New South WalesBlue MountainsCloaked in an iconic blue Haze, the Blue Mountains are a nature lover's playground any time of the year and are just a short drive from Sydney.
Iconic peaks draped with a signature blue haze, the Blue Mountains are Sydney’s World Heritage-listed backyard, filled with adventure, inspiration and rejuvenation. Ten times older than the Grand Canyon, the Greater Blue Mountains region encompasses Blue Mountains National Park, 247,000 hectares of wilderness made up of sandstone ridges and peaks, tablelands, valleys, rainforests and waterfalls. It is the mixture of sunlight and eucalyptus oil from over 100 species of Eucalyptus trees that grow here, that creates the characteristic blue haze over the mountains, setting them apart from any other range in the country. In winter, the haze blends in with smoke curling out of chimneys, and in autumn it contrasts with brilliant hues of oranges and reds as exotic tree leaves change colour. Charming towns such as Katoomba, Blackheath and Leura represent the communities of the Blue Mountains, which are characterised by incredible natural beauty, scenic views, colonial heritage and a vibrant food scene. For millennia, the Gundungurra Aboriginal people have inhabited the Blue Mountains and are represented by the Gundungurra Tribal Council Aboriginal Corporation, based in Katoomba. In the lower Blue Mountains, the Darug people are still represented by the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation. Evidence of Indigenous habitation and traditions exists in the mountains today and includes rock art and carvings.
Marvel at Lennox Bridge
Lennox Bridge on Mitchells Pass at Glenbrook is the oldest stone arch bridge on the Australian mainland. This elegant single-span stone arch bridge was built in local stone and completed in 1833 by David Lennox using unskilled convict labour. It took one year to complete. The sandstone was quarried nearby and the bridge carried all the traffic to western New South Wales until 1926. An early engineering masterpiece.
Take the Six Foot Walking Track
Wind through state forests and the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park along the challenging 45 km Six Foot Track. The route follows an 1884 heritage horse track and can be broken into day walks over three days, offering walkers changing landscapes of heath, woodlands and rainforest. Camp along the track at dedicated campgrounds - Old Ford Reserve, Cox's River, Black Range and Allum Creek - or pitch your tent in the peaceful bushland. The track begins near Katoomba, passing waterfalls and wild rivers into the Megalong Valley and village, before crossing the Bowtells Swing Bridge, climbing the range, and arriving at Jenolan Caves. While making your way through the track, climb over the Mini Mini Saddle to the tracks highest point on the Black Range for scenic views over the mountains. You may spot kangaroos, wallaroos, echidnas, wombats, butterflies and some of the various bird species that live in the natural environments you journey through. On the last day of your walk, descend into the Jenolan Caves, one of the world's oldest cave systems, dating back at least 340 million years.
Cycle Narrow Neck Trail
For an invigorating cycling route that takes you deep into the unspoilt wilderness of Blue Mountains National Park, head to Narrow Neck trail. A challenging ride suitable for novice and experienced cyclists, the track traces the elevated platform of Narrow Neck Peninsula near Katoomba. With breathtaking scenic views, wildflowers and photo opportunities at every turn; keen bushwalkers won’t want to miss out either. From the gate, you’ll cycle through open forest, heath and swamplands with superb scenic views all the way. At one point, the cliffs fall away on either side and you’ll feel on top of the world. The trail opens up to heathland with spectacular views over Lake Burragorang. If you’re after more cycle tracks through the mountains, try McMahons Point. For an additional challenge, cycle from the station, and you’ll be rewarded with extra views of both Jamison and Megalong Valleys.
Spa Sublime Day Spa
Private, secluded and exquisitely beautiful, the multi-award-winning Spa Sublime is the ultimate day spa experience. Nestled in the heart of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, their beautifully appointed couples rooms are the perfect way to spend some quality time with a group of friends or someone extra special. Spa Sublime has four twin rooms offering a variety of spa experiences for up to eight guests at one time, including couples drenching showers and a twin hydrotherapy spa. Using only the highest quality 100 per cent Australian made products, Spa Sublime will provide you with an experience of indulgence and luxury that you will never forget.
Grand Canyon Track
Arresting sandstone walls, ever-present waterfalls and abundant native plants line the awesome Grand Canyon track near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains. The historic loop track takes you into the heart of this World Heritage-listed landscape. It's an intimate and adventurous track which walkers have trodden since 1907. Setting out from Evans lookout, the well-shaded track meanders through luscious native vegetation of ferns and golden wattles and remains close to Greaves Creek, all of which combine to make this a particularly good walk for the summer months. Shorten the loop by leaving a second car at the Evans Lookout Road entrance or spend the day and stop for lunch at the nearby picnic area before returning to the lookout. Although there are loads of semi-ledges which make up this challenging walk, you don’t need specialist hiking or abseiling equipment, so comfortable walking shoes are all you’ll need to get out there and explore. Still feeling energetic? Try the nearby Cliff Top walking track.
