The Blue Mountains

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Blue Mountains - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Echo Point

    Overlooking the densely forested Jamison Valley and three soaring sandstone pillars, this lofty promontory has the best views around Katoomba. The formations—called the Three Sisters—take...

    Overlooking the densely forested Jamison Valley and three soaring sandstone pillars, this lofty promontory has the best views around Katoomba. The formations—called the Three Sisters—take their name from an Aboriginal legend that relates how a trio of siblings was turned to stone by their witch-doctor father to save them from the clutches of a mythical monster. The area was once a seabed that rose over a long period and subsequently eroded, leaving behind tall formations of sedimentary rock. From Echo Point—where the visitor center is located—you can clearly see the horizontal sandstone bedding in the landscape. There is a wide viewing area as well as the start of walks that take you closer to the Sisters. At night the Sisters are illuminated by floodlights. There are cafés and a visitor information center near the site.

    Echo Point Rd.
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  • 2. Jenolan Caves

    Stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and lacelike rock on multiple levels fill the fascinating Jenolan Caves, a labyrinth of vast limestone caverns sculpted by underground rivers. There...

    Stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and lacelike rock on multiple levels fill the fascinating Jenolan Caves, a labyrinth of vast limestone caverns sculpted by underground rivers. There are as many as 320 caves in the Jenolan area. Two caves (Nettles Cave and Devil's Coachhouse) near the surface can be explored on your own, but a guide is required to reach the most intriguing formations. Standard tours lead through the most popular caves—many say that Orient Cave is the most spectacular—while the more rigorous adventure tours last up to seven hours. The one- to two-hour walks depart every 15 to 30 minutes, on weekends less frequently. Prices start at A$55 for a standard tour. Concerts and murder mystery nights are also held in this spooky environment. Cave House, on the same site, is a nostalgic retreat and has been providing lodging since 1887. To get here, follow the Great Western Highway north out of Mount Victoria, then after Hartley, turn southwest toward Hampton.

    4655 Jenolan Caves Rd.
    - 1300 - 763--311

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: From A$55
    View Tours and Activities
  • 3. Scenic World

    Thrill-seekers can choose their own adventure on the Scenic Railway, whose trains descend 1,000 feet down the mountainside—the seats allow passengers to adjust the incline...

    Thrill-seekers can choose their own adventure on the Scenic Railway, whose trains descend 1,000 feet down the mountainside—the seats allow passengers to adjust the incline angle from 52 to a hair-raising 64 degrees. The railway is one of three attractions at Scenic World, which has carried more than 25 million passengers to the valley floor since it opened in 1945. Once at the base, visitors can hike on easy trails through the rain forest or make the 20-minute hike to Cableway, a huge cable car that whisks passengers back up the mountain. You can also hike back up, but it's a steep, strenuous climb. The third attraction is Scenic Skyway, a glass-enclosed and -floored cabin that travels from one cliff to another, some 920 feet above the ravines below. The A$49.50 day pass provides unlimited rides on all three attractions.

    Cliff Dr.
    - 02 - 4780–0200

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: From A$50
  • 4. Blue Mountains Chocolate Company

    If you have a sweet tooth, try this artisanal-chocolate shop. Here you can watch chocolate being made and taste it for free. There are 60...

    If you have a sweet tooth, try this artisanal-chocolate shop. Here you can watch chocolate being made and taste it for free. There are 60 different varieties of handmade chocolates, as well as hot chocolate (perfect for chilly mountain days) and homemade ice cream (chocolate, of course) for those sultry summer days.

    176 Lurline St.
    - 02 - 4782–7071
  • 5. Blue Mountains Music Festival

    Held over a weekend every March (in the middle of the month) in beautiful Katoomba, this Music Festival of Folk, Blues, and Roots showcases artists...

    Held over a weekend every March (in the middle of the month) in beautiful Katoomba, this Music Festival of Folk, Blues, and Roots showcases artists from around the world and across Australia in intimate and relaxed settings.

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  • 6. Everglades Historic House and Gardens

    Everglades Gardens, a National Trust–listed, cool-climate arboretum and nature reserve established in the 1930s, is one of the best public gardens in the Blue Mountains...

    Everglades Gardens, a National Trust–listed, cool-climate arboretum and nature reserve established in the 1930s, is one of the best public gardens in the Blue Mountains region. This former home of a Belgian industrialist is surrounded by 13 acres of native bushland and exotic flora, a rhododendron garden, an alpine plant area, and formal European-style terraces. The views of the Jamison Valley are magnificent.

    37 Everglades Ave.
    - 02 - 4784–1938

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: A$15
  • 7. Govetts Leap Lookout

    Blackheath's most famous view is from the Govetts Leap Lookout, with its striking panorama of the Grose Valley and Bridal Veil Falls. Govett was a...

