Looking for the best things to do in the Blue Mountains? Don’t miss our mini-guide with everything you’ll need to know, including how to get there!
One of the most popular and iconic day trips from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a spectacular display of New South Wales nature at its finest.
This area of Australia is sure to give you awe-inspiring viewpoints, a variety of hiking trail options, and wildlife spotting opportunities.
You might be surprised to find that the mountains are actually as blue as you’ve seen in pictures. It’s one of those natural phenomena that only adds to the natural beauty of the area and makes it seem almost other-worldly.
The mountains get their blue tint from the mass of Eucalyptus forests in the park.
The Eucalyptus trees release oil to the atmosphere, which then mixes with water vapour and dust particles to reflect a blue haze.
No matter which viewpoint you’re at, that blue colour always seems to be emanating from the mountains themselves.
What to See and Things to Do in The Blue Mountains
Spend an afternoon, a whole day, or maybe even a few days here if you have the time. No matter your time constraints, there are countless activities to keep you busy in the Blue Mountains.
Check out our list of the best things to do in the Blue Mountains, and be inspired for your next visit!
If you wish to see most of the sights in one day, we suggest booking a full day tour with Get Your Guide.
READ MORE: Here’s everything you need to know about travelling in Australia.
1) The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters rock formation is one of the most popular sights at the Blue Mountains, and one of the main reasons why visitors make the trip out here.
The legend behind the landmark is that there were three beautiful sisters from the Katoomba tribe who were in love with three warriors from the Nepean tribe – the Katoomba tribe’s archenemies, of course.
When the three warrior men tried to capture the sisters, a tribal war broke out and a witchdoctor turned the sisters into rock to protect them from the fighting.
His idea didn’t quite work out as planned though because the witchdoctor was killed in battle, leaving the sisters in their rocky appearance still to this day.
Today, the Sisters proudly stand tall at 3,000 feet above sea level. They’re surrounded by the blue hues of mountains and valleys that expand out for miles on end.
You can also hike to the Three Sisters if you want to view them up close. To get there from Echo Point, take the Three Sisters Track and walk down the Giant Stairway until you reach the famous rocks.
Note that this is a pretty steep set of stairs that go almost straight down into a canyon, so just remember that you have to have the energy to come back up after taking selfies with the rocks.
If you’re exploring the region, take a detour to the Sisters -they’re a Blue Mountains must see!
2) Wentworth Falls
One of the many waterfalls to see at the park, Wentworth Falls is a popular spot that you can get to from the Wentworth Falls Track.
In fact, no proper list of what to do in the Blue Mountains would be complete without mentioning these cascades!
The trail goes by Jamison Valley and Wentworth lookouts, before leading you to Fletchers lookout, where you can have an unobstructed view of the falls and their 100m drop into the valley.
Wentworth Falls, near where the waterfall is located, is actually another little town in the Blue Mountains. It’s an optimal spot for relatively easy bush walks that give you impressive lookouts and sweeping views.
3) Govetts Leap
Arguably one of the most famous lookouts in Australia, Govetts Leap provides a stunning view of thick gum tree forests and a waterfall that has a 180m drop.
If you’re lucky, you might spot a king parrot or yellow-tailed black cockatoo that are known to inhabit this area.
The lookout at Govetts Leap can also be a starting point for a more vigorous hike that descends into the Grose wilderness.
The beautiful view from Govetts Leap is on every traveler’s list of things to see in the Blue mountains.
READ MORE: Check out other great day trips from Sydney!
A picturesque little village within the Blue Mountains National Park, Leura is worth visiting just for its unique atmosphere and abundance of nearby trails and good views.
The village offers a variety of gardens that are privately owned but open at different points of the year to the public. Everglades Gardens is one that is open year-round and offers sandstone terraces, picnic areas, and views of Jamison Valley.
Leura Cascades is another ideal spot for a picnic, and a starting point for walking to a variety of other waterfalls and lookouts, including Leura, Linda, Lila, and Bridal Veil Falls, and the Copelands Lookout and Fly Fox Lookout.
On this guided tour you can visit a local orchard to pick whatever’s in season, shop for produce and take part in a cider tasting session at Hillbilly Cider’s cellar door.
5) Katoomba Falls
What I love about Katoomba Falls is that it’s a segmented waterfall that has almost a staircase or balcony effect. The dramatic scenery that surrounds it doesn’t hurt either. It’s also an easy waterfall to get to if you’re short on time.
From Echo Point, walk along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, pass the Katoomba Cascades, and arrive at the Cliff View Lookout which gives you an excellent view over Katoomba Falls from a distance.
If you want to get closer to the falls, follow the easy circuit track, Round Walk Trail, that starts from Scenic World.