Take a skyway to see The Blue Mountains from above
Less than two hours from Sydney, Scenic World is renowned for providing the ultimate Blue Mountains adventure - from native birdlife and fresh air, to breathtaking views of the World Heritage-listed region including the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls and Jamison Valley. Journey on the world's steepest incline railway, glide between clifftops on the glass-floored Skyway suspended 270 metres in the air, descend into the ancient Jamison Valley by Cableway, explore Jurassic rainforest along the 2.4 kilometres walkway - the longest boardwalk in Australia. Make a day of it! Scenic World offers free all-day parking and a choice of onsite dining options.
Be mesmerised by Three Sisters Walk
This family-friendly walk treats you to ever-changing views of the grand Three Sisters, rising nearly a kilometre above sea level. Pass through the archway, next to the Echo Point Visitor Centre, and you'll soon be surrounded by soaring eucalypt forest, bird calls and fresh mountain air. Keep an eye out for the superb lyrebird and crimson rosellas as you walk the gently sloping path for 450 metres to Oreades lookout. Marvel at the incredible views of the Three Sisters' weather-eroded sandstone turrets, and the hazy 'blue' Jamison Valley stretching to Mount Solitary. From here, steps lead a further 50 metres to Lady Game lookout, for a closer view of this remarkable rock formation. A short but very steep set of stairs at the top of the Giant Stairway leads to Honeymoon Bridge, which connects to the first sister. On the way back, enjoy the short signposted detour to Spooners lookout. If you’re feeling energetic, there are plenty of longer walks nearby, including Prince Henry Cliff walk, Dardanelles Pass loop walking track, and the Three Sisters Walk to Scenic World via Giant Stairway.
See Glow Worms
The Glow Worms are located in an old rail tunnel 400 metres in length. It was originally constructed as part of the railway line to Newnes Kerosene Shale Works. The line was dismantled around the 1940s. The tunnel is located 40 kilometres from Lithgow on the Newnes Plateau. Good walking shoes and a torch are required for the walk through the tunnel. The glow worms found in the tunnel are the larvae of the fungus gnat. The blue glow of the larvae is the result of a chemical reaction in the body of the glow-worm. The larvaes' glow lures their prey, such as mosquitoes, closer to them.
Enjoy the stunning Greater Blue Mountains Drive
This Greater Blue Mountains Drive Discovery Trail explores five routes radiating out like the spokes of a wheel, each an out-and-back drive and can be done in any order from the charming mountain village of Blackheath. Offering a journey across plateau and valley environments, this Discovery Trail includes a wide selection of lookouts, picnic sites and walks. Highlights of the Trail include Pulpit Rock, Govetts Leap, Evans Lookout, all with unsurpassed yet different views of the Grose Valley, home of the Blue Gum Forest; the rural Megalong Valley and Shipley Plateau. Starting and returning to Blackheath this 92-kilometre trail will take two to three hours to drive, plus stops. It includes suburban streets, narrow sealed and sometimes windy and unsealed roads. Stop at the National Parks Blue Mountains Heritage Centre and learn more about the area through interactive displays.
Go horse riding at Turon Gates
Experience horse riding in the Blue Mountains, cross rivers and enjoy the magic of the Australian bush with the experienced Turon Gates team. They cater for beginners to experienced riders and group riders by ability (unless otherwise requested) so that if you are experienced you can trot, canter and even swim with your horse in the river. Rides are limited to five people per ride. Outrides can be one hour long up to three hours long. Children aged nine years and up can go on outrides. Children under nine can be walked on ponies. Acorn is a little Shetland pony for the very little ones and Mac is the pony for the older kids. Please make sure you book your rides in advance before your arrival. They refund if it rains and riding is not possible.
Discover more in New South Wales
- Blue Mountains
- Bondi Beach
- Bundanoon & Surrounds
- Byron Bay
- Central Coast, NSW
- Coffs Harbour
- Country NSW
- Hunter Valley
- Jervis Bay
- Lord Howe Island
- Merimbula & Sapphire Coast
- Mungo National Park
- Murramarang National Park
- North Coast
- Outback NSW
- Port Macquarie
- Port Stephens
- Snowy Mountains
- South Coast, NSW
- South West Rocks
- Sydney Harbour
- The Mallee Region
- The Murray
- Tilba Tilba