Find your freedom in the mountains
Katoomba is the heart of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains and an easy place to find your freedom. Not only is this charming town the gateway to spectacular natural attractions like the Three Sisters, it’s also an attraction in itself, with wondrous heritage hotels, a thriving cafe culture, and shopping and galleries galore.
The ridgeline heading west is dotted with quaint villages, from Leura with its cherry tree-lined shopping strip, to bohemian Blackheath. Breathtaking bushwalks unfurl from every town, with easy clifftop strolls like the Prince Henry Cliff Walk to Leura Cascades or more challenging hikes such as the calf-burning Grand Canyon Track.
Before heading out, call in to the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre near Govetts Leap for maps, information and expert advice as well as fascinating local history and art displays.
Get a birds-eye view of the Jamison Valley from the Scenic Skyway at Scenic World, before descending into the Jurassic rainforest on the world’s steepest railway. For a more intimate encounter, sign up for the Beyond Skyway experience – once Scenic World closes for the day, just four guests are whisked out on the cable car and able to climb onto the roof for 360-degree views.
Adventure tours reveal a side of the Blue Mountains that few get to experience. Scale the heights or abseil into deep, shadowy canyons with Blue Mountains Adventure Company or High N Wild Australian Adventures; or take an immersive bushwalk with Tread Lightly Eco Tours.
The Blue Mountains are rich with indigenous heritage, showcased at the new Gathering Place amphitheatre at Echo Point. For a journey into the region’s European history, visit the museum at Mount Victoria, a former staging post for horse-drawn coaches; or take a stroll through the glorious cool-climate gardens and Art Deco buildings of Everglades House at Leura.
For a high-tech, interactive journey through the area’s social history, visit ‘Into the Blue’ at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre before checking out its gallery space featuring the work of local artists. Wander through Katoomba’s back lanes to admire colourful murals on the Street Art Walk; or head to Faulconbridge where the Blue Mountains’ most legendary artist, Norman Lindsay, lived and worked for more than 60 years.
You’ll also find many restaurants and bars nestled in historic venues throughout the Katoomba area. Enjoy fine dining at Darley’s Restaurant in the century-old Lilianfels; or enjoy a classic High Tea at the grand Hydro Majestic Hotel, served with spectacular views of the Megalong Valley.
The Katoomba area is around a 90min drive from Sydney via the Great Western Highway, winding through villages such as Glenbrook, Springwood and Wentworth Falls. Alternatively, take the “road less travelled” via the Bells Line of Road, passing through the verdant apple-growing farmland of Bilpin. For a leisurely, stress-free way to travel, jump on a train at Central Station and admire the distant escarpment views as you make your way to Katoomba Station.
WATCH: A Blue Mountains day trip
WATCH: A Blue Mountains day trip
Enjoy an exciting day trip in the Blue Mountains. Hike beautiful trails, enjoy delicious food and treats at some of the areas fantastic eateries and marvel at the incredible views in this beautiful World Heritage site.