One day exploring the Blue Mountains
Discover the inviting villages, breathtaking bird’s-eye views and spirited wilderness of the Blue Mountains.
The Blue Mountains has all the hallmarks of a classic weekender: natural wonders, fresh mountain air, heritage stays and sophisticated dining. The fact that it’s so close to the bustle of Sydney makes it worthy of visiting again and again.
Stroll through village streets lined with trees and shops, browse antiques and enjoy a mulled wine by the fire. Embrace the adventure of the lush mountain landscape with a hike through eucalypt forest, past towering sandstone cliffs and flowing waterfalls.
Here’s how to make the most of a day in the Blue Mountains.
Blue Mountains highlights
9 am: Start with a hearty breakfast at one of the cafés in Glenbrook, a village nestled just under a one-hour drive from Sydney. Café 2773 serves comfort food, with breakfast burritos and pork bao buns on the menu. Over at Kickaboom, the husband-and-wife team make nearly everything in-house, including liquorice bread and traditional milkshake syrups.
10 am: Drive about 40 minutes to the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area, where you’ll find the start of the Wentworth Falls Track nearby. This short bush walk brings you to Jamison Lookout, which boasts a sweeping valley vista. After passing Wentworth Lookout, be sure to keep an eye out for the side track leading to Fletchers Lookout. It’s here you’ll find the best view of Wentworth Falls’ cascades.
11:30 am: After completing your hike, head to the pretty town of Leura, just a 10-minute drive from the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area. Enjoy a leisurely high tea at Bygone Beautys and marvel at the collection of over 5,000 teapots. Step inside Josophan’s Fine Chocolates and choose from a range of handcrafted chocolates. Just a stroll away is iKOU, a beauty haven founded in the Blue Mountains. Pick up some of their organic products to bring home.
12:30 pm: Just a few minutes’ drive away in Katoomba lies the Three Sisters, one of the Blue Mountains’ most famous rock formations. The Aboriginal Dreamtime story has it that three sisters named Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo were turned to stone after disobeying tribal law that forbade them from marrying outside their tribe.
This area is also home to one of the Blue Mountains’ best lunch spots. At The Lookout Echo Point dining precinct, you’ll have a great view of the Three Sisters while you enjoy a burger at Milkbar or a more elegant atmosphere at Restaurant 1128. Before you leave the Katoomba area, pop into the Mountain Culture Beer Co, housed in a historic former newspaper building circa 1912, for a tasting of their small-batch craft beer.
2 pm: No day in the Blue Mountains is complete without a visit to Scenic World, just a few minutes from Echo Point. The famed tourist attraction is home to the steepest incline passenger train in the world at 52 degrees. The ride boasts expansive views of the surrounding rainforest, emerging through a cliffside tunnel to the Jamison Valley floor.
Late afternoon and evening
4 pm: The magical Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens, a one-hour drive from Scenic World, is the world’s only botanic garden located within a World Heritage area. It offers free entry, and you’ll be in awe of over 21,000 plants from 900 species. Take a walk amongst Wollemi pines, fairy grottos and breathe in the crisp mountain air.
5:30 pm: Head back along Bells Line of Road past beautiful orchards, fertile farmland and rustic country bakeries. Stop in at Hillbilly Cider and relax near a log fire with an award-winning apple cider in your hand.