The Blue Mountains of Sydney is a world heritage area and natural park, consequently making it a very popular tourist destination. Located about 1.5 hours from central Sydney, it’s relatively easy to get to and, once there, you can spend the night in one of the many Blue Mountains hotels, go hiking, explore caves, ride a cable car, see The Three Sisters, and much more. Though I didn’t exactly find the Blue Mountains to be overly impressive (perhaps because, as a Canadian, I’ve grown up surrounded by vast greenery), it was a nice day trip to get out of the city center and explore the outlying areas of Sydney.
Echo Point Lookout
Echo Point Lookout is the main spot to view the Blue Mountains and The Three Sisters rock formations. The reason behind the name Blue Mountains? The region is covered in Eucalyptus trees that give off oil droplets. This oil, in combination with dust and water vapour, emits blue light rays. Unfortunately, I can’t actually say I saw any blue shimmering rays as I looked out from Echo Point.
Aside from the Blue Mountains, you’ll also be able to view The Three Sisters to your left – three rock formations that are meant to represent three Aboriginal women who were turned to stone (read more about the legend here). They were interesting to look at, if only for the fact that they were the only thing other than trees that you could see for quite a distance.
At Echo Point Lookout there is a tourist visitor information booth, gift shop, and a short “Three Sisters Aboriginal Place” walk that takes you to a viewing point right in front of The Three Sisters (see last photo above). If you’re more curious about these rock formations, you can follow a path from that point down steep steps and into the formations.
Since I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the Blue Mountains or The Three Sisters, we asked the information booth for an alternative lookout point to see something a bit more “wow”-esque. She recommended visiting Sublime Point because it was far less touristy and offered a slightly different view. I was lucky in that we had a car, making it much easier to get around the area. If you traveled to the Blue Mountains via train, you’d likely have to take a taxi to get here. Again, I wasn’t overly impressed, but it was nice to take in the tranquility of the area without dozens of people around you taking selfies.
If you have more time to spend in the Blue Mountains, there are cable car rides, plenty of hiking, and cave explorations. You can read more about things to do here.
Where to Eat
Before reaching the viewpoint for the Blue Mountains, I would suggest you stop along Katoomba Street for a bite to eat and a coffee at one of the quaint little cafes. There were plenty to choose from, but we stumbled upon Clean Slate Cafe and felt some good vibes. The coffee was great, everything on the menu sounded great and was at a reasonable price, and service came with a smile.
How to get to The Blue Mountains, Sydney
By car: 1.5 hour drive from the center of Sydney (to Katoomba)
By train: 2 hour train ride from Central (around AUS$8 each way. Click here for timetables).