Places visited: Glenbrook, Blaxland, Springbrook, Wentworth Falls, Katoomba, Leura, Medlow Bath, Hazelbrook, Lawson, Mount Wilson, Mount Irvine, Mount Tomah, Bathurst
The Blue Mountains is a huge attraction for Sydney and has a lot of things to offer. We’ve been visiting some of them ever since 1999 and still getting more serious in exploring more attractions especially the hidden waterfalls, flora and fauna down the Blue Mountains National Park, majority of them are not that easy to access though.
Here are some of the wonderful and awesome places of the Blue Mountains that we visited.
Katoomba, Blue Mountains
Katoomba is well known for spectacular mountain views and extensive bush and nature walks in the surrounding Blue Mountains and is 110 km west of Sydney by car. We’ve been many times here, too. I still remember the first time we came here. From Sydney we rode on a fast train bound for Mount Victoria. We alighted from Katoomba Train Station, and then rode a bus that goes to Echo Point where the Tree Sisters viewpoint is located.
A decade past and there was a massive development at the Echo Point. Obviously, it is now more attractive, very friendly environment with the installation of more amenities and the spectacular “Three Sisters” become more popular than ever.
Aside from the Three Sisters, we also managed to visit the Scenic World, and the Rainforest.
Katoomba, Scenic World and Rainforest
Scenic World is another attraction in the Blue Mountains and is a privately owned tourist attraction located in Katoomba. It was raining when we came here the first time, and we didn’t stay long. We only rode on the railway (the old railway), then strolled down the boardwalk up to the coal mine site. The second time around, it was sunny and we were able to ride the cableway and came close to see Three Sisters as well as the lustful rainforest down below. We came here not to visit the rainforest but because of the sculpture displays that was held here before.
The rainforest is considered ancient and with a 2.4 kilometre scenic walkway. It has an elevated boardwalk immersed in Jurassic rainforest on the Jamison Valley floor, a great help to visitors’ safety while enjoying the environment. It is here where an annual sculpture was held, spread out over until to the bottom where the boardwalk ends.
Leura, Blue Mountains
Leura is a town situated adjacent to Katoomba. Leura is now becoming as popular destination as Katoomba for foreign and local tourists. Why? Aside from its natural beauty, the local community opened up their huge beautiful gardens for public viewing once a year. It has also a golf course, a Fairmont Resort, a historic Everglades Garden, waterfalls and cascades and many more.
Glenbrook, Blue Mountians
Glenbrook is the gateway to the Blue Mountains National Park and is the home of the Visitors Information Centre, a cafe for visitors before driving further up, and a souvenirs shop. Around Glenbrook, we visited the Jellybean Pool, Nepean Lookout, Tunnel Lookout, Red Hand Cave, Portal Lookout, and the Eurika Clearing. There are more sites to see and enjoy here but perhaps it will be fitting for some other times to visit them.
This is a very interesting part of Aboriginal arts which was painted between 500 and 1600 years ago, done with layers and layers of hand prints and stencils in Red Hands showcasing Aboriginal rock art in the area. We accessed this Red Hands Cave of the Blue Mountains National Park through Glenbrook causeway via Red Hands Cave.
Mount Wilson, Blue Mountains
Mount Wilson is approximately 100 kilometres west of Sydney, and together with Mount Irvine they’re most famous for their private gardens and fabulous trees and because of these I won’t mind returning here more often to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. Some of the gardens we visited here are the Nooro, Bebeah, and Windyridge Gardens.
The Turkish Bath museum was also another interesting piece of history here which we visited one day. There are also some picnic grounds here surrounded by huge trees.
Mount Irvin, Blue Mountains
Mount Irvine is more than two hours drive west northwest of Sydney. The road leading to Mount Irvine right after Mount Wilson is quite narrow and cars are driven at a low speed. The first time we came here was after our tour of some of the gardens at Mount Wilson looking for the Cathedral of Ferns.
The second time was when we embarked for Cheesenut picking. This was our first time to experience picking cheesenuts, we don’t actually know how to it, we were curious! There were heaps of people that day and some of the guys just taught us how to do it properly as they were so prickly.
Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, Blue Mountains
We’ve been here many times too, because of its spectacular cool climate gardens and my wife love gardens and plants. Mount Tomah is just 90 minutes drive from Sydney, and at 1,000 metres above sea level, the garden at Mount Tomah overlooks the Greater Blue Mountains. As you go down the gardens you can see various types of plants, featuring thousands of plants from the southern hemisphere and around the world, which you’ll surely enjoy and grateful as I am having seen them. Inside the Visitors Information Center are souvenirs, a cafe, a viewing deck, a conference centre and a display area.
With the numerous spectacular walks and views within Wentworth Falls, visitors should allow at least a day to enjoy the beauty of the area. Here, we visited the Wentworth Falls Lookout, Princes Rock Lookout, and the Wentworth Falls Lake.
The Wentworth Falls Lake has its own picnic area and a playground aside from the lake which is available for those interesting in swimming and boating, and fishing.
Mount Victoria, Blackheath and Megalong Valley
I have already written a separate blog about our travel to this part of the blue Mountains, earlier. Please see “Mount Victoria, Blackheath and Megalong Valley” under Sydney category.