Located approximately 80 KM west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, the Blue Mountains National Park is an Australian highlight alright. Spread across a massive 267,954 hectares, this protected national park is striking in both its natural beauty and scale. 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 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 to Blue Mountains? Our handy guide will help you make the most out of the experience!
Sydney To Blue Mountains - What You Must Know
Distance from Sydney to Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains National Park is located 80 km (50 miles) away from Sydney.
Approximate Duration for traveling from Sydney to Blue Mountains
Depending on your chosen mode of transport, you'll take anywhere between 90 to 120 minutes.
Best Ways to Travel From Sydney To Blue Mountains
There are different ways to travel from Sydney to the Blue Mountains range
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.
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.
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 Tours
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.
Top Things To Do at Blue Mountains National Park
If you're planning to spend a whole day at the Blue Mountains National Park, here's what your itinerary should look like. Don't try and squeeze them all in, but you can definitely manage 3 to 5 of them. Learn more about Sydney to Blue Mountains day tours.
1. Scenic World
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!
2. Three Sisters
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!
3. Pulpit 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.
4. Breenhold 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.
5. Wentworth 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 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.
6. Japanese 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 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.
7. Jenolan Caves
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.
8. Glow Worm Tunnels
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. Find more information here.
9. Sunset 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.
10. Kings 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.
Best Rated Sydney To Blue Mountain Tours
Here are the top rated tours from Sydney to Blue Mountains National Park. Depending on your budget, you can go for the all-inclusive tickets or the economical discover pass.
Blue Mountains Scenic World Unlimited Discovery Pass
- Experience the eucalyptus-scented Blue Mountains with the discovery pass that includes unlimited walkway, railway, and skyway access, to make getting around in the park hassle-free and fun!
- Take bushwalks through the dense rainforest, and discover jaw-dropping views of the scenic Jamison Valley.
- Explore the Jenolan caves, a natural site with breathtaking rock formations sculpted by an underground river.
- End your trip with a ride on the Scenic Cableway, the longest cable car ride in the Southern Hemisphere.
Blue Mountains Wildlife Tour (Transfers + Optional Lunch & River Cruise)
- Visit the picturesque Jamison Valley, Leura Village, Katoomba, Scenic World, and get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most famous animals at Featherdale National park.
- Stroll through the many mountain villages and forest walkways that dot this area, and make stops at lookout points with breathtaking views of this dramatic landscape.
- Enjoy interacting with koalas, kangaroos, and more of Australia’s unique animals at the award-winning Featherdale National Park.
Blue Mountains All-inclusive Day Tour (Scenic World+Featherdale Wildlife Park+River Cruise)
- Visit the Jamison Valley, the Three Sisters, Scenic World, and get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most famous animals at Featherdale National park, before ending your tour with a cruise down the Parramatta river into Sydney Harbour.
- Save time and money with this all-inclusive day tour through the Blue Mountains area.
- Join a small group on the tour and go on guided bush walks and make stops at lookouts with breathtaking views of this incredible landscape.
Premium Blue Mountains Small Group Tour with Scenic World Rides
- Explore the lush and rugged Blue Mountains with this luxury tour from Sydney.
- Enjoy close encounters with some of Australia’s most famous animals at Featherdale National park, as well as a private Indigenous Culture Experience with an Aboriginal person.
- Experience the eucalyptus-scented rainforest with a self-guided bushwalk through the area, or visit Scenic World and take a ride on the Skyway.
- End your tour with a scenic cruise down the Parramatta River into the iconic Sydney Harbour.
Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves Tour
- Experience the tranquil beauty of Australia’s Blue Mountains with this guided tour.
- Witness breathtaking vistas on bushwalks to lookout points overseeing the verdant rainforest and valley.
- Explore the dense rainforest, and discover jaw-dropping views of the scenic Jamison Valley from Echo Point and Cahill’s Lookout.
- Trek through the Jenolan caves, a natural site with breathtaking rock formations sculpted by an underground river.
The Perfect Blue Mountains Day Trip Itinerary
There's a lot to see and do in the Blue Mountains National Park and typically you would need more than a day to completely explore everything on offer. Still, setting out two or more days for just one location isn't always possible for tourists, which is why we have put together the perfect Blue Mountains day trip itinerary.
