Top 10 Reasons Why You Must Visit the Blue Mountains in New South Wales
There are too many reasons why we keep on recommending the Blue Mountains as one of the must visits in New South Wales to everyone, so we have listed them down. When we visited the Blue Mountains, it left a sweet and memorable experience in our hearts. It is not a new attraction and yet it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Australia. We stayed a couple of nights in the Blue Mountains and we never had enough. From our experience, we list down the Top 10 Reasons Why You Must Visit the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
1.It is a short distance away from the city
The beauty of visiting the Blue Mountains is it is just a 90 minute drive away from Sydney city. Thus, you have options of taking a tour, self-drive or taking a train directly from the city to the Blue Mountains.
We took the train to the Blue Mountains and our local friends drove us around. Our advice is self-drive is the best and for Malaysians, please apply for the International Driving License from JPJ for RM 150 one year if you plan for self-drive. Trust us, it is worth it.
What we loved the most about the Blue Mountains is the experience. It is not just the mountains but the laid-back landscape which is totally opposite of the city of Sydney. You can see ‘real’ Australian homes in the Blue Mountains rather than the buildings of steel in the city.
2.Find the Three Sisters
If you are in the Blue Mountains, you will need to find the Three Sisters, the most popular sisters in the Blue Mountains. The Three Sisters have been around for thousands of years and they are not humans but three unusual rock formations.
You can find them at Echo Point in Katoomba and this iconic attraction is probably the most photographed or Instagrammed location in Blue Mountains. What is unique about the Three Sisters is that their colours change from time to time and season to season. That’s why many photographers spend time here trying to get the best photo of the Three Sisters. The three of them stand at 922, 918 and 906 metres tall, which is over 3000 feet above sea level.
Three Sisters Walk
Do you know that you can actually walk to the Three Sisters? There is a passage next to the Echo Point Visitor Centre that leads you to the Three Sisters Walk.
You can watch the video that offers you the guide to walk to the Three Sisters Walk. This is a family friendly walk and this is one of the must dos in Echo Point (and many people didn’t know about this yet).
To reach the ‘first sister’ you will pass by the Giant Stairway and also the Honeymoon Bridge. Thus, there are also plenty of longer walks nearby which includes Prince Henry Cliff Walk, Dardanelless Pass Loop Walking Track and Three Sisters Walk to Scenic World via Giant Stairway.
The Everglades Gardens
The Everglades Gardens are highly recommended by many travel guides and websites as part of things to do in the Blue Mountains. There is a house as well as gardens within Everglades Gardens that were built in the 1930s by landscape gardener Paul Sorensen.
What is unique are its sandstone terraces, sweeping lawns and European-style landscape. It also has views over Jamison Valley which is part of the Blue Mountains National Park.
If you are looking for a beautiful garden perfect for photography and Instagram, Everglades Gardens is the place you should visit in the Blue Mountains. Even if it’s not for photography, you can easily spend some time enjoying the nature, the design and also the gardens here with your loved ones or family.
Everglades Garden Address:
37 Everglades Ave, Leura NSW 2780, Australia
Hours: March to September – 10AM–4PM & October to February – 10AM–5PM (Closed on December 25th and 26th)
Phone: +61 2 4784 1938
Mayfield Garden is another must visit gardens in Blue Mountains. Mayfield Garden and the Private Garden were created by the Hawkins family in the mid 1990s and it is one of the world’s largest privately owned cool climate gardens. The 160 acres garden is located near Oberon is only 75 minutes of drive from Katoomba.
The Private Garden is an additional 124 acres and only opens to visitors four times a year for seasonal festivals.
Autumn 2018 – 14th April daily til 29th April
Winter 2018 – 7th July daily til 22nd July
Spring 2018 – 13th October daily til 28th October
Summer 2019 – 12th January daily til 27th January
Mayfield Garden is a huge place so expect to spend the whole day exploring, chilling and enjoying this magical place. There is also café in the garden that offers a local produce menu from their 3 acre vegetable garden, 5 acre orchard and 5,000 acre farm. You can also purchase Mayfield’s own homemade chutneys, jams and oils. This is one of the best souvenirs you can buy back from the Blue Mountains.
