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The Blue Mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range, in a national park only 90 minutes’ drive from the centre of Sydney. The World Heritage-listed region is home to quaint villages, waterfalls, walking trails and dozens of lookouts with spectacular views of cliffs and gorges. The area was scouted out gradually through the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but wasn’t properly settled until mining began in the 1860s.
The region’s name comes from the colour the mountains appear from a distance. This distinctive tinge is caused by the blue light waves that hit dust particles, water vapour and tiny droplets of oil produced by the eucalyptus trees covering the mountains.
Hike through these eucalyptus forests on one of many trails scattered throughout the region. These trails cater for all skill levels and vary in length. Many of them skirt past waterfalls, woodlands and ridges. Start at Echo Point for magnificent views of the Jamison Valley and the impressive rock formation of the Three Sisters. Take the Giant Stairway down to the valley floor. Here, at Scenic World, you can take Australia’s steepest cable car ride back up to the top.
Wentworth Falls is one of the best-known landmarks in the Blue Mountains. For a view like no other, check out Govetts Leap, which rates among the area’s best places to watch a sunrise or sunset.
Explore some of the towns and old homesteads to get a feel for life in the area, or to brush up on your area history. The biggest town is Katoomba, where you’ll find plenty of restaurants, shops and cafés. Some of the smaller towns, like Leura and Blackheath, are also worth a visit. Check out the Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum or the Everglades Historic House and Gardens, among the many other fine old estates.
For extreme adventures, go mountain biking, climbing, abseiling or even canyoning. You’ll find a number of companies offering training, equipment and guided tours.
The Blue Mountains is a region of staggering natural beauty. Walk on one of many bush trails, explore its charming little towns and enjoy the unbelievable views. The train runs regularly from Sydney’s central station to Katoomba and services all towns and villages in the region. The scenic drive westwards is unforgettable and there is free parking at most places.
Situated in Penrith, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Panthers World of Entertainment and Cables Wake Park. Westfield Penrith Shopping Centre is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away.
Situated in Vineyard, this campsite is within 9 miles (15 km) of Rouse Hill Village Centre, Hawkesbury Race Club and Cattai National Park. Bella Vista Farm and Museums Discovery Centre are also within 12 miles (20 km).
Located in the heart of Katoomba, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and Leura Cascades. Leura Mall and Three Sisters are also within 2 miles (3 km).
This family-friendly Rooty Hill hotel is located in the suburbs, within 3 mi (5 km) of Blacktown International Sportspark and Nurragingy Reserve. Featherdale Wildlife Park and Wet'n'Wild Sydney are also within 6 miles (10 km).
This family-friendly Leura hotel is located in a national park, within 3 mi (5 km) of Sublime Point Lookout and Wentworth Falls Waterfall. Wentworth Falls Lake and Three Sisters are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Located in the heart of Windsor, this luxury hotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Hawkesbury Race Club and within 9 miles (15 km) of Cattai National Park and Rouse Hill Village Centre. Jubilee Vineyard Estate is 11.4 mi (18.3 km) away.
Located in the heart of Penrith, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Westfield Penrith Shopping Centre, Pepper Stadium and Panthers World of Entertainment. Cables Wake Park and Nepean Hospital are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Situated in the mountains, this motel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Eskbank House and Museum and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from State Mine Heritage Park and Railway. Hassans Wall Lookout and Zig Zag Railway are also within 6 miles (10 km).