Things to do in Sydney

Plan the perfect Sydney to Blue Mountains day trip

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Embarking on a journey from Sydney to the Blue Mountains is to immerse oneself in Australia's raw beauty. This UNESCO World Heritage Site captures the imagination with its sweeping vistas, dense eucalyptus forests, and sublime rock formations like the iconic Three Sisters. It's a treasure trove of million-year-old caves and cascading waterfalls, all just a stone's throw from Sydney's vibrant city life. The Blue Mountains aren't just vast; they're alive with an ancient pulse that seduces both adventurers and zen-seekers alike. About 60 kilometers from Sydney, this natural spectacle is a quintessential Australian adventure, keep reading to know why so.

The Blue Mountains - A Slice of Heaven

The Blue Mountains is undeniable majestic, stretching over an area so vast it seems to touch the horizons. The name Blue Mountains stems from a real, natural phenomenon. The vast forests of eucalyptus trees release droplets of oil into the air which, when combined with dust particles and water vapor, scatter light rays in such a way that they predominantly reflect blue. As part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, it boasts an incredible geological tapestry atop a 470-million-year-old quartzite bedrock. With about 140 kilometers of scenic walking trails, each path winds through verdant landscapes and past points that frame the beauty of this rugged region. You’ll be fascinated to hear the local legends and tales that have been passed down through generations.

For the intrepid, camping offers a chance to slumber under starlit skies, an authentic wilderness adventure. Despite the occasional rockfall, the biodiversity here is unparalleled, presenting nature in its most magnificent and undisturbed form.

Why you must take a day trip from Sydney to Blue Mountains?

Sydney to blue mountains day trip
A good change of pace from your daily grind:

On your drive from Sydney to Blue Mountains, look out your windows and watch the scenery change from bustling metropolis to idyllic mountain ranges. Needless to say, this is a great weekend getaway for you to destress from the perils of everyday life.

Be one with nature:

Reconnect with the natural world in the Blue Mountains National Park. Embark on one of the many bushwalks, ranging from leisurely strolls to full-day treks, each offering their unique perspective of this rich, diverse landscape.

Explore the local culture:

The Blue Mountains is not only about its natural wonders. The quaint mountain towns of Katoomba, Blackheath, and Leura will give you a chance to meet the locals and explore the local shops, museums, cultural centers, and cosy cafes.

Experience 'Scenic World':

At Scenic World, immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Blue Mountains from every possible angle. Ride the glass-floored Skyway gondola that glides between clifftops, offering 360-degree views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, and Jamison Valley. Descend into the valley aboard the world's steepest railway and wander through ancient rainforests on the Scenic Walkway.

Discover the world's oldest caves:

Explore the Jenolan Caves, an awe-inspiring network of limestone chasms carved over millions of years. These are some of the oldest caves in the world, with guided tours that will take you deep into this subterranean wonderland featuring stunning formations and underground rivers.

Recommended day trips from Sydney to Blue Mountains

Other highlights in the Blue Mountains

1Three Sisters


One of the most popular attractions at the Blue Mountains, the Three Sisters is an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who were turned to stone according to Aboriginal legend. The formation is accessible from Echo Point lookout, providing breathtaking views throughout the day.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

2Pulpit Rock Lookout


Located near Blackheath in Blue Mountains National Park, Pulpit Rock is a multi-tiered lookout which juts precariously on a blade of rock perched atop the glorious Grose Valley. At Pulpit Rock, you can enjoy mountain biking, scenic views of Blue Gum Forest and Govetts Leap, and even a quaint picnic with your loved ones.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

3Breenhold Gardens


Spread across 45 hectares of opulent gardens, parkland and native bushland, Breenhold Gardens is a must-visit when in Blue Mountains. Home to hundreds of evergreen Northern Hemisphere and local trees and shrubs, the gardens offer spectacular colors of Autumn. You can also enjoy a peaceful picnic here but barbeques are not allowed.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

4Wentworth Falls


The starting point of several treks into the Valley of the Waters, the Wentworth Falls is amongst the most popular tourist attractions in the mountains. The beautiful town is named after the waterfall which has over 300m drop. The trek till here is quite rewarding which offers magnificent views of the valley.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