Mayfield Garden Address:
530 Mayfield Rd, Oberon NSW 2787, Australia
Opens: 9 am to 4.30 pm daily (except 25th and 26th December)
Phone: +61 2 6336 3131
Scenic World is a privately owned tourist attraction located in the Blue Mountains. At first, we thought this is another tourist attraction but it is not. You can spend the entire day exploring part of the Blue Mountains National Park at Scenic World.
You can find restaurants and rides like the Scenic Cableway, Skyway and also the stunning views of the surrounding area. There are also walking trails you can explore here, plus the world’s steepest incline railway that takes passengers to and from the ancient rainforest in the Jamison Valley.
You can read our complete review at: Five Things to do at Scenic World Blue Mountains
For those who love to jog and walk, the walking trails in the Blue Mountains are a must visit. In Australia, they call it Bushwalking and there are three popular bushwalking trails you must try in the Blue Mountains. They are Perrys Lookdown, Carlotta Arch Walking Track and Mount Solitary Walking Track.
Carlotta Arch Walking Track
Carlotta Arch Walking Track is also known as the Shaping Waters Walk. This is the shortest walking track among the rest. It is around 0.8km one way and expect to complete the trail from 30 min to an hour depending on your pace. At this walking track, prepare to be wowed by the beauty of the Jenolan Caves. This walking track offers you a bird’s eye view of the Blue Lake and it is also great for bird watching so get your binoculars and tele-lenses ready.
Perrys Lookdown is advisable for more experienced walkers. It is located at the end of Hat Hill Road, Blackhealth and it offers scenic views over Grose Valley, Blue Gum Forest and Mount Banks. There is also a bushwalk with the steepest descent into the famous Blue Gum Forest. To complete the trail, you need five and half hours.
Mount Solitary Walking Track
This is the walking track for the professionals. Mount Solitary Walking Track is a challenging track and you will go through heath, woodlands, rainforest and you will need to do some hiking.
The entire walk is 12km and experienced bushwalkers can take 6 to 9 hours to complete. Thus, expect to send the entire day for Mount Solitary Walking Track and it offers spectacular valley views as well as birdwatching.
Another highlight of the Blue Mountains are the waterfalls. There are a number of waterfalls that you must visit in the Blue Mountains. The popular ones include Wentworth Falls, Katoomba Falls and Leura Cascades.
Jenolan Caves is a must visit place in the Blue Mountains. It is one of the oldest and finest cave systems and it is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. There are guided tours of the caves depending on your fitness levels.
Jenolan Caves offers 11 show caves, underground rivers and amazing rock formations dating back hundreds of millions of years. Thus, you can also find out more about the prehistoric past and search for extinct fossilised animals as part of the guided fossil tours. The Jenolan Caves is nothing like you have seen before in Australia and it is a must visit.
This is not just caves but you get to learn so much which is good for family travels. Jenolan Caves is the main highlight of the Blue Mountains and Australia.
Tours of the caves operate seven days a week at regular intervals from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Check out their official website at http://www.jenolancaves.org.au/ including how to get there.
Hidden in Leura is the Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum. It has the world’s largest private collection of tea wares including more than 5,500 teapots from all over the world, most which were collected within Australia. Some collections are five centuries old.
You can enjoy a cup of English style tea with scones in this museum. There is an admission fee of A$5.50 per person which is redeemed with an equivalent purchase or spending in the tea rooms.
Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum & Tearooms Address:
20-22 Grose St, Leura NSW 2780, Australia
Hours: Open daily – 10AM-5:30PM (Closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)
Phone: +61 2 4784 3117
9.Leuralla New South Wales Toy and Railway Museum
This is something different from the usual toy and railway museums. There are two sections and with 12 acres of garden.
Let’s start with the toy section. There is no photography or videography allowed in the toy section. What is interesting here are the vintage toys on display. We are not talking about Japanese toys or robots but more towards the Western type of toys and dolls. This is something you don’t see in Asia and the toys are mostly from the 1970s and earlier.
