Blue Mountains, NSW
The Blue Mountains – so called because of the blue haze created by the eucalyptus oil in the air above the mountain gum forests – are a natural wonderland.
When was the last time you experienced the Blue Mountains; sampled an award winning restaurant; taken a rejuvenating beauty treatment in an intimate health spa; gaze out at a majestic landscape of waterfalls, rainforest and awe inspiring cliffs?
Spring is a magnificent time to explore the Blue Mountains. Take to the trails on the back of a mountain bike. Learn to abseil or rock climb with an experienced guide or take a yoga or meditation course in the beautiful mountain setting.
The World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains have become one of the most consistently popular holiday regions of Australia.
Numerous visitors return year after year to enjoy the wide range of sporting facilities and outdoor activities in the healthy, invigorating climate. The breathtaking scenic beauty, nostalgic appeal and opportunity for relaxation attract more than a million visitors each year.
The Blue Mountains are easily reached by road and rail from Sydney in less than 2 hours, while one day round trip coach services run daily from Sydney to Katoomba. The wide diversity of accommodation and great range of activities available makes it an ideal destination for a stay of longer duration.
Evidence of Aboriginal occupation of the Blue Mountains dates back at least 14 000 years ago. Many camp sites, art sites, axe grinding grooves, rock engravings and stone tools and flakes exist throughout the Blue Mountains. The Daruk, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri Aboriginal tribes existed in the central, south and western areas of the Blue Mountains respectively. All Aboriginal sites and relics are protected.
The Legend of the Three Sisters states that according to Gundungurra dreaming, three beautiful giant sisters named “Meehni”, “Wimlah” and “Gunnedoo” once lived with the Gundungurra people in the Jamison Valley.
Adjoining the Great Dividing Range and known as a City within a National Park the Blue Mountains has vast, serene bushland, cliffs and gorges, wilderness areas, waterfalls and rivers and a blue haze that gives it a unique beauty which changes with light and weather.
The City occupies some 1436 square kilometres and the population is scattered across 110 kms of ridgeline in 26 towns and villages.
Highlights include picturesque towns and villages with shops, boutiques, art and antique galleries, and cafes.
Popular things to do
Stay In Blue Mountains Luxury
Experience a luxurious hotel or resort with a location to envy, perched on a cliff’s edge. Enjoy a luxurious breathtaking escape for romantics, a delight for gourmets and a wonder for lovers of nature and the Blue Mountains.
In the Blue Mountains region, luxury, tradition and a stunning natural environment combine to provide you with a holiday you will never forget!
From lookouts on the edges of the Blue Mountains National Park, cliffs fall away towards blue ridges broken by waterfalls that plunge into bowls of gum trees or narrow ravines.
Ancient rock formations, such as the Three Sisters, The Ruined Castle and Pulpit Rock, stand out starkly against the blue of the sky, or poke up through mountain mists. You can abseil over roaring waterfalls, walk through canyons that have remained unchanged from the Jurassic era, paddle beneath glow-worm covered overhangs, stroll under groves of huge tree ferns, and swim in crystal-clear pools.
Each season brings an array of changing colours, as well as different activities. Spring brings strolls among wildflowers, and summer lazy days and cooling shadows. In autumn, the European trees that colour the historic towns turn red, and in winter there are wood fires and even the odd sprinkling of snow.
In Katoomba, gateway to the Blue Mountains, you can ride the Scenic Railway – the steepest incline railway in the world – or enjoy the breathtaking views from The Skyway, a gondola-style cable car.
Historic towns boast antique shops, art galleries, Victorian and Edwardian-style buildings and Devonshire teas with lashings of whipped cream. Outside, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, king parrots, crimson rosellas and gang gang cockatoos flutter around stately gardens.
It’s all so peaceful that you’ll want to spend days wandering around, followed by evenings tucked up in cosy guesthouses.
Explore the mountains on a two-day trip, starting in Leura, a quaint mountain village. There are many interesting and intriguing galleries and boutiques, while the local candy store is a must for all those with a sweet tooth.
Katoomba is the largest township in the Blue Mountains. En route take in the sweeping views of the Jamison Valley, then make your way to spectacular Echo Point for a glimpse of the Three Sisters.
