Take a fantastic day trip from Sydney, Australia to visit the majestic Blue Mountains! This naturally beautiful setting sit 90 minutes outside of Sydney, making it a super easy excursion! Get the chance to escape the bustle of the city and the overwhelming heat, by traveling to the peaceful, cool mountains.
The Blue Mountains get their name from the blue hue that you see when you look at them from a distance. They get this blue hue from the native Eucalyptus trees that release an oil when mixed with water vapor that reflects a blue haze.
While I was studying in Australia I made two trips to the Blue Mountains where I spent time exploring different parts of the park! You can experience a variety of things from a stay at a nice hotel to trekking through the wilderness. Traveling here will allow you the opportunity to unplug and indulge your senses in the natural scenery that surrounds you.
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Blue Mountains Guide
When to Go
The Blue Mountains are a great destination for any time of the year! There are pros and cons to visiting at each time of year. Peak season in the Blue Mountains is during the summer (December through February). Although Sydney can be scorching hot, the mountains experience a bit cooler temperatures and plenty of sun.
In the winter months (June through August) you’ll want to pack layers for cooler temperatures, but you’ll get to visit the park when there are very few other people. Spring and Fall are less crowded, have milder temperatures, and are great times to visit!
How to Get There
The best way to get to the Blue Mountains is to fly into Sydney and then travel from there. I traveled to the Blue Mountains both by car and by train and it was relatively easy to navigate either way.
- Driving: If you have a car then you can take the direct route on the M4 Motorway, which is about a 90 minute drive from Sydney. For those who prefer the scenic route, you can drive along Bells Line of Road through Hawkesbury.
- Train: Travelers who don’t have cars can take the Blue Mountains Line train from Central Station. The ride takes two hours to Katoomba station and then you can purchase a trolley ticket to get on and off.
How to See the Blue Mountains
While you can easily explore the mountains on your own, many tourists book a guided tour. You can find all kinds of tours from ones full of activity to others that are more laid back. If tours aren’t your thing, you can also take the public bus from Katoomba station and hop-on or off when you want to explore the area.
What to See
You could spend weeks exploring all of the trails, sights, and towns around the Blue Mountains. If you are just going for a short amount of time, this list will give you a good idea of the major highlights!
Three Sisters/Echo Point
The Three Sisters are arguably the most famous landmark in the Blue Mountains. Legend has it that a witch turned three sisters from the Katoomba tribe into rocks and they now stand as tall rocks over the vast landscape. They’re an impressive sight and something you have to see on a visit to the Blue Mountains!
Echo Point is where the lookout over the rocks is located and it also has a visitor center where you can get information about the area. If you are feeling a bit more active you can take 998 steps down to the Three Sisters for a closer look.
Getting to these falls is fairly easy as you take the Wentworth Falls Track to get above the falls. The walk to the lookout is only a 5 or 10 minute walk along a flat surface, so it’s easy for people of all athletic abilities. You will be wowed at this scenic spot above the gorgeous falls!
While this spot is pretty touristy, it’s still a fun stop on your trip to the Blue Mountains. Scenic World encompasses three scenic rides along with a 2.4 km boardwalk through the forest below.
The rides include the steepest passenger train in the world, the skyway with 360° panoramic views and glass floor, and a cableway that leads to the boardwalk below. While I enjoyed the rides, I would definitely prefer to spend my time hiking in the forests. However, you should definitely stop here because it’s a unique experience.
This grand staircase is made up of 998 stairs that are cut into the cliffside. You can choose to start at the Three Sisters and make your way down the stairs down to Katoomba Falls or Scenic World.
If you’re looking for a bit of a challenge, you can choose to start at the opposite side and end your hike with the walk up the stairs. Trust me, you will be huffing and puffing as you get to the top at Echo Point, but you will feel very accomplished.
Govetts Leap is a stunning lookout over the gum tree forest featuring a gorgeous waterfall. The lookout is a popular spot for many visitors because it is stunning. For those avid hikers you can take the Evans Lookout to Junction Rock trail.
This 10 km trail will lead you down into the forest, past a couple waterfalls, to a swimming hole at Junction Rock, and then back up the mountain where you will end the hike at Govetts Leap. I completed this hike on my first trip to the Blue Mountains and it was no joke. It was a great way to get up close with nature and challenge yourself. Visitors should definitely consider this hike for their next trip!
What to Pack
If you plan on trekking through the Blue Mountains then you should be prepared with layers and plenty of sunscreen. Here is a list of some things you’ll definitely want:
- Hiking Pants
- Merino Wool Socks
- Hiking Boots
- Lightweight Base Layer
- Day pack
- Large water bottle or water reservoir
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