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Published September 7th 2020
This rugged region is the perfect day trip escape
Please note due to COVID-19 still being present some attractions may not be opened- check the website for all updates.
The magical and rugged region of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains is home to ancient eucalypt forest, waterfalls and cascades, canyons and cliffs, gardens, lookouts, wildlife and birdlife. It is also home to the heritage-listed former residence, art gallery, cafe, house museum and garden, Everglades Historic House and Gardens.
It is also home to historic villages and townships that are filled with rich heritage and history as well as being home for thousands of years to Aboriginal peoples, notably the Gundungurra and Darug tribes.
The Blue Mountains is located around 70kms from Sydney CBD by car and two-hour train ride from Central Station to Katoomba Station. With the enchanting and stunning World Heritage-Listed Blue Mountains being close to Sydney, a day trip is not just doable; it is a must!
This popular and most visited Blue Mountains town was once home to the Katoomba Coal Mine. Today it is home to the famous Scenic World attraction which features the steepest aerial cable car in Australia, the Scenic Cableway, Scenic Railway, and the Scenic Skyway.
Other attractions include Katoomba Lookouts along Cliff Drive, The Three Sisters and Echo Point, Katoomba Falls, the Great Western Hotel, Katoomba town attractions including The Edge Cinema, Renaissance Centre, parks, Pulpit Hill, Six Foot Track, Museums and Galleries, Katoomba Heritage Walk, Prince Henry Cliff Walk, Street Art Walk, many cafes and restaurants located in the main street, and many more attractions. Click here for the website.
Leura was the area of the original inhabitants, the Dharug people. Archaeological evidence suggests that Aboriginal occupation of the region may date back more than 12,000 years! In 1813 first Europeans entered the area on the expedition of Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth.
Leura is home to several Heritage-listed sites, including the Blue Mountains National Park and its walking tracks and Everglades Historic House and Gardens.
Attractions include Leura Mall, natural attractions including many walks, including the Sublime Point (stands at 900m above sea level), Historic Everglades Gardens, Gordon Falls Reserve and Gordon Falls Lookout, Leura Cascades, and lookouts.
Other attractions include the Leura's Toy and Railway Museum, Cliff Drive, Pool of Siloam and Lyrebird Dell, Mount Hay Road and the Mount Hay region for seclusion, and more. Click here for the website.
Admiring the gorgeous sunset at Elysian Rock Lookout, Leura
Lawson is home to several Heritage-list sites including the Blue Mountains National Park and its walking tracks, Mount Western Railway (Lawson Railway Station), and Honour Avenue.
When the first settlements arrived at the Blue Mountains, Lawson was known as 24 Mile Hollow, then known as Christmas Swamp for a few years, and then it was known as Blue Mountain when Blue Mountain Inn was opened in 1848. With much confusion, the town was renamed to Lawson in honour of William Lawson who, along with William Wentworth and Gregory Blaxland, who were the first Europeans to cross the Blue Mountains in 1813.
Today, Lawson is home to many spectacular walks that lead you to stunning natural beauty including Dantes Glen, Fairy Falls, St Michael's Falls, Empire Pass, Echo Bluff and Frederica Falls.
Other attractions include North Lawson Park, Bellevue Park, Lawson Golf Course, Adelina Falls, Lawson Waterfall Circuit, and more. Click here for the website.
Sitting at 867m above sea level, Wentworth Falls is one of the most beautiful towns in the Blue Mountains. It is home to some of the most awe-inspiring bushwalks and lookouts.
It was once known as 'Weatherboard' after the 'Weatherboard Hut' built in 1814. It was named 'Jamison Valley' one year later by Governor Macquarie, and in 1879, the name changed to Wentworth Falls in honour of William Charles Wentworth, one of the famous explorers of the region.
Today, Wentworth Falls attractions include the Kings Tableland Area, remote and beautiful picnic areas, including Ingar Picnic Ground, ancient Aboriginal sites, McMahon's Lookout and other lookouts, The Grandview Hotel, Wentworth Falls Village, Wentworth Falls Lake, and Wentworth Falls Golf Club. Other attractions include the Charles Darwin Walk, Pitt Park, Falls Gallery, Blue Mountains National Park, and more. Click here for the website.
Blaxland is located around a 40-minute drive from Katoomba, and is the only town within the Blue Mountains with a McDonald's Restaurant! The ruins behind the McDonald's showcase an example of the town's beginnings; the ruins tell the story of free immigrant Jew, Barnett Levey, who built the Inn when he received one of the first land grants in 1825.
Blaxland was once known as Wascoe, being named after the family of John Outrim Wascoe, who held a licence for the Pilgrim Inn. The name changed in 1914 to Blaxland, after Gregory Blaxland.
There are many things to do, see and explore around Blaxland, including the Wascoe Siding Miniature Railway (opens first Sunday of the month), Bicentennial Quilt (displayed at Blaxland Library), Blaxland Oval, Blaxland Park, Thomas Park, and more. Click here for the website.
Blackheath is rich in colonial history. In 1831, "The Scotch Thistle Inn" was erected by Andrew Gardener, and in 1836 the Inn was visited by the renowned scientist Charles Darwin. Today, the original staircase from the "The Scotch Thistle" is preserved and can be found in Gardners Hotel.
Blackheath is home to many spectacular lookouts, views and bushwalks, including Govetts Leap, Evans Lookout, Edenderry and Hilary Falls, Grand Canyon Walk, and Beauchamp Falls.
Other attractions include Walls Cave Road off Evans Lookout Road where Aboriginal history can be discovered with Walls Cave believed to have been occupied around 12,000 years ago. Plus Blackheath Golf Course, Sutton Park, Fairfax Heritage Track, Govetts Leap Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Luchetti Lookout, Trinity Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Memorial Park, Pulpit Rock Walk, Cripps Lookout, and many more.Click here for the website.
Glenbrook is home to an abundance of natural beauty and attractions. Originally Glenbrook was known as Watertank (due to it being a stopping point for steam trains), then it became known as Wascoe Siding, Brookdale, and in 1879, it was named Glenbrook by Sir John Jamieson who believed that the creek was a brook coming from Regents Glen.
Attractions include Message Sticks (artwork from 16 local schools depicting the Blue Mountains through the students' eyes). The Greater Blue Mountains Drive, Discovery Trails, Glenbrook Cinema, Historic Horse Trough (the trough was made for horses from the Australian Light Horse who suffered from malnutrition just after WWI), the old Pointsman's Cottage built in 1871 by the Government, and the Native Plant Reserve.
Other attractions include Blue Mountains National Park, Historic Lennox Bridge, Marges Lookout and Elizabeth Lookout, walking tracks, and more. Click here for the website.
The Blue Mountains is also home to other quaint and beautiful towns and villages including Mount Wilson, Mount Irvine, Mount Victoria, Lithgow, Oberon, Springwood, Yellow Rock, and more. With so many things to do, see and explore, a day trip the Blue Mountains is the ultimate day out!
Where to Eat:
There is an array of dining and drink options across the Blue Mountains, which include quirky and quaint cafes and restaurants, takeaway outlets, boutique dining, wine and wineries, and more. Click here for the website.
Where to Stay:
If you like to extend your visit, the Blue Mountains is home to many accommodation options, including boutique hotels, hotels and motels, resorts, retreats, B&B stays, camping, holiday houses, hostels, self-contained, cottages, luxury stays, pet-friendly accommodation, and more. Click here for the website.