Visible on a clear day from Sydney’s observation towers, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains region is a popular destination for idyllic day trips away from the urban hustle. Visitors to Sydney who opt to venture outside the city on a mountain day tour are rewarded with outdoor activities, memorable experiences, and the natural beauty found in Blue Mountains National Park, including rugged sandstone outcrops, cavernous valleys, and towering eucalyptus forests. This stunning scenery draws visitors from the U.S., Europe, and the rest of the world.
Blue Mountain Popular Attractions
The best of the Blue Mountains includes the mighty Three Sisters rock formation and expansive Jamison Valley, both of which can be seen from Echo Point Lookout, various hiking trails, and Katoomba Scenic World's cable cars and tramways. Surrounding area tourist attractions include the tea shops and antique stores of Blackheath, Katoomba, and Leura, plus the Zig Zag Railway, the Norman Lindsay Gallery, and the Featherdale Wildlife Park, home to native animals such as kangaroos, wombats, and koalas.
Best Ways to Enjoy the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are most often visited on small-group or private day tours from Sydney, many of which last about 10 hours and include a tour guide, plus roundtrip coach transportation from your Sydney hotel. A typical Blue Mountains tour takes travelers out onto bushwalking trails, with some focusing specifically on day hikes, ATV adventures, or wildlife. It’s the perfect destination for active travelers, hikers, and rock climbers.
Tours that include admission to Scenic World allow visitors to glide between clifftops and over the rainforest on the Scenic Skyway tram; descend into the Jamison Valley on the Scenic Railway; or ride the Mountain Devil, the steepest railway in Australia. Explore the tranquil rainforest along the Scenic Walkway and climb back to the top with amazing views and photo opportunities on the cableway. Aside from a visit to Scenic World, a Blue Mountain adventure can also be paired with a Sydney city tour to see the Opera House, a trip to the nearby Jenolan Caves, or a winery visit in the world-class wine-producing region of Hunter Valley. Those who want to get out on the water can opt for an afternoon river cruise on the Parramatta River as a stop on the journey back to Sydney.
How to Get There
At 80 miles (130 km) northwest of Sydney Harbour in New South Wales, the Blue Mountains can be reached from the city in less than two hours by car or bus. It’s also a scenic train trip from Sydney to the mountains, with stations in Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, and Lithgow.