Photo credit: David Ireland / Tourism Australia
Photographer: David Ireland
If you follow the Great Western Highway, past Penrith (west of Sydney) and go directly up the Blue Mountains you will reach Katoomba. Katoomba is 1.5 hours from Sydney and just under an hour from Penrith.
In Katoomba you can ride the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus. This is a double decker bus that takes you around the World Heritage Area of the Blue Mountains. The bus ticket allows you to hop on and off at 29 different stops. You will see highlights that this area has to offer and this gives you an all-day trip to view the mountains at your leisure. The bus travels around the mountains frequently and while you’re on the bus you will receive a live commentary.
Get off the bus at Echo Point and visit to the Echo Point Information Centre, which is on the edge of the Blue Mountains National Park and pick up a few trinkets and survivors. You will also see views of Jamison Valley from the information centre, so take a seat and enjoy the view.
Also at Echo Point meet the Three Sisters. If you’re not sure who they are, they are actually three rock formations. You can take a walk in the Blue Mountains National Park and see the most iconic views that the mountains have to offer. The Three Sisters walk is free and an easy 1 kilometre walk to Echo Point Lookout. The walk is an enjoyable trek, breathing in the fresh eucalypt mountain air and spotting the beautiful wildlife that makes this place their home.
If you want a bit more adventure, try the Scenic Skyway. You will be gliding through the rainforest canopy, looking at the view through a glass floor carriage. Definitely not for the height phobia sightseers. As you will be suspended at 270 metres above the ground. However, the views are breathtaking and you will see Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley.
Next try the Cableway, the steepest and largest fully enclosed aerial carriage and enjoy the panoramic views of the Blue Mountains. You will see the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and Katoomba Falls. The Cableway takes you on a 510 metres journey and it’s still not a ride for height non-enthusiasts.
If your wanting to keep your feet more on the ground, then discover the Blue Mountains on the worlds steepest railway (52 degrees) on the Scenic Railway. The carriages have glass roofing and you can still take in the wonderful views of Jamison Valley. You can even adjust your seat position to experience a 64 degree steep incline or a relaxed laid back position.
There is a 2.4 kilometre Scenic Walkway, the elevated walkway takes you through the Jamison Valley rainforest. You will be able to explore an old mine shaft and learn about the natural flora of the Blue Mountains. There are rest benches along the way and this is accessible by the Cableway.
If your starting to get a bit peckish, you can eat at the Scenic World Terrace Café. The terrace is 270 metres above the ground and you can enjoy your food while out on the deck. The outdoor seating gives you panoramic views of Jamison Valley.
If you are interested in Australian Indigenous Culture, you should visit the Waradah Aboriginal Centre. The centre celebrates Aboriginal Indigenous culture. Here you can experience authentic song and dance, arts and craft form the Aboriginal Indigenous community. If you’re more interested in the cultural history, there are lectures and exhibitions of tools, sculptures and pottery. You can also purchase authentic Australian Aboriginal artworks here.