6) Scenic World
Scenic World is one of the best places to visit in the Blue Mountains, as it is here where you can enjoy the view from the world’s steepest scenic railway.
Sounds equally terrifying and beautiful, right? Okay, it’s not actually that scary of a ride since it’s a railway, not a rollercoaster. But it’s a gorgeous (and yes, touristy) way to take in the beauty of the Blue Mountains.
You can also experience the scenic walkway, cableway, and skyway here, all of which provide different views and experiences over the Blue Mountains.
Personally, I prefer taking in the beauty of the area through hikes and trails, but if you’re more into a novel tourist experience, Scenic World can be a fun way to spend an hour at the park.
Your Blue Mountains sightseeing can’t be complete without a visit to the Scenic World!
- Location: Corner Violet Street & Cliff Drive
- Opening hours: every day from 9 AM – 5 PM
- Price: from 43 AUD
7) Jenolan Caves
The Jenolan Caves are located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains and features some of the most spectacular cave structures in the world.
Located around an hour away from Katoomba on the fringe of neighboring Kanagra-Boyd National Park, Jenolan Caves offers a variety of cave tours that are well worth a day trip.
15 caves are accessible for public tours and there are nearby accommodations and meals if you plan to stay in the area. If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the area around the Jenolan Caves you can also hike the nearby tracks.
Prices vary depending on which caves you would like to access. You can find more pricing information here.
8) Botanic Gardens
These 28-hectare botanic gardens near Mount Tomah specialize in cooler-climate plants that would not grow well in the warmer areas of Australia.
It is the only botanic gardens located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has plenty to offer for anyone who enjoys plant and flower species.
Entry to the Botanic Garden is free and hours are 9 AM – 5 PM 7 days per week.
Blue Mountains Travel Guide
Now that you what to see in the Blue Mountains, read further to learn how to get there and how to best organise your time in order to visit as many as possible of the Blue Mountains attractions.
How Much Time Do You Need in the Blue Mountains?
At a minimum, give yourself a half-day to explore the most popular sights around the Blue Mountains National Park. Remember that this national park is huge and it takes time to get from one site to the next, even if you do the hop-on-hop-off bus.
Unsurprisingly, the Blue Mountains National Park is best taken in through walking its trails, so give yourself time to go on at least 1-2 short hikes around the park. If you can spend a full day at the Blue Mountains, or more, you won’t be disappointed.
Lastly, the earlier you get there the better, for crowds and the heat. If you’re doing the trip on your own via car or train, leave Sydney before sunrise to get an early start and experience that magical early morning glow to the mountains.
While you’re in the city, don’t miss out this great list of the best free things to do in Sydney.
How to Get to the Blue Mountains
Now that we’ve convinced you to take a day trip to the Blue Mountains, you’ll need to know the best way to get to there.
Depending on your budget and style, you have three options.
There are a few train stations and small country towns that span the Blue Mountains, but the one that seems to be the best starting point and transport hub is on the main street in Katoomba.
This is where you’ll find the main visitor centre if you want to get more information and detailed maps before you tackle any hikes.
Katoomba is also where many of the tourist activities start from, such as the hop-on-hop-off Blue Mountain Explorer bus.
From Sydney, take the train to Parramatta, where you’ll connect with a local Blue Mountain Line train that’s heading toward Lithgow.
Again, you can get off at any of the stops to explore the area, but I recommend starting from Katoomba Station.
The day trip from Sydney takes just over two hours each day. Once you arrive you can either choose to sign up for one of the hop-on-hop-off buses, or walk to the first main attraction of the day – the Three Sisters.
The walk from the station on the main street in Katoomba to the Three Sisters Plaza is only 20 minutes.
If you have the luxury of your own wheels, the drive to the Blue Mountains only takes 90 minutes. From Sydney, take the Western Motorway (M4) to the Great Western Hwy (A32), which will lead you to Katoomba.
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of cars for the best value on the market.
If you really don’t want to deal with driving in Australia or taking public transit, there are also plenty of options for bus tours to the Blue Mountains that leave from Sydney, such as this popular one.
This guide should get you started with planning your Blue Mountains trip. But just remember that it’s only the beginning of what you could see in the national park.
There are countless outdoor adventures and trails to experience that couldn’t fit into one guide, so don’t be afraid to be spontaneous once you get there to discover more history, sights, and lookouts that you might not have heard of before.
Trails are well marked and it’s one of the most popular national parks in Australia. Come prepared to hike in Australian bushland but don’t forget to enjoy it to its fullest.
Looking to move to Australia from abroad? Check out my guide to getting a work visa for Australia!
[box] That’s it for our list of the best things to do in the Blue Mountains! Have you been? What would you add? Leave a comment below and let us know![/box]
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