5Japanese Bathhouse


Set amidst the beautiful Blue Mountains National Park, the Japanese Garden and Bathhouse is quite literally heaven on earth. The bathhouse has been converted from a Tudor house facing a lake and offers serene views of the Blue Mountains valley. You can opt for a herbal steam bath to rejuvenate your body after a tiring day of travel.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

6Glow Worm Tunnels


The Glow Worm Tunnel is a popular destination for tourists and locals looking to see glow worms in their natural environment. This abandoned railway tunnel is 400 metres long and is now home to glow worms, which are the larvae of the fungus gnat. There's a walking track available which is the fastest and easiest way to explore the tunnel.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

7Sunset at Blackheath Lookout


Journey along Shipley Plateau, through pretty orchards and farms, to reach Blackheath Lookout. This stunning place offers wild views to the north and west of the Great Dividing Range over the Kanimbla Valley. Best experienced when the sun is setting, Blackheath Lookout is the best place to wind down after a day of trekking and walking.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

8Kings Tableland


A plateau located in the Blue Mountains, Kings Tableland is the remains of an eroded sandstone layer that covers an area of almost 1,000 meters, just south of Wentworth Falls. The plateau was named after King George III and offers stunning views of the Blue Mountains National Park.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

Sydney to Blue Mountains day trip transport options

The distance from Sydney to Blue Mountains is roughly 80 km (50 miles). Depending on the mode of transportation you choose, you can reach Blue Mountains in 90-120 minutes.

Mode of Travel Time Cost Best For
Bus 3-4 hours from $37 Large groups
Train 2 hours from $6- $9 Convenient route
Car 1 hour 40 minutes from $10-15 (fuel cost) Fastest route
Organised Tour 10-12 hours roundtrip from $35 (all inclusive) Seamless, hassle-free travel

Best Ways to Travel From Sydney To Blue Mountains

There are different ways to travel from Sydney to the Blue Mountains range

By Train

You can take the NSW TrainLink Intercity trains to travel to and from the Blue Mountains. The train leaves from Sydney every hour and takes around two hours to get to the top of the mountains. The train departs from Central Station and stops at Parramatta, Westmead, Penrith, and Springwood.

By Bus

You can opt to take a bus to the Blue Mountains from Sydney. There are many tour companies offering day trip to the mountains. If you're traveling with a large group, you can also rent out an entire bus and be in control of your itinerary. There's also a hop-on hop-off explorer bus service available starting from AUD$50.

By Car

You can drive to the Blue Mountains if driving through scenic natural beauty is your idea of fun. There's free, all-day parking available at Katoomba. You can rent a car for the 90-minute drive and take the M4 and Great Western Highway.

Sydney to Blue Mountains Day Trip

If public transport isn't your thing, you can opt for an organized tour. These tours offer convenient hotel pick-up and drop-off facility, making travel a breeze. There are many tour options you can choose from including all-inclusive day tour of the Blue Mountains, Jenolan Caves and Blue Mountains combo tour, Blue Mountains Wildlife Tour and more. If you're visiting Sydney for the first time and are unsure about moving around the city and its surrounding areas, organized tours are tailor made for you.

Best Time To Visit Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains can be visited any time of the year and be enjoyable.

Visiting in the Summer Season (Dec-Feb)

The Blue Mountains are warmer in the summer (but still cooler than Sydney). You might experience light showers but don't let that put you off, for the trees boom to life, the clouds blanket above the mountains, and the waterfalls are at their liveliest! It is a magical time to visit the Blue Mountains. If you wish to walk your way through the national park, it is advisable to visit at the end of Summer-beginning of Autumn (ideally in the month of March).

Visiting in the Winter Season (June-Aug)

This is the peak tourist season, so expect high ticket prices and packed tourist crowds. On the plus side, you'll experience cool days, cold nights, and lots of activities to choose from.

Where can I eat in the Blue Mountains?