For the railway museum, it is something more for the train lovers. There are many exhibits of railways from the past like the signs and tracks. There is also a miniature section that is quite impressive (if you like miniatures). The owner definitely put a lot of effort in creating this diorama with miniatures. This is something different from the usual tourist attraction sites in Australia.
Leuralla New South Wales Toy and Railway Museum Address:
36 Olympian Parade, Leura NSW 2780, Australia
Hours: Open daily – 10AM-5PM
Phone: +61 2 4784 1169
If you think you can only find good food in Sydney, well you will be surprised what the Blue Mountains can offer! Let us share three restaurants that are worth a visit based on our experiences. One of them is in Leura and two in Katoomba.
This is a lovely café to visit in Leura, Blue Mountains. What we love about this place is their all-day breakfast and lunch in the courtyard.
This is a good place for coffee and food. Their breakfast menu comes with generous amount and the food here is tasty too. Not forgetting the food prices here are very reasonable.
We went to a few restaurants in Leura but this is we liked the most overall. They also offer homemade breads and cakes and they are yummy too.
Lily’s Pad Café Address: 19 Grose St., Leura NSW 2780, Australia
Open Daily: 8am until 5pm, Sunday: 8am until 4pm
Phone: +61 2 4784 1033
Yellow Deli is one of the popular deli restaurants in Blue Mountains. They are located on Katoomba Street in Katoomba. We went there for dinner and it was packed. We read many good reviews on this restaurant especially on their salads and sandwiches.
The ambiance of the restaurant here is dark but it is very comfortable. The food here is good especially their signature burgers and sandwiches.
Do take note that they close early at 8pm so do book your table for reservations to avoid disappointment.
Yellow Deli Address:
214 Katoomba St, Katoomba NSW 2780, Australia
Hours: 10am to 8pm, closed on Saturday
Phone: +61 2 4782 9744
Unique Patisserie is probably the biggest surprise for foodies like us. Unique Patisserie looks like a cake shop but they are actually a Malaysian restaurant too. The owners are a couple from Penang, Malaysia. They have been around Australia for years. The husband is a multiple award-winning pastry chef and the wife’s expertise is on Malaysian food.
Their signature food here is Penang Assam Laksa. This is one of the best assam laksa we tasted. It is rich in flavour and it is hard to imagine having such good quality Malaysian food in the Blue Mountains.
Other Malaysian food you can try is the Nasi Lemak and Curry Laksa. Their cakes and desserts are equally good too. The Unique Patisserie is located on Katoomba Street, Katoomba near the Yellow Deli restaurant.
Unique Patisserie Address:
169 Katoomba St, Katoomba NSW 2780, Australia
Hours: 8:30am to 9pm, closed on Sunday
Phone: +61 2 4782 7887
When is the best time to visit the Blue Mountains?
Anytime, any weather and any season. You can visit in cheerful Spring or cosy Autumn and the landscape remains beautiful but the colour of the trees and flowers might change. That’s why we highly recommend the Blue Mountains as there is no excuse for not visiting it.
Our stay and our experiences in the Blue Mountains were memorable. You don’t expect this type of scenery and weather since Sydney is much like a city. The Blue Mountains offer you a journey closer to nature. The houses here were built decades ago and remain the same. The food, the view and the weather, this is truly New South Wales as its best at any time of the year.
How to go to the Blue Mountains?
You can take the train to the Blue Mountains from Sydney Central Railway Station, a 2-hour ride from the city. In the Blue Mountains, you can purchase tickets for the hop on hop off Explorer Bus so it covers all the tourist attractions. Taking a taxi is an alternative, though expensive.
Self-drive to the Blue Mountains. Make sure you have an International Driving License or check with the car rental company if your driving license can be used. Driving to the Blue Mountains is easy with either GPS, Google Maps or Waze. Driving around the Blue Mountains is also relaxing as there is not much traffic in this part of New South Wales. Most parking spaces in the Blue Mountains are free of charge including tourist attractions.