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Blue Mountains [hiking, canyoning, & mountain biking]

  • Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales, Australia

Last updated: 24 June, 2023

Sydney’s infatuation with the ocean means that the Blue Mountains do not get the attention they deserve. Just 50kms from the city, the Blue Mountains National Park comprises 260,000 hectares of native forest, cascading waterfalls and towering sandstone escarpments. The blue tinge you see is a result of eucalyptus oil in the air.

While day trippers are content to view the landscape from a car park, you should really try to experience its rugged beauty firsthand. Guided rock climbing, canyoning or mountain biking are all excellent. Or just pull on a pair of good boots and tackle one of the many accessible hiking trails into the national park – anything from 1 hour to multi-day hikes.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

The best way to get there is by train. Trains run from Sydney’s Central Station to Katoomba every 30 minutes (about 2 hours). Driving time is around 90 minutes.

(Long) full day sightseeing tours from Sydney will include transfers there and back, and stops at the main tourist highlights: the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, the scenic railway, guided bush walks, wildlife centres, and sometimes aboriginal experiences. Choose an itinerary that best meets your interests. Many of the best adventure companies are based in Katoomba, and that’s where most of the organised adventure-themed tours depart from.

If you want to explore the mountains independently, the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service has offices in Blackheath, Glenbrook and Oberon, plus a wealth of information online. Keen hikers may want to travel onto Blackheath, which is the stepping-off point for walks into the Grose Valley.

Weather conditions can change suddenly in the mountains, so bring the right equipment and sufficient supplies of food and water if you plan to camp overnight.

Where to eat and drink

For post-exercise refuelling, go for a high tea at the renowned Hydro Majestic Hotel. For fine dining experience, head to Darley’s Restaurant, though there are plenty of more affordable options such as The Lookout Echo Point and the Leura Garage.

 

When to do it

Winter, Spring and Autumn are the best times for bushwalking in Australia’s southern states. The summer months (December to February) are usually far too hot, and water is scarce. Avoid the mountains in school holidays when the place is often awash with local families.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Sydney

Enjoy our tour the #1 rated experience on Tripadvisor in Australia. See all that the majestic World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains are famous for! see it all with our expert guide in a fun small group atmosphere allowing unique lookouts not accessible to large groups. Highlights include Animal Park, Lunch with a variety of options, admission into Scenic Railway, Skyway and Cableway at Scenicworld. A guided rainforest boardwalk , lookouts off the beaten track, Three Sisters and a ferry cruise back to Sydney Harbour.

Price A$288

Min age 0

Rating 4.86 / 5 [4647 ratings]

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  • Sydney

Explore the beautiful Blue Mountains on a day trip from Sydney. Start your day with a visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park where you'll see a number of native Australian animals. From here, head to Echo Point for the perfect view of the iconic Three Sisters. Lunch can be purchased from Leura Village (own expense). For those nature lovers, a visit to Scenic World won't disappoint. Enjoy a ride on the Scenic Railway, Cableway and Skyway offering stunning views of Katoomba Falls and the Blue Mountains. Then, finish your day with a Ferry cruise along the Parramatta River back to Circular Quay.

Price A$190

Min age 0

Rating 4.62 / 5 [1362 ratings]

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  • Sydney

Book your 2023 or 2024 day tour now! This is the tour you must do whilst in Sydney. Hundreds of consecutive 5-star TripAdvisor reviews with most saying we are the 'best tour they have ever been on' can’t be wrong. Business owner 'Chapo' has spent his entire life in the Mountains. Operating a tourism business is his dream, guests are provided with a personal experience. Blue Mountains Day Tours is recommended by the best 5 star hotels in Sydney. Guides tell stories about Australia's past including its discovery in 1770 and the arrival of the first fleet in 1788. Your day includes pick up and drop off from one of our nominated pick up locations. In the Mountains we stop for breakfast/tea/coffee at a Blue Mountains village cafe. Following breakfast enjoy all 3 rides at Scenic World and the rainforest, waterfalls and stunning cliff faces. After lunch there's Kangaroos and Koalas at the Wildlife Park. Walk with locals, hear our stories, feel our passion - we can't wait to meet you!

Price A$325

Min age 0

Rating 4.90 / 5 [709 ratings]

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  • Sydney

Small-Group Touring Maximum 21 People!!  Inclusions • Scenic World Rides (Skyway, Railway, Cableway and a walk in the Temperate Rainforest) • Amazing Views of the Three Sisters, Jamison Valley and Megalong Valley • Sydney Zoo Entry with kangaroo and Emu Feeding Return by ferry to Circular Quay where tour concludes at approximate 5pm We visit locations away from the large coaches taking the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful day out.

Price A$250

Min age 0

Rating 4.85 / 5 [569 ratings]

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  • Sydney

Coast Warriors is Sydney’s chilled out small group tour operator own and run by Aussie locals. We target the fitter 17 to 55ish years of age travellers though older is fine if you can bushwalk and like what you see advertised :) This tour offers one of Sydney's highest reviewed experiences for those seeking a relaxed Blue Mountains option. Our tours are run by fun local Aussies with the aim of being less of a tour and more of a feeling of a small group of mates on a day trip. We have now been running this adventure for some time so you can put trust that we will take you to only the best and less touristy places within the Blue Mountains. Waterfalls, amazing lookouts, Glenbrook cafe stop (locals cafe), the Three Sisters at Katoomba, occasionally a kangaroo and often birds. This is a full day in the Blue Mountains generally away from all the tourists and other mainstream tour bus locations. Aussie snacks like Tim Tams & Vegemite are on offer too.

Price A$115

Min age 0

Rating 4.92 / 5 [362 ratings]

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