How to Visit the Blue Mountains
Located just an hour’s drive from the heart of downtown Sydney, the Blue Mountains National Park is a world away from the bustling streets of the big city below.
A picturesque backdrop for hiking, biking and enjoying incredible wildlife adventures, this is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and one that is high on the list for many visitors embarking upon on a sightseeing tour of New South Wales, Australia.
If the stunning scenery of the Blue Mountains appeals to you, here are some of the best ways to discover this magical setting.
Visiting the Blue Mountains
Depending on your point of view, visiting the Blue Mountains is either an outdoorsy paradise or a break within a break, perfect for escaping the buzz of the city. Seeing all of the spectacular nature on offer or just getting away from the city for a day is certainly one of the main attractions. Located around 50km from Sydney, visitors can easily hop in a car, bus or train and be there within a matter of hours. You can plan a personal itinerary to best suit you and your party but for many visitors to Sydney who are keen to see the Blue Mountains, the convenience and organisation of guided trips makes more sense than renting a car and driving into parts unknown. Tours include transport to and from the city, making it easy to experience the best the area has to offer without having to go through the stress of driving in a foreign country.
Reducing that stress is one clear advantage of taking a tour but those taking advantage also benefit from having access to knowledgeable guides who are ready and raring to answer questions, talk about the history and cultural significance of the area and provide tips for getting the best photographs and views.
To ensure that there’s something for everyone, itineraries will vary depending on how long you want to spend and what you want to do, meaning these trips cater for all interests and needs: those who love animals, for example, may wish to consider a Blue Mountains and Wildlife Tour, whilst anyone keen on more energetic activities such as biking or hill walking will find something for them as well.
How to Visit the Blue Mountains
With a range of daytime tours and overnight adventures on offer from Sydney, it’s always good to check out what’s on offer and decide what works best for you. One of the most important questions to ask yourself, is how much time you want to spend in the Blue Mountains. Think about the time frame of your trip and how long you have at your disposal. Indeed, given the wide variation in itineraries, it’s also a great idea to know exactly what you actually want to do when you leave the city and make for the mountains.
While it’s very easy to while away several days in the Blue Mountains, when time is of the essence, day trips from Sydney are also an excellent option. So, should you pick a day tour or stay for 2 days or longer?
A Blue Mountains Day Tour
There’s definitely scope to see a huge amount in a relatively small amount of time if a shorter, more intense day trip is what you have time for. The aim of these day-long tours is to enable visitors to enjoy all the highlights of the area as well as giving them access to information, advice and tips to make the most of their minimal time in the mountains. If you’re pressed for time, make sure you look out for a day tour setting off from the city and getting you back again before the end of the day, like the Blue Mountains and Wildlife Tour.
The Blue Mountains and Wildlife Tour
The Blue Mountains and Wildlife Tour takes tourists from Sydney around the area with admission to Featherdale Wildlife Park included in the price of the trip. Visitors can explore the charming town of Leura, discover the beauty of the national park and catch a glimpse of the iconic Three Sisters rock formation nestled in the area. After all that, those with a desire to indulge their their inner animal lover will have the chance to hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies, see koalas snoozing in the treetops or take a river cruise along the Parramatta River.
This is a day tour that packs a lot into a relatively short space of time, and is a wonderful option for those hoping to see the best of the Blue Mountains and get up close and personal with some of Oz’s most precious and popular native species. Lasting approximately 11 hours, it’s perfect for those with only a day to spend in the great outdoors.
2 Days or More
Two-day trips are ideal for those who want to explore the Blue Mountains further, as well as those who want to see other attractions, mountaintop viewpoints and villages.
Visitors to the Blue Mountains who have a bit more time at their disposal might wish to stay extra nights in the peaceful surrounds. Staying longer will obviously provide more time to see the national park and its standout features, as well as give you a better flavour for the local area.
If you are taking the time to explore, enjoy experiences such as visiting a local farm or wildlife park to truly soak up the local culture while still having time to go hiking, find the best photography spots or enjoy lunch and a cup of tea in one of the nearby towns and villages. Staying overnight also affords the opportunity to get started right away the next morning as travel time is no longer an issue.
Blue Mountains Tour from Sydney
A multiple day adventure affords visitors the chance to explore more of New South Wales’ stunning landscape and enjoy unique experiences along the way. The Blue Mountains Tour From Sydney includes an overnight stay, the opportunity to hike in the National Park and a visit to Calmsley Hill farm to take in a unique cultural experience in the area.
Calmsley is a working farm that plays an important role in local wildlife conservation, and on this tour, guests have the chance to spot the local fauna in their natural habitat. As it is surrounded by bushland, it occupies an enviably remote and tranquil spot, and from here, visitors proceed to the Blue Mountains, driving through the quaint town of Wentworth Falls before clamping eyes on scintillating views over the Jamison Valley.
The highlight for many visitors to the Blue Mountains is the aforementioned Three Sisters, whose best views can be enjoyed from Eaglehawk Lookout, the next stop on this tour.
The second day of the tour involves a leisurely morning in the pretty village of Blackheath followed by a tour of some of the region’s best viewpoints, including Govetts Leap, which overlooks Grose Wilderness. The final stop before heading back to the city is the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens.
Make the Most of Your Visit
The Blue Mountains are incredibly popular for good reason. It is a beautifully serene national park with scenery characterised by craggy rocks, cascading falls and blankets of vivid green eucalyptus forests. Any trip to the Blue Mountains is likely to be memorable thanks to Mother Nature, but there are certain tips to take on board to get the best out of a visit.
An organised tour involves taking set paths, which are selected to show off the highlights and the most iconic features. Those who are keen to hike and take photographs are advised to bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes so that it’s possible to conquer the more authentic, rugged walking trails and access the finest viewpoints. A spare battery is always a good idea for photography enthusiasts and a fold-away tripod may also be a worthy addition to the backpack.
The weather conditions can be changeable and unpredictable, so it’s wise to cover all eventualities, especially on a two-day trip. Light layers, breathable fabrics and waterproof jackets are recommended. In the summer, the sun can be intense, so sun lotion is a must.
Many people choose to hike through the Blue Mountains, but there’s a raft of other activities on offer. For those keen to test their mettle or enjoy a different perspective, it’s definitely worth looking into the opportunities to climb, kayak, abseil and take horseback rides in the area.
Top Attractions in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains region covers more than 11,000 square kilometres, so it’s not possible to explore every inch, and most people come with a list of attractions they’re keen to see during their stay. Make sure you include these top attractions:
- The Three Sisters
- Wentworth Falls
- The towns of Leura and Katoomba
- Echo Point Lookout
- Scenic World
Many sightseeing tours tick off several of the main highlights and you can also choose from tailored trips with extra stops to compliment your interests, from wildlife to camping.
It may only be an hour away from Sydney, but the tranquility of the Blue Mountains can make you feel like you’re in another world, especially if you’ve been exploring Sydney for the previous few days. A tour catapults you from the vibrant city streets and the beautiful sun-drenched waters of Sydney Harbour and Bondi Beach to the mysterious, mist-covered mountains, lush green meadows and dramatic rocky outcrops of the area.
There’s a lot to see both en route to the Blue Mountains National Park and once inside its borders, and this is why organised tours work so well. Remove the stress from organising transport and travel and take advantage of a local knowledgeable guide to make your trip an unforgettable one.
The Blue Mountains are a spectacular gem with incredible sights to behold. Whether you go it alone or take advantage of one of the many tours on offer, this is an Australia experience not to be missed.
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