Blue Mountains

Mar 9th, 2010, 05:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 82
Blue Mountains

I'll be arriving in Sydney on March 21 from NYC. Planning on doing the Blue Mountains on March 23 if the weather is good. If I have my info right, seems the best way to explore the blue mountains is to take the train from Sydney to Katoomba. Then from there do a hop on/hop off thing. It looks like there are 2 of those---Trolley Tours and Explorer Bus. Are they basically the same thing? Does anyone think one is better than the other?
Also, I assume this is an all day thing. I would want to take an early train from Sydney. then do I stay in the Blue Mountains until sunset and take a train back?
StuQ is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,712

We found out while in Katoomba that the Trolley Tour is the same as the local city bus service--same bus, same stops. We could have just paid by the ride like the locals (and some in-the-know tourists) and spent less than the $20 all day pass. You might want to check the price of single rides before buying the pass for convenience. The drivers were helpful, providing a tour narrative and answering any/all questions.

Explorer Bus is another company that strictly does the tourists, I think. The routes/stops are online for comparison.

We took an early train from Sydney and easily filled a day with hikes (not much into the Scenic World, shops or museums) and waits for bus from place to place. So, how long you stay depends on what you want to see/do.
Kay2 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Hey StuQ,

When it comes to getting around in the blue moutnains, unless you wanna get a complete tour that includes activities, I would just walk. It really isn't that long between each bus stop anyways! Will save you some money.. and I think catching the first and last train of the day will give you plenty of time As long as the weather is good, u'll enjoy it !!
TravelSarah is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Can one really walk the entire area? is that what you mean?
StuQ is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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The Blue Mountains is a term applied to a series of towns/villages, as well as the mountains themselves. Whilst you couldn't walk through all the villages in one day, there are a number of walks that you could do. And, of course you can walk around the various villages. Katoomba is probably the best known and Echo Point from where you can see the Three Sisters is located there. There's an iconic cafe, The Paragon, in Katoomba.

No doubt you've done lots of research on the area yourself, but this link might be useful.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 446
Hi Stu,

As Bokhara mentions, the Blue Mountains cover an extensive area and for a day trip, it’s really a cherry-pick.

Here are a few links that might help you plan your day – firstly to check the weather! Was in the Blue Mountains again over Christmas/New Year this year, and it was fogged in for almost a week with just a few yards visibility.

And links for your day-trips plans:

General Blue Mountains info

*Visitor Information Centre
*Free guide:

*City Rail timetables Sydney Central to Katoomba (Note that the schedule is different on weekends/public holidays!)

*Bus tours from Sydney: too many to list, but google AAT Kings, Australian Pacific Tours, Gray Line, Sydney Day Tours, FJ Tours, Andersons, Bush Limousines, Fantastic Aussie Tours, Dal Myles Special Tours, Mountain Escapes, Oz Experience, Tours-r-Us, Blue Mountains Cultural Tours.

*Redicar Rentals across the Blue Mnts Leura

Hop on/hop off touring
*Blue Mountains Trolley Tours, start from Katoomba train station
*Blue Mountains Explorer bus trips, start from Katoomba train station

Tourist attractions
*Jenolan Caves, Program & Prices

*Scenic World at Katoomba (skyway, cableway, railway and walkway)

*Bush walks, routes and info: The Heritage Centre at Blackheath

*Zigzag Railway from Clarence Station (near Lithgow)

~Toy Railway Museum, Leura
~Mechanical Toy museum, Mt Victoria
~Bygone Beautys teapot collection, Leura

*Some arty-farty galleries:
~Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge
~Falls Gallery at Wentworth Falls
~Michael White Gallery, Leura (local artist)

~Leura Gardens Festival, 9 days in October
~Blackheath Rhododendron festival, November
~Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens

Hope you have a great Blue Mountain experience.
FurryTiles is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Love the Norman Lindsay gallery. There was another gallery in Leura which I particularly liked but cannot remember its name.

The Blue Mountains is a great place for a week of mixed high level activity and chilling out.
AlanJG is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 03:46 PM
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Thanks. Is all or any of the "scenic world" things worth doing? Or is it a tourist trap?
StuQ is offline  
Mar 13th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,712
Scenic World opinions will vary. For us it was too much of a tourist trap.

That said, my husband and I enjoyed the railway steep incline.

The forest walkway was similar to what you can see on other trails (except for the exhibits about mining), but for us was not enjoyable because it was too accessible, so it was overrun (in summer) with screaming children, people blocking the walkway as they lined up to take photos in front of exhibits, etc. Not a nature experience at all that day.

We didn't ride the skyway, but we heard the people scream each time it went over and they looked down through the glass floor. We didn't ride the cable car because we enjoyed the train and we could sit in a seat rather than be stuck standing like a sardine in a glass can, so we took it back up.

Now, if I had been visiting with my mother in her later years in her wheelchair, I might have a different opinion.
Kay2 is offline  

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