Blue Mountains Getaway
Just 90 minutes west of Sydney you’ll find some of Australia’s most spectacular natural attractions, charming villages and award-winning restaurants. There’s a lot to love about the Blue Mountains, the perfect place for a weekend of adventure and indulgence.
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park is threaded with bushwalking trails, ranging from easy strolls to multi-day adventures. The gentle Three Sisters Walk takes in the mountains’ most famous landmark and the 7km Prince Henry Cliff Walk has a number of lookout point along the path between Echo Point and Leura Cascades. You can explore on your own or join Freeland Hiking Co for a full-day guided hike.
Tread Lightly Eco Tours offer fully guided bush walks and 4WD tours that focus on the environmental and cultural aspects of the area. Guests enjoy a sensory experience visiting some of the oldest rainforests, tallest waterfalls and deepest canyons in the World Heritage area, while they learn about local history and indigenous culture.
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, sign up for a tour with High and Wild. You can abseil down cliffs and waterfalls, go canyoning through pristine gorges and learn to climb up sheer rock walls. They also offer engaging bush tucker walks where you’ll learn about the traditional uses of native plants.
At Scenic World, glide 270 metres above ancient sandstone ravines in the glass-bottomed cable cars of the Scenic Skyway. The thrills continue on the Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest passenger railway, which descends at an incline of 52 degrees to floor of the Jamison Valley.
Wander through the streets of Katoomba and you’ll find yourself in an immersive outdoor art gallery. The Street Art Walk is a community-driven project and features vibrant murals splashed across walls, doors and stairways around Beverly Place. For more art, visit the Norman Lindsay Gallery Cottage or the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.
A visit to the Blue Mountains is not complete without high tea in the Wintergarden Restaurant at the Hydro Majestic. Delicate finger sandwiches, petite pastries and freshly baked scones are served with tea, coffee or a glass of bubbles, overlooking the stunning Megalong Valley.
Start the day with a leisurely breakfast on the terrace at The Potager, followed by a walk through the picturesque Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens. Hip bar and restaurant Leura Garage is inside a former mechanics building and is decorated with industrial car art. Its inviting menu of comfort food is crafted from local and seasonal produce.
Enjoy lunch with a view at Echoes Restaurant. Set on the edge of the Jamison Valley, the modern Australian menu has an Asian twist. For a special dinner, visit Darley’s Restaurant in the century-old Lilianfels House. With its white tablecloths, chandeliers and low lighting, it’s classic fine dining at its best.
If you’d like to take some of that delicious local produce and artisan treats home with you, stop off at Carrington Cellars and Deli (inside the historic Carrington Hotel) or the Blue Mountains Food Co-op. And don’t forget to pick up some handmade chocolates at Josephans in Leura.
Luxury travellers will love the spectacular Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, an exclusive conservation-based resort set in a 7,000-acre nature reserve, nestled in a secluded valley against a dramatic escarpment backdrop. Accommodation is in freestanding villas with private pools, fireplaces and expansive verandas.
Once the grandest hotel in the Blue Mountains, the beautifully restored Hydro Majestic stretches for over a kilometres along the edge of the escarpment overlooking the Megalong Valley. The grand art deco-style property has spectacular views and a chic old world elegance that has been drawing visitors for more than 100 years.
In Katoomba, Echoes Boutique Hotel has just 14 intimate guest rooms and suites, many with breathtaking views. The Echoes Terrace is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the Jamison Valley, with a cocktail in hand. Nearby, Lillianfels Resort & Spa is housed in a historic country mansion. It has manicured gardens, 89 spacious luxurious rooms and suites, a heated swimming pool and a renowned Day Spa.
The Fairmont Resort and Spa offers classic resort-style accommodation for families, with wonderful facilities and activities such as a maze, golf, heated pool, cinema and pony rides. The two-storey Ubika Day Spa & Wellness Retreat with sandstone walkways and water features, boasts 16 treatment rooms and four couple’s rooms.