This would have to be one of the most famous drawcards of the Blue Mountains region. A spectacular rock formation, the Three Sisters can be easily viewed from platforms overlooking the pristine beauty of the Blue Mountains National Park.
Nearby, the scenic railway and skyway cable car are two attractions that will literally take your breath away as they sweep you down to the valley floor or hang you suspended high above the canyon of the Jamison.
Tour the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath, an historic hotel classified by the National Trust (circa 1904), which recently underwent a multi million-dollar restoration.
The Hydro is set against 200 acres of Heritage-listed bushland and landscaped gardens and features 180-degree panoramic views of the Megalong and Kanimbla Valleys.
Overnight at one of the many romantic accommodation houses. Leisurely drive back to Sydney via Blackheath, a pretty village dotted with cafes and craft shops and a perfect base for nature lovers wishing to explore the nearby Grose Valley and spectacular Govetts Leap lookout on foot. From Blackhealth meander along the Bells Line of Road to Mount Tomah.
Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens specialise in cold-climate vegetation native to the area and are home to the prehistoric Wollemi Pine.
Enjoy the outstanding natural views of the Grose Valley or the city vista.
The Blue Mountains gained World Heritage listing in 2000.
The area includes seven outstanding national parks – the Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Yengo, Nattai, Kanangra-Boyd, Gardens of Stone and Thirlmere Lakes – along with the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve. The area was nominated for its globally outstanding biodiversity of its plants and animal communities – it features 90 of the world’s eucalypt species.
These eucalypts help make the area famous for the evocative blue haze produced by the interplay of bright sunlight and the fine droplets of oils released into the air by the eucalypts that cover the rugged tablelands and deep valleys. The greater Blue Mountains is a one-million hectare area of rugged tablelands, sheer cliffs, deep, inaccessible valleys and swamps teaming with life. Accessible by road and rail, activities abound in the park.
Accommodation is available in the main centres of Katoomba and Leura and the many villages along the Great Western Highway. Camping is also allowed, however, fees apply.
Yulefest in July
Christmas in July? It happens and it’s known as ‘Yulefest’ in the Blue Mountains, one of the region’s biggest attractions.
Thanks to the cooler weather in the Blue Mountains in winter, thousands of visitors flock to the mountaintop in July and August to join in on the Christmas-style frolics, festivities and fare – and to revel in the occasional snowfall which turns the mountains into a winter wonderland.
With the cold winter winds come the warm hospitality, the Christmas crackers, the carols, the singalongs and of course, a visit from Santa himself.
If you’ve never experienced a Blue Mountains ‘Yulefest’ then you’re in for a hefty dose of hedonism, and it’s just a 90 minute drive from Sydney.
Many of the region’s guesthouses, hotels, motels, resorts and restaurants provide all the treats and trappings of a traditional northern hemisphere Christmas – turkey, ham, chicken, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Christmas pudding and large helpings of fun.
Hearty winter cuisine is also accompanied by live entertainment, from carols around the piano, to live shows, group dancing and bush bands.
There’s Murder, Mystery and Mayhem nights at the Balmoral Guest House in Katoomba. Basil, Cybil, Manuel and the crew from Fawlty Towers create havoc at the Mercure Resort with their ‘Fawlty Yulefest’ evenings.
The Clarendon Guest House and Theatre in Katoomba brings the house down with their Yulefest Revue, a hilarious show which runs through the winter months. For a quieter and more romantic time, one can opt for a candlelit dinner at Norwood Lodge in Blackheath, or a hearty mountain breakfast at the Carrington in Katoomba.
Accommodation and dining options are endless and most doors are open seven days a week with plenty of attractive mid-week packages to entice.
Blue Mountains Map
Blue Mountains Destinations
- Black Springs
- Little Hartley
- Medlow Bath
- Megalong Valley
- Mount Irvine
- Mount Tomah
- Mount Victoria
- Mount Wilson
- Shooters Hill
- Valley Heights
- Wentworth Falls
- Caravan and Camping
- Eco Tourism
- Food and Wine
- Nature based
- Soft Adventure
- Off Road Driving
- Mountain Biking
- Trail bike riding
- Bird Watching
- Bush Walking
- Rock Climbing
- Horse Riding
- Scenic Flight
- National Park
- Fruit Picking
- World Heritage
- Caravan and Camping
- Food and Wine