Rising to a height of 1,000 metres, these richly forested mountains barely an hour from the heart of Sydney have been sculpted into an awesome landscape of breathtaking chasms, where waterfalls leap into valleys far below. The Blue Mountains is a natural paradise for nature lovers.
Blue Mountains Adventure and Nature
Etched with deep fissures gouged over the eons from the sandstone of an ancient sea, the Blue Mountains is ideal for the thrilling adventure sport of canyoning. A rope-assisted descent into a canyon or cave, canyoning gives access to a beautiful subterranean world. Several adventure operators in the area offer canyoning trips.
With its dramatic vistas, soaring forests, deep gorges, waterfalls and hundreds of kilometres of walking trails, the Blue Mountains saves its best for bushwalkers. Iconic walks in the region include the National Pass, the Grand Canyon and, for those up for a challenge, the Six Foot Track, also available as a guided walk.
A highlight of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Jenolan Caves is a labyrinth of stalactite-lined limestone chasms carved by underground rivers. Set in a deep and secluded valley on the western edge of the Blue Mountains, the pure underground rivers and amazing formations inside the caves make this one of the finest cave systems in the world.
The Greater Blue Mountains Drive is one of the country’s greatest touring routes, designed to show off the natural splendours of the Blue Mountains in all their glory. The drive includes 18 Discovery Trails that branch off the main route, each one taking travellers on a unique adventure, even with just a day to spare.
Some 40 kilometres west of Richmond, Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah is the dazzling, cool-climate annex of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Sprawling over 28 hectares, 500-plus plant species are grouped according to geographic origin. Perennial favourites include the North American Woodland, the Eurasian Woodland, the Residence Garden, the Formal Garden and the Brunet Meadow.