The Blue Mountains are one of the most famous areas in all of Australia. Sydney locals use them for casual weekend trips, tourists from all corners of the world come to check them out. We visited the Blue Mountains for two days as a weekend trip (to get to Bright but the trip can be done with return to Sydney) from Newcastle. You can also do this from Sydney – it makes it even easier.
We wrote down a few things you should know and will tell you our highlight in the Blue Mountains.
How To Get There/Around:
Come To The Blue Mountains By Train:
If you don’t have a car or don’t feel like driving on the left side is how you want to die, public transport is your friend. A lot of places in Australia are too far spread and public transport is rare. The Blue Mountains area are not one of them. Since we came from Newcastle we had to first take a train to Sydney. They go pretty often, the coolest thing, however, is, that you can use the Opal card already since Newcastle. To find out what the Opal card is you can consult our story about Sydney. The ride is around 2,5 hours until Sydney plus 1-2 hours depending on where in the Blue Mountains you are headed. But we still only paid around 4 dollars per person. – because of the Opal card. The Blue Mountain line slowly makes its way from Sydney’s city center all the way to Katoomba. All along the line you find small towns that are more or less interesting.
Make Your Way By Car:
As easy as it gets. There is one main road that leads from Sydney all the way through the Blue Mountains.
Four Great Places To Explore In The Blue Mountains
1. Glenbrook: Bushwalks And Swim Hole
Glenbrook is a small town rather close to Sydney. The town itself is not really worth mentioning, there are a few cafes, lunch places, and a running store. We went to Glenbrook for the bushwalks. The Glenbrook national park is huge and beautiful. Lukas went for a long run to several lookouts (Tunnel View Lookout and Mount Portal Lookout) and I spent the time doing the Euroka trek. Afterwards, we chilled at the Jelly Bean Pool. The swim hole is close to the entrance so you don’t need to go for a full-on bushwalk to go for a swim – you can even drive there by car.
2. Springwood: No Tourists, Just Forest
In Springwood we spent the first night – because it is cheaper than the overrun Katoomba. Since the whole Blue Mountains area is covered by Forest you can find beautiful bushwalks all over the area. So also in Springwood. If you head to Martin’s Lookout (you can either do it as a loop or just go to the lookout and back) you will get some beautiful views. Other than that, you could definitely call Springwood sleepy and uneventful 😉
3. Katoomba: Three Sisters, Echo Point, Cliff Walks – And All The Tourists
If the Blue Mountains had a capital it would definitely be Katoomba. It is the biggest town along the road and within the area. It is where all the tourism is focused and where you can find the most action outside of nature activities. When we came to the place it was Halloween and there was a rager going on combining the spooky with Oktoberfest. We quickly passed the festivities and explored the rest of the long main road. Several outdoor shops can be found, as well as cute little boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Katoomba is so famous because it is the home of the Three Sisters rock formation. The stones themselves were not that epic in my opinion, but the view from Echo Point was definitely worth coming to the Blue Mountains.
The forests seem so dense and unexplored. Like a secret that you can’t ever uncover. From Echo Point, you can walk along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk for more scenic views, the cascades, and a waterfall. Definitely worth your time.
4. Blackheath: Govetts Leap
Our favorite spot in the whole area is last: Govetts Leap in Blackheath. To reach it you either need a car, hitchhike or … well, walk. The train does not go all the way to Blackheath. We stayed in the cutest little inn and went early in the morning to the lookout of Govetts Leap. It was so far the most amazing and beautiful place I have seen in Australia. And there is no question for me if the Three Sisters or Govetts Leap are more stunning: The latter is the clear winner. See for yourself:
Blackheath itself is pretty much like Springwood or Glenbrook – exploring those towns is not very time intensive since they are tiny. But if you are on the hunt for some antiques you might get lucky.
The Blue Mountains are very touristic – but well worth exploring. Especially if you spend some time in Sydney you will be thankful for a healthy dose of nature. If you don’t expect any wild adventures and untouched nature paths you are all set: To the Blue Mountains 🙂
Also published on Medium.