On our recent trip to Australia we visited the stunning Blue Mountains in NSW. I knew we did not have a lot of time so I buckled down, researched a ton and made some hard decisions. Were flying in and out of Sydney so we would spend a few days there and I also knew a big part of our trip was to explore as much as we could by touring in a camper van from Apollo. I wanted at least one mountain destination, and after searching high and low the best option overall was the Blue Mountains.
The Blue Mountains, specifically Katoomba, are about 3 hours from Sydney, immediately making it a great choice. From the photos and other blog posts I read it sounded and looked lovely. After picking up the camper we headed straight out of Sydney. The highways are beautiful and easy to navigate. With the exception of a quick lunch stop we were up to the mountains with no problems at all.
|Just half of the kitchen area|
|Plenty of room for boomerang practice|
|Our awesome camper on site|
The Blue Mountains cover a huge area and we only had 2 days here. Katoomba itself had plenty to keep us busy and felt like a good base for seeing the main attractions. It's a cute village filled with everything you could need from hiking boots to books and art galleries to trendy cafes. Katoomba is a must visit spot.
What to see?
|Three Sisters at Echo Point|
- Echo Point- perhaps the most popular spot and for good reason. Here you will find a spectacular vantage point for viewing the Three Sisters rock formation. It also makes a great spot for watching the sunset as shadows and colors dance across the mountains revealing the "blue" in Blue Mountains.
- Katoomba Falls- Less popular than Echo Point but still quite busy, this area also offers lovely views of the three sisters and a spectacular view of Orphan Rock. It is hampered a bit by the sky tram system from Scenic World that cuts into your photo and view but it is still beautiful. Here you can view the falls or go one step further and hike down into the forest to reach the middle of the falls. I suggest heading down to the falls. It was strenuous but a doable hike and well worth it! (my 5 year old did it with ease)
- Wentworth Falls- Not exactly in Katoomba but a short drive none the less. It can make for a nice stop either into town or on your way out. There is a large park with several walking trails. Head down towards the falls themselves for the best viewpoint for photos but hold onto your kids as there are several spots with no safety fence or wall for protection.
- Various lookouts- Throughout the town and neighboring towns there are several scenic viewpoints, some more beautiful than others. Our favorites were Cahill's lookout, Landslide lookout, and both Bridal Veil lookout and Sublime point lookouts in neighboring town Leura.
- Town-walking around Katoomba town itself is really nice. Antique shops, quaint cafes, and shopping line the streets to give you a "stepping back in time" feeling.
- Blackheath- Also slightly outside town, Blackheath offers perhaps the best view we saw the entire time. The 180 degree view of greens and blues with the back splash of waterfalls can only be fully appreciated in person. The town is also lovely and would be a great base for a bit.
The more time you can spend up in the Blue Mountains the better. There are caves to explore, many towns to visit, historical reenactments, and so many viewpoints you won't be able to look at an average mountain the same way again. Katoomba and Blackheath are great spots to base yourselves but I suggest plotting a trail and spending several days in the small towns scattered throughout the mountains if you have the time.
The best time to visit is Spring or Fall when the weather is most temperate. For us visiting in April the evenings were quite cool, a reprieve after so many months in Malaysia. Head up there in the winter and you will not only find snow but sub-freezing weather. Roads may be closed and trails will be treacherous. Summer is also lovely but warmer and perhaps less pleasant to hike in. No matter when you do decide to go the views will be spectacular, so you really cannot lose!
Have you been up to the Blue Mountains in Australia? What was your favorite part?