Begin your Blue Mountains adventure by arriving at Katoomba, a quaint old mountain town which acts as a gateway to the Blue Mountains. Explore the beautiful town and make your way to Echo Point Road. At Echo Point, you'll visit the legendary Three Sisters. Arguably the most popular attraction within the Blue Mountains, the Three Sisters feature three sharp sandstone rock formations rising from the Jamison Valley.
Echo Point is also famous for offering breathtaking panoramic views of the national park and countless walking tracks. After spending an hour at Echo Point, make your way towards Scenic World, which is just 2 km away from Echo Point.
Scenic World is home to the world's steepest incline railway and you can also ride a cable car across the valley! With ample parking and a cafe to boot, this is the perfect place for a hearty brunch.
Post lunch (or brunch), make your way to the last stop of your one-day itinerary; Jenolan Caves. Located around 75 km from Scenic World, Jenolan Caves are often described as one of the world's most spectacular caves. Amongst the oldest caves in the world, Jenolan offers visitors an amazing experience. After Jenolan Caves, you can take a bus or train back to Sydney, bringing your Blue Mountains adventure to a close.
While discovering the Blue Mountains on your own has its own charm, it's hard to beat the convenience and price advantage of an organized tour. Most organized tours are specifically designed to give you a comprehensive experience at the Blue Mountains within a day and include everything from hotel transfers to small guided tours.
You can also opt for a Blue Mountains Wildlife Tour to get a better peek at the country's rich fauna. Given that you won't be planning every minute detail of your day yourself and actually enjoy your time, opting for a Blue Mountains organized tour is a great option.
Tips For Your Blue Mountains Tour
- 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 heading to the Blue Mountains on your own and looking to hike extensively, 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Blue Mountain Tours
Why is the Blue Mountains called that?
The Blue Mountains look blue, specially from Sydney, which is the reason for their name. The reason for the blue haze is eucalypts (commonly called gum trees), which in the hot sun discharge a fine mist of eucalyptus oil from their leaves. The mist refracts light, which makes the haze look blue at a distance.
What’s the weather like in the Blue Mountains?
The weather in the Blue Mountains are pleasant throughout the year. During the summer season, the temperature averages to around 22 degrees Celsius (or 71 degrees Fahrenheit). In the winters, the temperature generally comes down to approximately 10 or 11 degrees Celsius (50 to 51 degrees Fahrenheit).
What should one wear while visiting the Blue Mountains Mountains Range?
If you're visiting during the summer, you can wear shorts or loose pants along with comfortable and good quality walking shoes. Add a hat and jacket if you making your trip during the winters.
How long does it take to get from Sydney to the Blue Mountains?
Taking the train is the most popular option and the train from Central Station in Sydney takes around 2 hours to reach the Blue Mountains.
What are the top 3 sightseeing attractions in the Blue Mountains?
There are too many to choose from but if could only visit three, they would be; Jenolan Caves, Scenic World and the Three Sisters rock formation.
How long does it take to explore the Blue Mountains?
While most Blue Mountains tours are for a single day, you have the option to stay on for a longer duration. You can do quite a lot in a single day, but plan a week-long trip if you really want to learn more about and experience the local culture, lore and scenery.
What accommodation is available in the Blue Mountains?
If you're choosing to stay beyond a day, there are many options at the Blue Mountains available for your perusal. There are many hotels in the area, each with a great collection of amenities and varying price ranges.
What else can I do while touring the Blue Mountains?
Apart from exploring the stunning natural beauty on display, there are tons of other things to do at the Blue Mountains. There are excellent shopping, camping, beauty and spa treatment, and other leisure activity options you can choose from.
What can families with children do in the Blue Mountains?
There are many kid-friendly activities and attractions available at the Blue Mountains. Apart from the Jenolan Caves, there are many theaters and cinemas offering animated films and other child-friendly entertainment.
How do I to get to the Jenolan Caves?
Once you get to Katoomba Station from Sydney, walk across the pedestrian crossing into The Trolley Tours shop. You can arrange your coach trip to the Jenolan Caves here.
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