How to spend the day in the Blue Mountains
What are the blue mountains?
The Blue Mountains are a must-see destination to experience some of New South Wales’ most iconic natural beauty. Situated very close to Sydney, it is super easy to spend the day or more here especially using our tailored guide to a day in the Blue Mountains.
The Blue Mountains holds its name due to the many eucalyptus trees, which in the heat, release a mist of oils that look blue in the light.
There are many different attractions and hiking trails within the Blue Mountains range so we have made a guide that will enable you to get the most out of your day trip or to help shape one of your days if you plan to stay longer.
How to get there
Getting to the Blue Mountains from Sydney couldn’t be easier. Furthermore, if you're staying in Sydney during your trip be sure to check out our full guide on Sydney here.
You can of course drive there, which will take around 1 hour 30 minutes from the City to the main area of the mountain range. This will also make it very easy to get around the different areas and attractions.
Don’t fret if you don’t have a car because the train is also a great way to reach the Blue Mountains and this is how we did it. From Central Station, it only takes just under 2 hours. We recommend getting off at Katoomba Station. You can find a timetable of train times here.
Top tip: If you’re heading there by train, choose to travel on a Sunday as you’ll get half price travel!
How to get around once you’ve reached Katoomba Station
Firstly, Katoomba is a town worth spending a little time in before you venture off. Full of nice cafes, antique stores and charm.
Once you’re ready to go, if you want to keep to a tight budget, it is possible to go around all the major attractions via the local buses. However, we decided to go for the Blue Mountains Explorer bus, which just added an extra ease to our day in the Blue Mountains. We didn’t have to think about what buses to get and were dropped off right by everywhere that we wanted to go.
What to do and see
From Katoomba Station, our first stop was Scenic World. Scenic World is really fun way to see the mountains and is definitely great for first time visitors, providing 4 different unique angles of the beauty that is the Blue Mountains! The Discovery Pass gives you access to all 4 experiences. These experiences include the Scenic Railway, Skyway, Cableway and Walkway. We would recommend the experiences in the following order:
The Skyway is like one giant cablecar that provides 360 degree views of Katoomba Falls, the three sisters and Jamison Valley, stretching out to the horizon. Suspended 270 metres bone the rainforest canopy, this actually makes the Skyway twice the height of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Australia’s highest cable car! It doesn’t end here though, the skyway has another trick up its sleeve. Stand on the platform in the middle and watch your feet as the breathtaking views beneath are revealed through an electro-glass floor!
Keeping up with their record breaking experiences, the Scenic Railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world! Step on board, choose if you’d like to have your seat stay neutral, in a relaxing reclined position or leaning an extra 12 degrees forward with the adventurous ‘Cliffhanger’ and shoot down a cliff-side tunnel with views of the rainforest and the beautiful Jamison Valley through the glass roof.
Get off the train at the bottom station and you will be able to access the elevated boardwalk of the Scenic Walkway, which covers 2.4km of Jurassic rainforest to stroll through. Along the way, you have the chance to learn about the site’s coal mining history and the various local flora. There are various options to walk, from a quick 10 minutes to a leisurely hour.
Whichever route of the Scenic Walkway you take, you will be able to end the walk at the entrance to the Scenic Cableway. On this cablecar, you can take in the panoramic views of the Blue Mountains, including views of the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and Katoomba Falls.
There are also access points to other walks within the National Park along the way, if you’d like to delve in deeper.
This will bring you back to the main entrance of Scenic World, where you are free to do any of the experiences again, check out the gift store, have a bite to eat or just simply move onto the next bit of your Blue Mountains adventure.
Honeymoon Lookout to Echo Point
Head to Honeymoon Lookout for the starting point to a lovely short walk in the Blue Mountains towards Echo Point. Head right and wander along the path in shade of the towering eucalyptus trees and if you’re lucky, you may spot some colourful parrots, bower birds and the incredible lyrebirds. The lookouts along this route are absolutely stunning and before you know it, you’re looking across at the next spot, the Three Sisters.
So according to Aboriginal legend, 3 sisters were turned to stone by a witch doctor to protect them from a battle. However, the witch doctor later died and was the only one who could reverse the spell so now the sisters remain here in their rock formation!
Here is your perfect photo opportunity with the legend and it is also possible to head down a set of stairs and get close enough to touch!
If you fancy taking a break here, there’s a lovely café at Echo Point called The Lookout, with fab views from the terrace, as you reenergise.
Leura Cascades is one of top scenic spots in the Blue Mountains with a beautiful track to take alongside it. The track takes you along the cascades, with tall ferns on one side and the calming sounds of trickling water on the other. It’s an easy short walk, which can be done in half an hour but with the amazing views at the bottom, you may be down there for a while!
Prince Henry Cliff Walk
Our favourite walk is the track between Leura Cascades and The Pool of Siloam. This Cliff Walk provides stunning views over the mountains with points of interest along the way, such as the Elysian Rock Lookout, caves and Gordon Falls.
The Pool of Siloam
One of the hidden treasures of the Blue Mountains is this secluded, enchanting pool. With forest surrounds and waterfall included, this feels like a little slice of paradise. It takes a little while to head down the stairs but it is so, so worth it! Plus, you won’t need to walk back up them either!
Lyrebird Dell Walking Track
Head along the creek on this walk, passing more waterfalls and catch a lookout spot just as the sun is setting to see the orange glow intertwine with the blue mist of the Blue Mountains.
The end of the Lyrebird Dell walk will finish your perfect adventure through the beautiful Blue Mountains and lead you into the charming village of Leura. This village has a feeling of stepping back in time with cute, charismatic shops along the main street.
To round off the day, we highly recommend a visit to one of the bars. We loved The Bunker Cafe as the views were stunning in the fairy-light covered terrace.