Close your eyes and imagine “The Blue Mountains!” to be something like this: a mountain range that is surrounded by rivers from all sides. If you look beyond, the extended landscape includes picturesque villages with colourful flora that will your breath away.
This mountain range located in New South Wales, Australia is about 50 kms away from Sydney Downtown. It makes a great day-trip to enjoy a day out with family in the lap of the mother nature. A long walk on the roads of Katoomba, Leura, Blackheath, Springwood and Mount Victoria will be worth a memory!
- We decided to explore the region on our own (through the local train) rather than booking a standard day tour from Sydney downtown. This approach was much more cost effective and exciting as we could spend the time at the different spots based on our preference. If you want to book a tour, do so at least a week a in advance.
- If you decide to explore the region on your own, do check the train schedule beforehand. The trains towards blue mountains (or Katoomba) run at an hourly frequency. Click here for train schedule.
- You need the Opal cards to use the public transport system (trains and buses in Sydney). These can be bought and topped up at any general store.
- Hop-on Hop-off bus is the best way to explore the blue mountains, especially if you are not taking a day tour. The tickets for the same can be bought from Katoomba Train station at AUD 44.
- Feather Dale National park, is almost on the way to Blue Mountains and is a highly recommended attraction. It houses quite a few Australian birds and animals and offers a unique opportunity to get very close to these adorable animals. 2 hours is an ideal duration to spend here. The entry ticket is AUD 31 Dollars for adults and AUD 17 for children (3-15 years).
- The Blue Mountain region has some of the best gardens. One of the best ones is the, Everglades Garden. Keep at least an hour to admire the beauty of this garden.
- Other key attractions include trek to the Three Sisters, Leura Cascades, walk through the Leura village and the cable car ride at Scenic World.
- Spring season is one of the best times to visit this region as the gardens and the villages are blooming with gorgeous colorful flowers.
Our day started fairly early and we boarded the 7:45 AM train from Townhall towards Blacktown for a 45 minute ride. At Black town, we took bus 729 from bus stop E for a 20 minute ride and reached Feather Dale National Park at 9:00 AM. Though we have been to many zoos in the past, this National Park was a unique experience. It houses an extremely rich collection of birds, marsupials, reptiles and mammals. I must say that Kangaroos and Koala Bears are the cutest animals I have ever met.
And the fun does not end here. You have the opportunity to get super close to most of these animals. You can feed the Kangaroos, click the pictures with Koalas and if you are adventurous enough, you can even hold snakes in your hands. ;). Do carry some coins so that you can buy the waffles for Kangaroos. The park has a quite a few feeding/presentation sessions for the various animals like crocodiles, penguins, pelicans etc. So, plan your time in the park accordingly so that you can enjoy these feeding sessions. Please refer to the link for further details regarding the timing for the feeding sessions. There is a small café at the park that has decent sandwiches, coffee, soft drinks etc. It might be a good idea to refuel yourself before you start your onward journey to Blue Mountains.
After spending a memorable 2 hours at the park, we boarded the bus 729 back to Black Town station and took the 11:52 AM train from there to Katoomba. After reaching there, we bought the tickets for hop on hop off bus for AUD 44. There is a separate ticket for scenic world cable car ride and a combo (AUD 83) is available for the same with the hop on hop off bus ticket. If you plan to do cable car ride, I recommend you to reach Blue Mountains before noon. Katoomba has quite a few shops and it might be a good idea to have some snacks and get coffee and water. Doner Kebab serves great Turkish Kebabs with multiple options for vegans as well. The Hop On Hop Off bus starts just in front of this shop and has some of the most friendly drivers who act as guides as well. We decided to take a stop at the Katoomba cascades (not recommended) and then took the next bus to Echo Point to view the three sisters. It was a great view indeed with the natural beauty, trees, strong winds and unlimited clouds and open space in front of you. Echo Point has a nice souvenir shop that sells traditional goods like boomerangs made by Australian aboriginals, a great way to take back some memories.
Then we decided to go towards the Leura Cascades, a set of multiple waterfalls. Once you get off the bus, you need to walk through a mountainous trail for about 20 minutes to reach the cascades. The trail offers lovely scenic points to experience the nature and click some incredible pictures with your loved ones. At the end of the trail, the entire stretch of the cascades can be seen from a small corner below the hill. And the day kept getting better and better as we proceeded towards the Leura Village and the Everglades Garden. I have no words to describe the beauty of this stretch.
The entire area was full of flowers. The roadsides were blooming with pink, white, purple and flowers, tress. A heavenly experience indeed. The Everglades gardens were made in 1930s by Paul Sorensen and today they house countless species of plants and flowers that can only be imagined in a fairytale. Do note that the garden close around 5 PM. So plan your time accordingly to reach the gardens latest by 4 PM.
After this, we started our return journey and took a drop from the Hop On Hop Off bus at the Katoomba station. We boarded the 6:22 PM train from there towards Sydney Central which was a 2 hour train ride. Overall a memorable time and a day well spent!
Have you been to Blue Mountains before? Let us know the attractions that you liked the most….