As we rolled into the Blue Mountains National Park Australia I did my usual last-minute Google search of – Things to do in the Blue Mountains Australia. To my surprise, there were not many helpful answers online. How could the greats of the internets let me down!? So, if you’re planning a Blue Mountains getaway on a short timeframe. Hopefully, this is all the information you need to have an absolutely fabulous long weekend.
What Actually Are The Blue Mountains?
The Blue Mountains is a rugged region just west of Sydney made up of a number of little townships surrounded by impending blue mountains. The reason the area is called the Blue Mountains is due to the fact that they are pretty much always covered with a blue haze. Back in the early settler days people actually thought if you crossed the Blue Mountains you’d reach China. This lead to a bunch of ex-convict explorers heading out over the mountains and naming areas after themselves… Unfortunately, they never reached China, but they did discover some pretty spectacular areas of Aussie bushland. From steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and glow worm caves the Blue Mountains Australia is a pretty magical part of the world.
How To Get To The Blue Mountains NSW
The easiest way to get to the Blue Mountains is definitely by car (it’s a 90-minute day trip from Sydney via the M4 Motorway). And I’d actually recommend this option as it gives you much greater freedom once you get there. Most of the Blue Mountains attractions are pretty spread out.
However, if you’re wondering how to get to the Blue Mountains from Sydney via public transport, this is how you do it. Head to Sydney Central station and take the Blue Mountains line towards Mount Victoria or Lithgow. This train stops at most of the main towns in the Blue Mountains so you just need to decide where you’re going. Katoomba, Leura, Wentworth Falls and Blackheath are all good options as they are larger towns with some good accommodation options. Here is a guide to the train timetables. There is also a hop-on-hop-off bus if you want to make your Blue Mountains trip a short one.
Where To Stay In The Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains accommodation options near or in any of the major towns is the best way to go. And if you have a car it doesn’t really matter which town you stay in, as all the best things to do in the Blue Mountains are easily accessible by car from any of them.
Blue Mountains Hotels
Most accommodation in the Blue Mountains NSW are cute little B&Bs with breakfast included. here are some of the best options.
Blue Mountains Hostels
There are a few really nice hostels in the Blue Mountains. Given it’s Australia, you’re looking at spending about $30 a night per person. But definitely a great option to do all the best things to do in the Blue Mountains on the cheap.
Blue Mountains Camping
Most of the Blue Mountains National Park camping is free! And if you’ve got a tent with you it’s a pretty bloody beautiful way to experience this part of the world. The best free campgrounds are;
- Perry’s Lookdown: Located at the end of Hat Hill Road on the top of a cliff with stunning views. However, you can only stay for one night;
- Mt York Reserve: This is a really nice campground in a Eucalyptus Forest right near the Mt York lookout. We stayed here and it was lovely. Although there were a lot of climbers around who were desperate for a chat. Follow Mt York Rd to the end and you’ll find it.
- Acacia Flat campground: Acacia Flat campground is located right near the Blue Gum Forest in Govett Gorge. However, you can only access by walking from either Perrys lookdown or Pierces Pass.
You can find more information on camping in the Blue Mountains, here.
The 5 best Things To Do In The Blue Mountains
With just 3 full days in the area, we really tried to make the most of our time and do as many of the best Blue Mountains activities as we could. Here are my top 5 favourite things to do in the Blue Mountains Australia.
1. Hike To Hanging Rock
If you’re wondering what to do in the Blue Mountains you won’t be disappointed by a trip to the stunning Hanging Rock. This Rock is over 100m high, it juts out into the Grose Valley and has even become detached from the main cliff. The walk takes about 3 hours return (including a bit of time to take some photos near the rock) We hiked there with the idea that we would hang out and take a few pics on the main rock. But dizzying heights and the fact that you have to jump about a meter to get on to Hanging Rock was actually a bit sickening for this scaredy cat. However, even without actually making it onto Hanging Rock it’s still one of the most impressive Blue Mountains walks and should be at the top of your Blue Mountains itinerary.
To get to Hanging Rock drive to the end of Ridgewell rd. Once here you’ll get to a locked gate where you can park your car. There should be signage here for Baltzer Lookout. Park the car and walk past the gate. Follow the fire trail for about 45 minutes and you’ll get to Baltzer Lookout. From there peer over the edge and you’ll see Hanging Rock. Simply follow the trail down to your left and you’ll eventually reach it.
PLEASE NOTE: I was actually pretty terrified at the lookout to Hanging Rock. You’re sitting on the edge of a 100-metre drop and you have to actually clamber down the slippery slope to get a good view of it. I definitely wouldn’t recommend jumping the gap to the rock either. It is a stunning sight. But if you’re scared of heights or are thinking about taking the kids, maybe skip this one.
2. Get Lost In The Glow Worm Tunnel
The Glow Worm Tunnel is definitely one of the best things to see in the Blue Mountains. It is absolutely incredible. Located in an old railway tunnel just outside of Lithgow a 1.5-hour drive from the centre of the Blue Mountains, you won’t be disappointed you took the time to visit. You basically head into the tunnel with a torch and your witts in hand. Walk for about 5 minutes until you’re in deep enough and switch off your torch. Once your eyes adjust to the pitch darkness you’ll start to see the bio luminescent glow worms all over the walls. Albeit a little spooky standing in an abandoned railway tunnel in the dark, this was one of the most magical things I’ve ever done and was one of my favourite places to visit in the Blue Mountains.
To get to the Glow Worm tunnel look up Glow Worm Tunnel road on Google and follow it to the end. Here you’ll find a little car park and a board with facts all about the Glow Worms and the tunnel.
3. Walk The Grand Canyon Loop
One of my favourite Blue Mountains hikes was the Grand Canyon Loop. If you’ve spent most of your time at the top of the cliffs, this is a refreshing change that shows you a few of the other micro-habitats in the area. With mini-waterfalls and cool fresh water brook it’s a lovely way to spend 3-hours and one of my favourite Blue Mountains bush walks.
To get to the start of the Grand Canyon Loop head to the Evans Lookout just near Blackheath. Just before you get there you’ll see a sign for the Grand Canyon Loop carpark. Park your car here and you’ll see a turnoff to the trail just at the end of the carpark.
4. Check Out The Three Sisters
Wondering where to go in the Blue Mountains? Well, the three sisters Blue Mountains is usually the first port of call. While I found this spot a little touristy, and nothing compared to Victoria’s 12 Apostles (although as a Victorian I’m totally biased). A trip to the 3 Sisters Blue Mountains is definitely something you should do. Plus, it’s located right near the Blue Mountains information centre, so you’re really killing two birds with one stone.
5. Watch The Sunset From Mt York Lookout
Finding an epic spot to watch the sunset, for those wondering what to see in the Blue Mountains, is a must-do. Our favourite lookout for this was the Mt York Lookout as it was right near where we were camping. And it was so easy to pour a glass of wine and head on down. The sunsets over the valley there is absolutely breathtaking most nights. With the sky taking on an incredible pinky orange. Watching the sunset from Mt York with a delish pinot in hand was definitely one of my top things to do in the Blue Mountains.
What Does It Cost To Visit The Blue Mountains?
Accommodation and transport aside, visiting the Blue Mountains is absolutely free! Yippie. All of the trails and Blue Mountains attractions have no entry fee. So live it up and save those dollies!
Loved Your Time In The Blue Mountains and Want More of Australia?
Like It? Pin It!