There are plenty of eateries in the Blue Mountains that'll make you fall in love with the local cuisine instantly. Here are out top recommendations:

Blue Mountain Restaurants
Pins On Lurline

Nestled in the heart of Katoomba, this restaurant has been dubbed as a must-try dining experience with its old-time charm. One of the most revered dishes here is the smoked kangaroo fillet, served with char-grilled veggies, pave potati, and spiced tomato relish.

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Blue Mountain Restaurants

Whisk your tastebuds away to Italy as you dine at Monte's, an iconic award-winning restaurant in the Blue Mountains. Do not miss out on the gourmet pizza choices here, including the King Prawn and pancetta with sun-dried tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella (a local favorite).

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Blue Mountain Restaurants

Indulge in boutique dining at Embers: sip on local wines and savor sizzling flavors as you enjoy spectacular views of the plunging mountain range. Enjoy dishes like the sous vide chicken served with zucchini, tomato and paprikash sauce.

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Blue Mountain Restaurants
Aunty Ed's Restaurant And Bar

Visit the unique retro-styled Aussie diner of Aunty Ed's, located halfway down Katoomba's main street. Find yourself lost in a sea of comfy couches and armchairs with shelves crammed with books. Find burgers, milkshakes, cocktails, and Aussie craft beers on the menu.

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Where can I stay in Blue Mountains?

Thinking of extending your trip for another day or two? Here are some hotel recommendations to check in for the night.

Carrington Hotel

This hotel is a stone's throw away from Katoomba Train Station. Offering elegant accommodations and fine dining options, you are promised classic ambiance and décor all the way. Since it is located in the Blue Mountains area, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities close by.

Starts from $104/night

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Hotel Mountain Heritage

Enjoy panoramic views of the World Heritage Blue Mountains from this 4.5-star hotel. Head over to Jamison Views Restaurant and Bar for a seasonal menu of quality cuisine- unwind with a glass of wine in front of an open fire or watch the sunset from the roomy balconies.

Starts from $159/night

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Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges

Located in Blackheath, this stunninng hotel is one of the most luxurious in the area. A quick 3-minute's drive from Govetts Leap Lookout, it is well connected to the city- a 15-min drive from Katoomba and 20 minutes from the Three Sisters.

Starts from $297/night

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Shopping in the Blue Mountains

naples to capri_shopping

Local businesses here accurately capture the spirit of the Blue Mountians- creative, innovative, and brimming with natural beauty.

  • The Pavilion at The Hydro Majestic has plenty of locally-crafted products.
  • Carrington Cellars has a fine collection of wine from the Central Ranges, craft beer, local cheeses, and great coffee.
  • Leura is one of the most popular villages in the area, filled with funky homeware stores, boutique clothing, craft shops, antique stores, and cafés.
  • If you're a sweet tooth, head over to Josophans and pick up a box of chocolates for yourself.

Open your hearts (and wallets) to support the local businesses of the Blue Mountains that make your trip all the more memorable!

Tips For Your Sydney to Blue Mountains Day Trip

Sydney to Blue Mountains
  • While in Katoomba, stop at a grocery store and stock up on eatables for a fun picnic. During the course of your explorations you'll come countless spots tailor-made for an unforgettable picnic with your loved ones.
  • There are wooden benches placed strategically throughout the Blue Mountains National Park. Take a break and load up on carbs, especially if your body is not used to excessive physical activity.
  • Since you'll be hiking through Blue Mountains for a majority of the day, ensure that you're wearing proper trekking shoes. Also bring along trekking poles if you think you would need them since the overall trail ranges from easy to moderate.
  • Bring a small bag of essentials for your day at Blue Mountains. These include a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, binoculars, and insect repellent.
  • If you're visiting Australia from abroad, it's mandatory that you get a travel insurance. Research your options online thoroughly before making your pick.
  • During the winters, the average temperature is around 11 degrees Celsius while during the summers, the average temperature falls around 29 degrees Celsius. Depending on the time of the year you've planned your trip for, dress appropriately.
  • If you're done with the Blue Mountains within reasonable time, visit the Olympic Park on the way back to Sydney. The Sydney Olympic Park is a sports and entertainment complex that offers plenty of opportunities for family fun!
Sydney To Blue Mountain Day Trip