Exploring the Blue Mountains National Park
POSTED BY Adam | June 25, 2014
Label: Sydney Travel
Found just over an hour’s drive inland from the bustling coastal metropolis of Sydney, the Blue Mountains National Park is a popular attraction for both Sydneysiders and tourists. The park is a great place to relax in fresh mountain air and enjoy some breathtaking views.
With the entrance to the park within an hour’s drive from Sydney, the most common way to get to the Blue Mountains National Park is by car. A little bit more drive time is needed to reach some of the park’s best attractions such as the Three Sisters and the Scenic World Experiences. For those that haven’t hired a car, there is also a very efficient rail service that runs through the national park’s highest point: Mount Victoria.
The Three Sisters
For many, the highlight of a trip to the Blue Mountains National Park is the Three Sisters – a spectacular trio of rock formations that tower over the surrounding landscape at 3,000 feet. The appearance of the Three Sisters changes significantly throughout the day depending on the position of the sun. For late arrivals – or those that want a second look – they are floodlit until 11pm.
If you’re wondering how they got their name, according to Aboriginal legend they represent three sisters turned into stone by a witchdoctor that was trying to protect them from murder at the hands of a rival tribe. Legend has it that he was killed in the battle and so could never reverse the spell.
Distance from Sydney: 1.5 hour drive
Scenic World Experiences
The steepest passenger railway in the world cruises over the rainforest and the spectacular Jamison Valley. The Scenic Railway features custom designed carriages with seats that can be adjusted to different inclines. The ‘railway’ passes through a cliff-side tunnel before emerging in the rainforest at the foot of Jamison Valley. It’s then possible to walk through 2.4 km of the rainforest.
The Scenic Skyway is another innovative way to take in the surroundings. The electro-glass pod is suspended 270 metres above the ancient ravines and offers 360° views over Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley. Anyone with a fear of heights might prefer to stay on land though!
Distance from Sydney: Scenic World is just outside in Katoomba, a 1.5 hour drive from Sydney
Technically outside the Blue Mountains National Park near the village of Oberon, the Jenolan Caves are within easy reach of the park and still a viable day trip from Sydney, provided you set off early. The extensive caves are the world’s oldest and feature some amazing rock formations and underground streams.
All types of visitors are catered for with different kinds of cave tours to suite different needs. Those seeking a challenge can try the ‘Adventure Caving’ experience in some of the less developed caves, with only a headlamp to light the way. For those not so fond of enclosed spaces, there are the more sedate self-guided options. There are even night tours for those that aren’t in a hurry to get back.
Distance from Sydney: 2.5 hour drive
One of the most beautiful towns in the Blue Mountains National Park, Wentworth Falls is the home of some wonderfully preserved historic buildings like the Grandview Hotel and is a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The town’s lake is a popular spot for a picnic and a swim and there is a fantastic selection of bush walks leading to some impressive lookout points over the surrounding valleys. Some natural attractions within walking distance of the town include: Breakfast Point Lookout, Princes Rock Lookout and the Wentworth Falls waterfall.
Distance from Sydney: 1.5 hour drive
It may be one of the smaller towns within the Blue Mountains but Hawkesbury Heights is a popular place to enjoy a BBQ and take in the spectacular views. At just over an hour from Sydney, it’s a great option for a short day trip to get a taste of the park.
From the Hawkesbury lookout point it’s possible to see the Nepean River over the vast planes down to Sydney in the distance. At the foot of the descent there is evidence of the Daruk tribe carved into rock known as ‘the flight of the Great Grey Kangaroo.’
Distance from Sydney: just over an hour
If you’re thinking of visiting the Blue Mountains National Park, it’s best to fly into Sydney from the UK. Book Sydney flights with Globehunters online or call 020 8944 4555.