The Blue Mountains Sydney

Introduction

The Blue Mountains is one of the most known areas in Australia, offering a stunning view of valleys and waterfalls. The area is around 1436 square kilometres offering a variety of place & activities. Find out why it is a must-see destination when visiting Sydney.

How far from Sydney to the Blue Mountains?

The upper parts of the Blue Mountains are located 110km west of Sydney. It is easy 1.5hrs drive from Sydney City areas. Lower parts of the Blue Mountains stretch from Glenbrook 60 Km west of Sydney. More remote areas Mt Victoria is located 126 Km west of Sydney

How to get there

  • By car – it is 90 min drive from Sydney
  • By train – it is 2 hr train journey from Central Station Sydney to Katoomba. The major train stations in upper Blue Mountains
    • Wentworth Falls – great for bushwalks in Valley of the Waters, cross Highway, head towards nearby picnic area, take Charles Darwin track to reach upper parts of Wentworth Falls & continue bushwalking
    • Leura – the prettiest town known as the garden village, visit the Mall
    • Katoomba – home to Three Sisters & Scenic World offering good bushwalking and rock climbing
    • Blackheath – overlooking Grose Valley, known for Grand Canyon walk, stunning lookouts of wilderness and local art
      Price of a train ticket – see a timetable for current prices, varies return ticket $6-$16
      Current timetable
    • Hop-On & Hop-Off Explorer Bus – local sightseeing bus covering major attractions. Price of ticket $55, Explorer Bus
  • Take a Tour

When is the best time to visit?

The upper parts of the Blue Mountains are located in 1000m of elevation. So we can experience 4 distinctive seasons. Summer months December – February can be very busy, especially during Christmas times and school holidays. In Spring the air is very aromatic, but the weather can be changeable. Winter is great too, especially if you stay overnight, enjoy dinner and fireplace.

Blue Mountains Weather

The Blue Mountains climate is cooler than in Sydney. The climate varies with elevation. There is generally a 2°C drop in temperature with every 300 metres increase in altitude. Summer months December to February are warmer, occasionally reaching 30 °C. Winter months June to August have mean maximum temperature 10 °C. The highest rainfall is between January and March averaging 170mm of rainfall and 13 rainy days a month. Check BOM monthly statistics for Katoomba and current weather forecast

Map

Blue-Mountains-Map
Blue-Mountains-Map

Blue Mountains Main Areas

Glenbrook

Glenbrook area is your eastern gateway to Blue Mountains National Park from Sydney. Camp in the wild, see wild kangaroos and enjoy natural swimming spots like Jellybean pool, Aboriginal rock art, walks and mountain biking, so close to Sydney

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls is one of the most beautiful towns within the Blue Mountains offering possibly the most spectacular bushwalks and views. On 17th January 1836, Charles Darwin walked to the Wentworth Falls. Wentworth Falls is a three-tiered waterfall fed by the Jamison Creek, The total height of the waterfall is 187 metres.

Leura

Leura is as popular for visitors to the Blue Mountains as Katoomba itself. It is known as the garden village, many gardens are privately owned yet open at selected times of the year to the public. Leura Mall has many fine coffee shops, beer garden, restaurants and galleries.

Katoomba

Katoomba is the most visited town in the Blue Mountains, iconic rock formation Three Sisters is best seen from viewing platform Echo point near Information Centre. It wasn’t until 1879 that the town of Katoomba became known when J.B. North opened the Katoomba Coal Mine. The now-famous Scenic Railway operates in the original cutting in the mountainside.

Blackheath

Blackheath area has some amazing walks, mountain biking and clifftop views in Blue Mountains National Park. Visit Govetts Leap, conquer the Grand Canyon and explore the Grose Wilderness.

Top Activities

Bushwalking

The Blue Mountains’ 140 km of tracks range from easy 1hr bushwalks to hard more difficult full-day bushwalks to3-day Six Foot Track. The most popular walking trails are Overcliff-Undercliff Tack and National Pass in Wentworth Falls, Grand Canyon in Blackheath. Here you can find more information on the best bushwalks in the Blue Mountains.

