When visiting Australia, there is so much to do and take in, from wildlife to culture to beautiful scenery. One thing you want to be sure not to miss while you are there is the 50 million-year-old valley known as the Blue Mountains.
Located in New South Wales, this World Heritage Wilderness site has it all. You will find small towns full of quaint shops and good food, extraordinary views, and over 40 different species of rare and threatened wildlife living in the eucalyptus forest.
With its proximity to Sydney, less than an hour drive, the Blue Mountains are a national treasure, and it is not hard to see why. Here are some of the best and most beautiful things to do in the Blue Mountains area.
Your Blue Mountains itinerary
Located on top of a cliff overlooking the Jamison Valley, the town of Katoomba offers stunning views of the Blue Mountains while enjoying local shops and landmarks. The town itself is full to the brim with funky shops selling everything from local art to antique books and vintage clothing.
After you’ve had a look around town, you can take one of the many walking tracks to different lookouts over the valley. Some trails will take you down to the valley floor for further exploration of sights like Katoomba Falls.
If you aren’t in the mood for walking, you can take the world’s steepest train down to the bottom of the valley.
2. The Three Sisters
In local folklore, three sisters from the Katoomba tribe, Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo, fell in love with three warriors from an enemy tribe. When they were forbidden to marry, the warriors from the Nepean tribe kidnapped the girls, leading to a war. The sisters were turned into stone pillars by a witch doctor to keep them safe during the fighting. When the dust settled, the witch doctor had been killed, and the sisters were left as stone pillars forever.
Visible from the town of Katoomba, The Three Sisters is a world-famous rock formation towers over Jamison Valley. You can view the Sisters from several areas around Katoomba, or you can hike the Three Sister Track from Echo Point to get right up close to them. Once at the Sisters, you can take the Giant Stairway down to the valley floor where there are more paths to explore.
Another adorable town worth visiting is Leura – located just a quick five-minute drive from Katoomba. This tiny hamlet is known for its delicious food and abundant gardens. Leura is home not only to beautiful public gardens but also to many privately owned ones which are open to the public at different times of the year.
Grab lunch at one of the many local eateries, and don’t forget dessert from the candy or chocolate shops, and then head on over to one of these gardens for a relaxing lunch. After lunch, several lookouts around town offer views of the many nearby waterfalls as well as the rainforest.
4. Blackheath and Megalong Valley
Just a short trip west from Katoomba and Leura is the town of Blackheath and the gorgeous Megalong Valley. Blackheath is another quaint town full of antique shops and local cuisine, as well as a stunning view. The town is also home to many ponds and walking trails through the local woodlands.
A little further down the road and down in elevation, you will find the majestic Megalong Valley. This valley, whose name means “valley below the cliffs,” is home to many farms and the area’s best horse tours. With tours to accommodate every riding level, you will enjoy riding through the lush glens of the valley floor while learning about the region’s history.
The small town of Bilpin is famous for its apple orchards, and the local shops are full of treats made from them. Apples are not the only fruit that is plentiful in Bilpin. Depending on the time of year, there are places where you can pick your own chestnuts, berries, peaches, and more.
The town itself is home to cute coffee shops and lots of local artisans selling their wares. In this area, you can also find Mt. Tomah, with its lovely cold-weather botanical gardens, and some of the best accommodations in the area.
On a final note…
While all of these attractions are fairly close together and could be seen on day trips out of Sydney, they are best enjoyed as a relaxed, couple-day getaway. When you are looking for places to stay in the region, the Blue Mountain cabins offer all the privacy of a remote mountain retreat while maintaining the luxury and convenience of a modern hotel.
Come enjoy the Blue Mountains as they were meant to be enjoyed, without being rushed or having to make a drive back to the city. Wake up to the eucalyptus fog outside your cabin window, and come back at night to a beautiful view of the rainforest and the stars.
Monica is a passionate writer and content creator. Her interests include outdoor activities, fitness, technology, entrepreneurship, and everything in between. Say hi to Monica on Twitter @monical_lee. Here’s another post she has written here: Tips for Hiking With Kids and Make the Adventure More Fun
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