The Blue Mountains is a popular day trip or weekend getaway destination for both visitors in Sydney and Sydneysiders. This UNESCO world heritage site is located just 50 kms or about 1 and a half hours from Sydney’s CBD with incredible hiking tracks, waterfalls, swimming holes and spectacular views over gullies, valleys and the entire Sydney basin, swoon!
And lucky for you it’s where I grew up!
So in a two for one bargain, today you will find out the best parts of the Blue Mountains to check out on a day trip, by car or by public transport!
Katoomba is your portal to the major Blue Mountains sights and attractions. From Katoomba Village you will be able to access Echo Point, The Three Sisters and The Giant Staircase Walk and all the Scenic World attractions.
But before you go there, make sure you take some time to look around the town centre or pick up anything you may need if you are going on a hike. If you are looking for a bite to eat then there are plenty of cafes and lunch stops and if you are looking for something a little special after lunch, then checking out the Paragon Café for the Art Deco architecture and chocolate counter is for you.
Now onto the touristy part….
Echo Point, The Three Sisters & The Giant Staircase – Katoomba
Echo Point is where you will find the Three Sisters and the start of the Giant Staircase. As Echo Point is where most of the day trip buses stop, it’s probably the most crowded area, so if you make the 30 min round trip walk out to the Three Sisters, then you will get some great views with less crowds, plus be up close with these natural beauties.
Once you make it out to the Three Sisters, you can then choose to continue down to the Giant Staircase, a 1,000 step staircase, which seems intense but if the weather is good then the walk isn’t too bad on the way down, just be careful in wet weather! There is a walking track that continues all the way until Scenic World, and you will want to allow for 2 hours from Echo Point to complete the walk.
Scenic World – Katoomba
Scenic World is your opportunity to see the Blue Mountains and a national park like you ordinarily wouldn’t experience. There is a Skyway cable car that will connect you from Echo Point to Scenic World, the Cableway cable car that transports you from the floor of the forest to the top and my favourite the Scenic Railway, which is the steepest railway in the world! Make sure if you take the Scenic Railway you choose the ‘Cliffhanger’ incline for an edge of your seat experience up the mountainside!
Hydro Madjestic – Medlow Bath
If you are looking for a place for lunch with incredible views, then look no further than the Hydro Madjestic in Medlow Bath. The Hydro Madjestic has a long history in the Blue Mountains which can be seen in the architecture taking on both Art Deco and Edwardian features, it is worth visit to experience the splendor of your surrounds, the madjestic views over Megalong Valley and the amazing High Tea!
Leura Village is a great day trip on it’s own, with small clothing boutiques, plenty of unique home style shops and little restaurants and eateries to fill a day in the mountains. Leura is great to visit in both summer and winter, my preference is a visit in winter when you can sit in a café near the open fire and grab a nice warm soup while gazing out the windows. Just make sure you bring your coat and scarf!
Jellybean Pool – Glenbrook
Jellybean Pool is my favourite place to visit on a trip to the Blue Mountains and is a well known local hot spot. During warm weather, weekends and school holidays all the locals make there way to this incredible swimming area. No matter the weather, the water is cool and the environment relaxing and the time really gets away from you, so make sure you have food, water and sunscreen!
From the Glenbrook National Park entrance and car park it’s just a 15 -20 min walk to Jellybean Pool, all downhill, which means uphill on the way back. So go at your own pace on the way back up!
Note: if you are going by train, you will need to walk from Glenbrook Station.
From Sydney’s CBD, you can either hop on a train from Central Station to the Blue Mountains or make your way out west in your car in the direction of the M4/Great Western Highway.
All locations mentioned are accessible by car and by train, but if you are taking public transport, you may need to look at getting a bus or a longer walk to your final destination.
Have you been to Sydney’s Blue Mountains? Let me know what activities you enjoyed in the comments.