Blue Mountains National Park
"Blue Mountains National Park - Stunning Rock formations, Sandstone cliffs and Deep Gorges!"
Just an hour's drive from Sydney, it's no wonder this Australia National Park is the most visited in NSW and in my view has some of the most spectacular scenery of any of the parks.
This is a great place to come for a day trip or better still a couple of days. Stay in a cosy B&B, have afternoon tea in one of the many olde worldy cafes and enjoy one of the many bushwalks or lookouts over beautiful vistas.
The Mountains are said to have a blue glow to them due to the Eucalyptus from the trees - hence its name.
Things To Do In The Blue Mountains National Park
There really is something for everyone in the Blue Mountains National Park - from traditional bushwalking to sightseeing and lazy lunches or spa treatments - it makes it a great place to come for the Sydneysiders for a long weekend!
Here is a list of the Must Do's:
THE THREE SISTERS
This is a Rock Formation situated at the end of Katoomba town. The story goes that there were 3 sisters who fell in love with three men from a neighbouring tribe, but marriage was forbidden.
The brothers were not happy so decided to use force to capture the three sisters. A major tribal battle happened, and the sisters were turned to stone by an elder to protect them, but he was killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back.
Whilst this is supposed to be an Aboriginal story, recent evidence suggests the story was made up by a local to add intrigue to the rock formation!
The three sisters can be viewed from a viewing platform and there is a visitors centre right next door so access is really easy. Parking can be a little tricky due to the sheer number of visitors and coaches that pull up here so you may need to park and walk back to the look out.
SKYWAY AND SCENIC RAILWAY
This is just a short drive from the Three Sisters and is a great way to see the cliffs and deep gorges. I'd recommend getting the railway down and the cable car back up, especially if you have kids, as the railway is pretty steep and a bit like getting on a big dipper (Tame though!) There is a small walk on good footpaths that you can do with good information boards right the way along, about various trees and how the railway was created. Then you can hop back up on the Cable Car and admire the views.
These are usually really accessible and you can drive and park to admire the views. The best ones are probably around Leura (Sublime Point) Katoomba (follow the Cliff Drive) and Blackheath (Govetts Leap, Evans and Perrys look outs). I also like the one at Wentworth Falls (usually your first stop off from Sydney)In Glenbrook there are hand stencils at Red Hands Cave. This is also a popular area for abseiling.
The best walks are those that descend into Grose Valley from Govetts Leap and Perrys Lookdown. Blue Gum Forest is usually included in the walk which is impressive. You'll need a good level of fitness to do these walks and you should get a map from the Heritage Centre at Govetts Leap. The weather can change very quickly in the mountains so take precautions and inform someone of your route.
BEST TOWNS TO VISIT
Leura is still my favourite town in The Blue Mountains National Park area - There are plenty of lovely boutique shops and cafes. Only watch out is the service. I found it to be frustratingly slow. So take a book and try not to worry about your coffee order taking half an hour!
Katoomba is very touristy but still has a handful of nice shops and cafes - it's just not as nice as Leura in my view.
If you have the time, a drive to Mt Tomah and the Botanical Gardens is nice but it is a long way from Leura and Katoomba.
Places To Stay In The Blue Mountains National Park
There are lots of options for camping actually in parts of the Blue Mountains National Park so it just depends where you want to base yourself. Euroka Clearing at Glenbrook is a lovely spot if you want to be surrounded by Kangaroos. It's worth a stop off here on your way to Katoomba just to see some Kangaroos in the wild. You'll have to pay a National Park Entrance Fee but it is worth it. Come and have a picnic here!
In the Grose Valley there is camping at Perrys Lookdown Access is off the highway at Blackheath. There are toilets and BBQ's but you need to bring your own water.
HOTELS AND B&B's IN THE TOWNS
Echoes Boutique Hotel An up and coming hotel in a good location.
Lilianfels Probably the most expenisve hotel in the Blue Mountains but really worth it. The spa and restaurant here are also amazing. High Tea is good too.
Old Leura Dairy A favourite with the locals. Not cheap but very bespoke and will ensure a memorable stay.
Waldorf Leura Gardens Resort - Nice setting, good value for money and about a 5 minute drive from the town of Leura
woodford of Leura B&B - Nice hosts, great afternoon tea and cakes, clean and lovely home.
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