Jenolan Caves

Jenolan Caves is one of the oldest cave systems in the world offering a visit to 11 caves. You can explore the caves on a guided day tour, on a ghost tour or enjoy a cave concert with natural acoustics.  Visit also nearby Blue Lake for an opportunity to see the wild kangaroos.

Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens

The cool-climate garden is 1,000 metres above sea level and offers stunning views of the area. See rare Wollemi Pine. Free audio guide available. Enjoy scones and cream at the local restaurant.

Scenic World

Scenic World is very popular as it includes unlimited entry to Railway Skyway Cableway attractions. In peak time, the waiting time is 1hr per attraction. Beware

Three Sisters Echo Point Lookout

A visit to the Blue Mountains would not be complete without visiting Three Sisters, iconic rock formation. Echo Point is the best spot to see them. If you prefer quiet location, visit Eagle Hawk Lookout located near Scenic World on Cliff Drive. We estimate around 2mil people visit Three Sisters Lookout each year. Find out more here on Things To Do & Attractions in The Blue Mountains

Top Lookouts

Echo Point Lookout see above

Lincoln’s Rock Lookout  Located south of Wentworth Falls on the Kings Tableland plateau, Lincoln’s Rock is one of the most impressive lookout, part of Kings Tableland, not far from Wentworth Falls

Olympian Rock Lookout The Olympian Rock Lookout is a 30 minute walk away from Gordon Falls Lookout, following the Prince Henry Cliff Walk or easy walk from Toy Museum in Leura. For more information, see TOP Lookouts in the Blue Mountains 

Govetts Leap Lookout Blackheath, on par with Three Sisters Lookout without the crowds. It offers stunning views across the Grose River Valley. Read more Top Lookouts in the Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains Accommodation

It is easy to spend more than just 1 day in the Blue Mountains. Accommodation varies, price should not be the only criterion, but also take into consideration easy access to public transport or proximity to bushwalks.

Budget Hostels

  • The Flying Fox Backpackers
  • Blue Mountains YHA
  • Katoomba Falls Caravan Park

Mid-range Accommodation

  • Windradyne Boutique Bed & Breakfast Katoomba
  • Winston Cottage
  • Kookaburra Cottage
  • Carrington Hotel Katoomba

Luxury Hotels

  • Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
  • Fairmont Resort & Spa Leura
  • Lilianfels Resort and Spa  Katoomba
  • Hydro Majestic Medlow Bath

Landscape

The Blue Mountains area is around 1436 square kilometers. It’s recognized for its geographic, botanic  and cultural value. Aboriginal Dharug, Gundungurra, Wanaruah, Wiradjuri, Darkinjung and Tharawal Nations are acknowledged as the traditional owners of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. 

The wide range of habitats includes wet and dry sclerophyll forest, mallee heathlands, localised swamps, wetlands and grassland. The area represents a significant amount of Australia’s biodiversity with ten percent of the vascular flora as well as significant numbers of rare or threatened species, including endemic and evolutionary relict species, such as the Wollemi pine.  Approximately 100 species of Eucalypts occur in the Greater Blue Mountains Area. More than 400 animal species inhabit the area. These include threatened or rare species of conservation significance, such as the spotted-tailed quoll, the koala, the yellow-bellied glider and the long-nosed potoroo as well as rare reptiles including the green and golden bell frog and the Blue Mountains water skink.

The Greater Blue Mountains Area is made up of seven national parks: the Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Yengo, Nattai, Kanangra-Boyd, Gardens of Stone and Thirlmere Lakes as well as the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve.

Why Is It Called Blue?

The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of Eucalyptus oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour.

History at Glance

1770 Captain Cook lands at Botany Bay
1788 Captain Phillip established the first settlement at Sydney Cove
1813 Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson crossed the Blue Mountains
1879 first coal mine opened in Katoomba
1959 Blue Mountains National Park was declared in 1959, its total area is 247,000 Hectares
2000 The Greater Blue Mountains was announced as Australia’s 14th UNESCO World Heritage Area on 29 November, its total area is over 1mil Hectares

Blue Mountains Tour from Sydney

Daily Small Group 10 Guests

Sydney Private Tours