Things to do in Sydney

Plan the Perfect Sydney to Blue Mountains Day Trip

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June 1, 2020

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The Blue Mountains are known for their dramatic scenery, wilderness, rainforests, waterfalls, and brilliant lookout points!

Located 80 kilometers west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales is an Australian highlight, to say the least. This national park is particularly famous for its abundance in botanical and cultural elements, making it a must in your day trips from Sydney.

The Blue Mountains - A Slice of Heaven


The protected national park of Blue Mountains is striking in both its natural beauty and scale, spread across a massive 267,954 hectares. A part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the national park is famous for its botanical and cultural abundance and for protecting sites of Aboriginal cultural importance.

A visit to the Blue Mountains promises dramatic scenery, rugged sandstone tablelands, buzzing wilderness, striking waterfalls, lush rainforests, scenic lookouts, wide canyons, and some adventurous walking trails.

The Blue Mountains National Park is full of potential adventures. There are more than 140 km of walking tracks and trails available throughout the park along with picturesque places to go camping.

With slate-coloured hazy blue mountain ranges, brilliant green forests and stunning waterfalls aplenty, you'll never be tired of your surroundings at this national park.

Planning a day trip from Sydney to the Blue Mountains? Our handy guide will help you make the most out of the experience!

Why You Must Take A Day Trip From Sydney to Blue Mountains?


Sydney to blue mountains day trip

A quick drive away from the metropolis of Sydney, the Blue Mountains is littered with exciting activities to engage yourself with all day. Unplug from electronic devices and social media for a day as you take to the ever-striking Blue Mountains. Here are some of the reasons why Blue Mountains is such a catch:

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:

There are miles and miles of tracks and bush walks suitable for everyone at the Blue Mountain. Immerse yourself into the beauty of nature as you climb down to the valley floor and climb up rugged escaprments where you'll see native flora and fauna and other exciting highlights along the way!

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':

The best place to drink in the mountains' best views is from Scenic World. Glide over the striking valleys in a cable car and ride the world's steepest railway to get to the top, from where you'll be privy to the best panoramic lookouts.

Discover the world's oldest caves:

The world's oldest cave system, Jenolan, is an experience you don't want to miss. Dive into the depths of the cave and embrace underground chills as you pass by massive stalactites and clear lakes.

Best Day Trips from Sydney to Blue Mountains


Guided Tours from Sydney to Blue Mountains:

An organized guided tour might be the way to go if you're hoping to make the most of your (short) time in Blue Mountains. Why bother getting into the nitty-gritties of planning your day trip when you can get someone to do it for you? Bask in the beauty of the mountains without having to worry about transportation, attraction tickets, last-minute expenses, etc- all will be taken care of for you. Enjoy your surroundings while being ushered with facts from your friendly tour guide!

Learn more about Sydney to Blue Mountains day tours.

Self-Guided Tours from Sydney to Blue Mountains:

A self-guided tour is the perfect fit for those who like spontaneous, last-minute plans. Fancy making your own itinerary from scratch after doing your fair share of research? Stop along the way and make multiple pitstops to take Instagram-worthy pictures while you're at it!

Allow us to help you with your Blue Mountains itinerary by pointing out the attractions you simply cannot miss. Even if you cannot fit all 10 in the same day, you can easily cover about 4-5.

Top 10 Things To Do at Blue Mountains


1Scenic World

VIEWPOINT •SCENIC RAILWAY

Enjoy breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains at Scenic World, the world's steepest scenic railway. Perfect for the entire family, Scenic World is one of the best ways to witness the Blue Mountains in all their glory. There are other activities you can try here, including the scenic walkway, skyway and cableway, all of which offer a starkly different experience!

Sydney To Blue Mountains

2Three Sisters

HISTORY •ATTRACTION

One of the most popular attractions at the Blue Mountains, the Three Sisters is a trio of rock formation surrounded by blue hues of rocky mountains and a seemingly endless expanse of green valley. Three Sisters is named so after a legend wherein three sisters were turned to stone by a sorcerer to protect them from three young men. Before he could undo the spell, the sorcerer died, leaving the sisters trapped in stone!

Sydney To Blue Mountains

3Pulpit Rock Lookout

HISTORY •ATTRACTION

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

4Breenhold Gardens

FLORA & FAUNA •ATTRACTION

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

5Wentworth Falls

TREK LOVERS •WATERFALLS

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 an over 300m drop. There's a rewarding trek from the town which offers magnificent views of the valley before reaching the top of the waterfalls.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

6Japanese Bathhouse

STEAM BATH •REJUVENATE

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 selene views of the Blue Mountains valley. You can opt for an herbal steam bath to rejuvenate your body after a tiring day of travel.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

7Jenolan Caves

GEOGRAPHY •UNIQUE ATTRACTION

Exquisite limestone caves located within the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve, west of the Blue Mountains, Jenolan Caves are perfect for tourists looking for something different. A collection of 9 glorious caves await you at Jenolan, an award-winning tourist attraction. There's a bar, restaurant and even a range of accommodation to make the experience memorable for you.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

8Glow Worm Tunnels

NATURE LOVERS

The Glow Worm Tunnel is a popular destination for tourists and locals looking to see glow worms in their natural environment. This disused 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 as well which is the fastest and easiest way to explore the famed tunnel. The only drawback is that it is a guided-tour only experience and you'll need to shell AU$65 to enter the tunnels.

Sydney To Blue Mountains

9Sunset at Blackheath Lookout

SCENIC VIEWS •SUNSET POINT

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

10Kings Tableland

SCENIC VIEWS

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.

Find on Map >

Blue Mountain Restaurants
Monte's

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
Embers

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


The unique residential area of the UNESCO-listed site of wilderness- The Blue Mountains offers plenty of shopping opportunities. Buy something fresh, regional, and handcrafted to take home as a memento of this wonderful holiday spent up in the 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.
  • 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.
  • If you're thinking of hiking through the mountains on your own, get a hiking map of the mountains from the Echo Point Information Centre. More serious hikers can purchase a trail book to plan a proper hiking trip.
  • 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!
  • If you're nervous about exploring the Australian wilderness on your own, you can always opt for a guided tour where you'll be escorted to the Blue Mountains by a trained and knowledgeable guide who'll take you to all the beautiful sites and share interesting facts about the place.

FAQs

All Your Questions About Sydney To Blue Mountains Answered


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Sydney To Blue Mountain Day Trip
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