Waterfalls, cave formations and an old steam railway make the Blue Mountains the perfect weekend getaway from Sydney. Thanks to the immense diversity of gum trees, this mountain region is a world heritage since the year 2000.
The name Blue Mountains is thereby deeply rooted with the uncountable types of gum trees typical for this area. The essential oils of the leaves evaporate and cause the blue shimmer above the vast woodlands. There are a lot of scenic lookouts in the Blue Mountains where you can watch this natural phenomena in awe. The possibly most famous spot is Echo Point in Katoomba.
Katoomba and the Three Sisters
The major hub of the Blue Mountains is the little town Katoomba. There are a lot of different tracks around here to start unforgettable bush walks. From the lookout Echo Point you will have a remarkable view of a huge gum tree valley and of course the locally famous „Three Sisters“ – a rather unique rock formation.
Tip: When you walk from the center of Katoomba to Echo Point you will pass a cute, little chocolate factory. Stop by and enjoy the regional delicious chocolate. Free tasting and a look behind the scenes included.
short video – impressions of Blue Mountains and Katoomba:
Zig Zag Railway
It’s very exciting for kids and adults alike to ride an old steam railway. The Zig Zag Railway is using part of an old track of the Trans-Australian Railway. In the 19th century the trains left Sydney and traveled to the Blue Mountains on this very track – using railway zig zag to climb the steep mountain. While the locomotive is switched back and forth the ends of the train, you have time to explore the surroundings and take in the scenic Blue Mountains around you.
short video – impressions Zig Zag Railway
Although I have seen quite a few cave formations already I was quite impressed with the Jenolan Caves. Before going there you should check out all the different tours you can do and pick the one that best suits your interest and skills. Otherwise you could end up standing there at the entrance overwhelmed by the choices and you might even find that you missed the tour that you want to do the most.
There is, for example, one tour which takes you to selected different caves and therefore it takes quite long. In order to get from one cave to the other you will have to crawl through narrow tunnels from time to time. Not suited for me, since I am claustrophobic 😉
tip: Take the time to do the Jenolan River Walk. It takes about an hour there and back and it’s really worth it. You will pass waterfalls and lakes, cross suspension bridges and walk along the Jenolan River – you will witness nature in its most beautiful ways. Don’t forget to bring your swimwear and some snacks for picknicking.
Botanical Garden of Mount Tomah
The botanical garden of Mount Tomah is situated on a hill. While walking the paths between exotic trees and flowers you will now and again have amazing views of the Blue Mountains surrounding you.
Blue Mountains – by car or by train?
I would definitely recommend a rental car for your trip to the Blue Mountains. After all, many of the most interesting sights – the Jenolan Caves, the Zig Zag Railway, the Botanical Garden of Mount Tomah – are only reachable by car. Of course, you can also travel from Sydney to Katoomba by train and book tours with regional tour operators. But honestly, exploring the Blue Mountains at your own pace is much nicer.