the picturesque Jellybean Pool, which is ideal for a family swim. After swimming, you can have a picnic on one of the sandy beaches.

The Fairfax Heritage Track, which is also great for families, follows the banks of a hanging swamp through forests of scribbly gums and is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

Before you go, make sure to check the weather in your area, bring plenty of water, and don’t forget to bring a camera. If you’re going on a long hike, bring basic first-aid supplies, map out your route, and notify friends and family of your expected return time.

8.Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls, one of the park’s most beautiful waterfalls, cascades down three tiers of rock ledges. Jamison Creek cascades 297 metres over the upper and lower falls into a massive pool before gushing down a creek into the Valley of the Waters from the escarpment’s edge.

Hikes in the area range from easy strolls to strenuous cliff-ledge trails, and there are several lookouts from which to view the falls. The falls can also be reached via the National Pass walking trail, but they are seasonal, so check local conditions before venturing out.

The Conservation Hut, located in the nearby town of Wentworth Falls, serves as an information centre, restaurant, and launching point for several popular walking trails.

9.Govetts Leap Lookout

View from Govetts Leap Lookout

Govetts Leap Lookout, perched above the steeply descending Grose Valley, provides one of the most spectacular views in the Blue Mountains. It is also less crowded than Echo Point, which overlooks the Three Sisters. The view spans the main ridge’s sandstone cliffs to Bridal Veil Falls and the dense eucalyptus forest below.

If you’re feeling energetic, you can descend from the lookout into the valley and enjoy the scenery on some of the region’s more difficult hikes. Govetts Leap is easily reached by car. The Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, located along the same road, has excellent exhibits and information about the area.

10. Scenic World

Scenic World

It is home to some of the most popular activities in Blue Mountains National Park . It’s an excellent way to appreciate the dramatic topography.

The Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest railway, will take you through a cliff-side tunnel into an ancient rainforest. The glass-floored Scenic Skyway soars through the forest canopy, while the Scenic Cableway plunges into the Jamison Valley.

You can also walk the 2.4-kilometer Scenic Walkway, an elevated boardwalk through the Jurassic rainforest, at your leisure.

Whatever adventure you choose, it will begin at Scenic World Top Station, perched on a cliff edge overlooking the Jamison Valley. You can buy your tickets, eat a snack, shop for souvenirs at the gift shop, and catch a glimpse of the breathtaking scenery that awaits you on your descent into the valley.

11 .The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters from Echo Point

The Blue Mountains’ most well-known tourist attraction is the Three Sisters, located near Katoomba. These striking sandstone pillars, which rise more than 900 metres above the mist-shrouded Jamison Valley, provide excellent photographic opportunities. They are floodlit at night, creating an eerie and beautiful effect against the night sky.

According to one Aboriginal legend, the peaks are three sisters who were enchanted by a tribal elder and turned into stone to protect them from three brothers from another tribe. The elder, however, died before he could undo his spell.

Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to the Blue Mountains

Tours of Sights:

  • Consider joining the Blue Mountains Nature and Wildlife Day Tour from Sydney, which includes visits to Leura, Katoomba, and Sydney Zoo, to explore the region on a day trip from Sydney.
  • Another excellent option is the Small-Group Blue Mountains Day Trip from Sydney. This one includes visits to the iconic Three Sisters, the Jamison Valley, and Wentworth Falls, as well as the popular Featherdale Wildlife Park.
  • Do you prefer to let someone else drive? Choose the Blue Mountains Hop-on Hop-off Tour with Scenic World Rides as an option. This flexible sightseeing tour allows you to spend your time as you see fit. It’s also a great option if you want to start a hike somewhere and finish somewhere else. You can also upgrade your pass to include Scenic World rides.

Visiting Tips:

In the winter, when average park temperatures range between 3°C and 12°C, dress warmly. In the summer, the average temperature ranges from 15°C to 25°C.

Binoculars are useful for getting up close and personal with birds and other wildlife.

More information about visiting Blue Mountains National Park can be found at:http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/Blue-Mountains-National-Park

How to Get There

By Car from Sydney:

The M4 Motorway is the most direct route and takes about 90 minutes from the city centre.

A more scenic route begins in Richmond, in Sydney’s northwest, and travels along the Bells Line of Road, passing through Kurrajong, Mount Tomah, Bell, and Mount Victoria. It takes approximately two hours. You can eat lunch at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden or Mount Tomah.

By Public Transport:

The Blue Mountains National Park can be reached from a number of stations, including Blackheath, Glenbrook, Katoomba, Leura, Mount Victoria, and Wentworth Falls.

By Bike:

Biking in the Blue Mountains is a beautiful experience. For information on bike-friendly roads, maps, and other details, visit the Blue Mountains City Council’s cycling page.

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