    Blackheath's most famous view is from the Govetts Leap Lookout, with its striking panorama of the Grose Valley and Bridal Veil Falls. Govett was a surveyor who mapped this region extensively in the 1830s. This lookout is the start or finish of several excellent bushwalks. Brochures are available at the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre.

    End of Govett's Leap Rd.
  • 8. Leura Garden Festival

    When spring is in the air in the mountains, one of the most beautiful places to be is Leura. Dozens of cherry blossoms line the...

    When spring is in the air in the mountains, one of the most beautiful places to be is Leura. Dozens of cherry blossoms line the main street, and private gardens are open for viewing. Make a date for the weeklong Leura Garden Festival in early October. The gardens are adorned with the work of local artists keen to win the annual art prize. A village fair caps off the celebrations. One ticket (A$25) buys entrance to all the gardens on show.

    - 0431 - 095279
  • 9. Leuralla

    This imposing 1911 mansion still belongs to the family of Dr. H. V. ("Doc") Evatt (1894–1965), the first president of the General Assembly of the...

    This imposing 1911 mansion still belongs to the family of Dr. H. V. ("Doc") Evatt (1894–1965), the first president of the General Assembly of the United Nations and later the leader of the Australian Labor Party. A 19th-century Australian art collection and a small museum dedicated to Dr. Evatt are inside the home. Baby boomers and their children (and grandchildren) will love the collection in the New South Wales Toy and Railway Museum, which is both inside the house and in the gardens. The museum comprises an extensive collection of railway memorabilia, antique curios from yesteryear (including lots of dolls depicting Alice in Wonderland scenes), and exhibitions on iconic dolls like Barbie. Directly across the street from the mansion are the Leuralla Public Gardens (entry A$2), with spectacular views of the Jamison Valley.

    36 Olympian Parade
    - 02 - 4784–1169

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: A$15; gardens only A$10
  • 10. Mount Tomah Botanic Garden

    This is the cool-climate branch of Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens (30 km [19 miles] northeast of Mount Victoria). The garden is 3,280 feet above sea...

    This is the cool-climate branch of Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens (30 km [19 miles] northeast of Mount Victoria). The garden is 3,280 feet above sea level, and is a spectacular setting for native and imported plants. You'll find beautiful rhododendrons and European deciduous trees, as well as plants that evolved in isolation for millions of years in the Gondwana Forest. The famous Wollemi Pine (once thought to be extinct) is also here. There are picnic grounds, a café with views of the ranges, and a daily guided tour at 11:30 am. Admission is free.

    Bells Line of Rd.
    - 02 - 4567–3000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Weekdays 9–5:30, weekends 9:30–5:30
  • 11. Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum

    If driving from Sydney, be sure to stop at the National Trust–listed Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum, dedicated to the Australian artist and writer. Considered...

    If driving from Sydney, be sure to stop at the National Trust–listed Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum, dedicated to the Australian artist and writer. Considered one of the cultural highlights of the Blue Mountains, Lindsay lived in this house during the latter part of his life until he died in 1969. Lindsay is best known for his paintings, etchings, and drawings (many of voluptuous nudes), but he also built model boats, sculpted, and wrote poetry and children's books, among which The Magic Pudding has become an Australian classic. The delightful landscaped gardens contain several of Lindsay's sculptures, and you can also take a short but scenic bushwalk beyond the garden or take refreshments in the café. Daily tours of Lindsay's studios run from 10 am to 4 pm and are included in the price, while dedicated art fans can stay in the cottage on the grounds for A$175 a night midweek or A$220 a night Friday and weekends.

    14 Norman Lindsay Crescent
    - 02 - 4751–1067

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: A$17
  • 12. Sublime Point Lookout

    This viewpoint just outside Leura lives up to its name with a great view of the Jamison Valley and the generally spectacular Blue Mountains scenery....

    This viewpoint just outside Leura lives up to its name with a great view of the Jamison Valley and the generally spectacular Blue Mountains scenery. It's a quiet vantage point that provides a different perspective from that of the famous Three Sisters lookout at nearby Katoomba.

    Sublime Point Rd.
  • 13. Trains, Planes and Automobiles

    Children and adults will enjoy a browse around this store that bills itself as the best antique toy shop in the world....

    Children and adults will enjoy a browse around this store that bills itself as the best antique toy shop in the world.

    1 Goldsmith Pl.
    - 02 - 4787–7974
  • 14. Hotel Imperial

    Closed Permanently

    The pink circa-1878 Hotel Imperial was one of several historic Blue Mountains inns built a few years after the railway line was opened from Sydney....

    The pink circa-1878 Hotel Imperial was one of several historic Blue Mountains inns built a few years after the railway line was opened from Sydney. It's worth popping in for a drink to have a look at the fading grand old dame.

    1 Station St.
    - 02 - 4787–1878

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