Only two hours outside of Sydney, this has to be the best day trip for nature lovers. Here is why you should visit the Blue Mountains National Park.
One of the great things about Australian cities, is that they’re usually surrounded by beautiful landscapes. From marine protected areas to national parks, these are perfect spots to experience Australia’s natural gifts.
And one that you can’t miss when in Sydney, are the World Heritage Blue Mountains. Just two hours driving from the city, you’ll find yourself in a blissful forest. Here, we tell you all about the best trails and hidden attractions at the Blue Mountains.
When to visit the Blue Mountains National Park
If you’re looking to escape the sizzling summer in Sydney, this is your best bet. The cool mountain air and tree shades will keep you company at the park’s trails. However, if you’re visiting in the winter, make sure to wear warm clothes. While days don’t get much colder than 10ºC, you can still get snow dust from chilly nights. Of one thing you can be sure though, it gets pretty humid around here. Which makes the landscape magical, with a veil enveloping the canopies.
Made of Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories
When you visit the Blue Mountains National Park, expect many panoramic views. And especially one, that has been making covers around the world: The Three Sisters. These golden rocks rise up to 922 m above the forest, and have a story to tell. In fact, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the Aboriginal culture. For two different tribes have inhabited the area for thousands of years, creating Dreamtime stories about it.
So, legend has it that there lived three sisters at the Katoomba tribe. Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo, being young and romantic, fell in love with three brothers. However, they were from different tribes, and weren’t allowed to get involved. But the brothers wouldn’t have it and defied the elders, who in turn protected the girls. Only they did so, by transforming the sisters into stone. And to their sorrow, the one who did it died before he could reverse the spell. So now they stand tall, above the Jamison Valley, as the iconic sight at the Blue Mountains.
Besides this magical setting, there are plenty more reasons why this place will win your heart. Check out below what you can’t miss at the Blue Mountains.
What to do at the Blue Mountains National Park
1. Scenic World: the most beautiful panoramic views in the Park
Start your day with the best views in the park, from the Scenic World Skyway. As you’re crossing cliffs, have an eye out for the Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley. Once back on solid ground, walk to Echo Point lookout and get your camera for that iconic picture of the Sisters.
From there, make your way down the Giant Stairway to the base of Jamison Valley. The steps that make this impressive trail, were carved straight on the rock’s surface. Which, let’s be honest, makes for a thrilling yet accessible way of climbing down a mountain.
When you’re done exploring the rejuvenating forest trails at the base of the valley, we’ve got another exciting ride for you. Hop on the steepest funicular in the world: the Scenic World Railway. You’ll be returning to your starting point, emerging from the rainforest, seated back under glass ceilings.
To book in advance, let us know when you’re coming and we go from there.
2. The best walks through the Blue Mountains forest
If you want to explore by yourself, try the cliff-side trail of National Pass. This 4,5 km circuit starts at the Wentworth Falls picnic area and promises jaw-dropping views.
For a closer look at the park’s refreshing waterfalls, take a short stroll along the Katoomba Falls Round Walk.
3. Get in touch with the Aboriginal Culture
The dreamtime story behind the Three Sisters, is only a glimpse of the Aboriginal culture in the Blue Mountains. After all, the Darung and Gudungarra people already called it a home thousands of years ago. The good news is that you can connect with their rich heritage at the Waradah Aboriginal Centre. Here you get to witness live performances, that will enlighten you about their practices and the famous Didgeridoo. Check out the centre’s schedule, at Echo Point.
Interested to learn more about the Aboriginal Culture? Check out our awesome tips on where to go in Australia.
4. Go deep into the Jenola Caves
Take the opportunity to see the most ancient open caves in the world, dating back 400 million years. Only 30 km west of Katoomba, the beautiful limestone tunnels are well worth a visit. We would love to book you a tour, so that you get to tick all of the World Heritage listed sites around here.
5. Take a 4WD tour to the canyons and towns
With so much to experience when you visit the Blue Mountains National Park, a great option is to book a 4WD tour. That way you’ll get to explore the rainforest up close, with a local guide that takes you off the beaten tracks. From stunning lookouts, such as Govetts Leap, to the picturesque towns of Leura and Wentworth Falls, you won’t miss a thing.
Now that you know why you should visit the Blue Mountains National Park, are you excited yet? Then book your tailor made day trip with us. And if you are staying in Sydney for a couple of days, check our city guide here.