We spent two days of the recent Queen’s Birthday long weekend taking a road trip through the Blue Mountains. You wouldn’t believe it, but this was my very first visit to the area, and I’ve lived in Sydney for most of my 27 years. I was so impressed by the place, its natural beauty was beyond description (and the photos believe do not quite do it the justice it deserves). There are literarily hundreds of bushwalks to be done through the Blue Mountains National Park, so I would recommend visiting on more than one occasion to explore different routes. But on your first visit, there are a few things not to be missed:
- Number one is of course the Three Sisters. Other overly touristic, which perhaps thousands of people visiting on the weekend, the rock formation is amazing, especially when set against such a dramatic and spectacular backdrop.
- Wentworth Falls. If you’re game, and fit enough, it is worth walking down to the base of the falls. Just remember, it’s a long and steep way back up. Do a few bushwalks around the falls – the scenery is amazing. Not to mention some sections of the path – crossing cascades, walking along stepping stones, walking beneath enormous boulders..
- The wind eroded cave. To get there, take Hat Hill Road from Blackheath and follow the signs to Anvil Rock.
There are also many interesting shops, great cafes and restaurants in the towns of Leura, Katoomba and Blackheath. It is a great place to go wining and dining, as well as doing a bit of antique shopping.
If you drive back to Sydney via Bells Line of Road, don’t forget to stop in Bulpin to purchase some locally grown apples, as well as home made apple pies and jams.
All in all, it is definitely a worth while weekend road trip from Sydney. It is easily done over two days, but if you want to explore the area in greater depth, an extra day or two would not go astray, especially if you wanted to delve further into the region, or perhaps visit the Jenolan Caves.
From Sydney there are two main options. You can either take the northern Bells Line of Road from Richmond, or go via The Great Western Highway through Penrith.
We stayed in budget accommodation in Katoomba, but there is a plethora of accommodation options, from budget to high end. From hostels, to hotels, guesthouses and bed & breakfasts, you’ll be sure to find somewhere to stay. Just note that many places have a minimum two night stay.
We discovered the most amazing cafe in Katoomba, The Common Ground Cafe. Run by a religious community, they serve healthy drinks, snacks and meals. Try the ‘not chocolate’ (a mixture of carob and dandelion) or the apple & macadamia crumble. Their pancakes look incredible, and for those health nuts, try their ‘green drink’.