Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Guide to the Blue Mountains
- Getting to the Blue Mountains
- When to visit
For a holiday centred around the outdoors, head to the Blue Mountains to marvel at impressive rock formations, potter around in quaint villages or explore epic wilderness.
The Blue Mountains is best known for its soaring sandstone ridges blanketed in native bushland. Nestled within the wilderness lie charming mountain towns, ancient Aboriginal rock art and the iconic tourist attraction of Scenic World. Expect to be enchanted by the natural beauty when you set out to explore the walking tracks that loop around the verdant valleys and craggy cliffs. Find after-dark excitement spotting glow worms in an underground cave, or indulge in a touch of luxury at a wilderness retreat. Whether cloaked in clouds or glowing golden in the sunset, the endless vistas of the Blue Mountains will take your breath away.
The foothills of the Blue Mountains are an easy one-hour drive west of Sydney, with the central Blue Mountains towns of Katoomba and Leura a further 30 minutes west.
- Sydney Airport (113 kms/85 mi from Katoomba); international and domestic arrivals
- Hire cars are available at the airport, Sydney city locations and Katoomba
- Inter-city trains to the Blue Mountains depart from Sydney's Central Station; from Central to Katoomba it's a two-hour train ride
Once you’re in the mountains, public transport options include trains and some buses, while the hop on/hop off Blue Mountains Explorer Bus runs in a loop between Katoomba and Leura. To explore the Greater Blue Mountains in depth, though, you'll need your own car.
While the Blue Mountains has a temperate rather than alpine climate, winters are chilly, with occasional light snowfall, so pack layers for sunny days and cold nights. In late spring, around October and November, you'll enjoy warm, dry conditions for bushwalking. Late autumn, around May, and the winter months can also deliver good bushwalking weather.
- High season: Summer (December to February)
- Low season: Winter (June to August)
- Don’t miss: The Blue Mountains’ many cool-climate gardens, which light up with colourful leaves in autumn and bright blooms in spring.