Blue Mountains – A Panorama by t3rmin4t0r, on Flickr
Many people have heard some of Australia’s most popular destinations — Sydney, Cairns, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, and Blue Mountains — to name just a few. Meliha
from Travel Adventures of a Desi Blonde shares her tips for visiting the Blue Mountains of Australia.
Blue Mountains is a mountain range about 1.5 to 2 hours outside of Sydney. Its area is 11,400 km², and its highest point is about 1,190 meters above sea level. Its name comes from the bluish color of the range when viewed from far away (according to Wikipedia). Since it’s so close to Sydney, visiting the Blue Mountains can easily be a quick day trip or an overnight excursion.
There are several popular sites to see in Blue Mountains, including a rock formation known as Three Sisters and tourist attraction Scenic World, both of which are located in the town of Katoomba.
At Scenic World, there are multiple ways to take in the beauty of Blue Mountains. Scenic World’s Scenic Skyway travels across the mountains 270 meters above the ground, and their Scenic Cableway and Scenic Railway both travel down to the valley floor. Once on the valley floor, visitors can then take their Scenic Walkway around the rainforest.
At Scenic World, visitors can purchase different experiences. A single or round trip ticket of the same activity, or multiple trip tickets of different activities combined into a single visit. A single round-trip ticket for the Scenic Skyway costs $16 for adults and $8 for children ages 4-13, or a family ticket can be purchased for $40. A combined ticket that includes all four attractions (Scenic Skyway, Scenic Railway, Scenic Cableway, and Scenic Walkway) costs $28 for adults and $14 for children ages 4-13, or a family ticket can be purchased for $70.
During our visit to Scenic World, my husband and I decided to take the Scenic Skyway. Though my slight acrophobia issue nearly talked me out of the ride (after we’d already bought the tickets), I powered through and everyone in the cable car (except me, I think) seemed to enjoy sweeping views, including the view of Katoomba Falls out the side windows and the valley floor through the Electro-Scenicglass floor.
After only a few short minutes, the cable car was already on the other side where there are lookout points a short distance away as well as a trail that leads down to a section of Katoomba Falls. On the day we visited Blue Mountains, the weather was hot (over 40 degrees Celsius!) and humid. Several people were cooling off from the hot weather in the waterfall.
In and Around Blue Mountains
There are multiple ways to get to Blue Mountains Australia:
- Tour companies offer day trips from Sydney
- Sydney’s rail system also goes to the Blue Mountain area
- Cars can be rented at the Sydney airport
Planning a Trip to Blue Mountains
Visitors should plan for not more than one or two activity-filled days (unless the laid-back, slow atmosphere of the small towns around Blue Mountains is preferred) and avoid major holiday timeframes since a lot of businesses are completely closed, or have limited operating hours on national holidays.
Though we didn’t take a day trip through a tour company, if we had to do it over again, we may have gone that route instead. When you consider that the cost of not paying for a hotel in Blue Mountains may balance out the cost per person (through a day trip), it might be well worth it.