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Blue Mountains

Photo © Steve Lear

Travel Guide Oceania Australia New South Wales Blue Mountains

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Introduction

Since 2000, the Blue Mountains area in New South Wales in Australia has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list for the unique eucalypt varieties that grace its 1 million hectares. [1] The numerous national parks in the region offer much more than botanic interest though: the sightseeing potential in the Blue Mountains, symbolised by sights like the Three Sisters and the Jenolan Caves, succeeds in annually attracting thousands of visitors.

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Towns

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National Parks

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Sights

  • With over 250,000 visitors each year, the Jenolan Caves are the Blue Mountains' most popular attraction. It's not hard to figure out why, given that they're the world's oldest open caves and Australia's most famous limestone caves.
  • Given that it's the largest and most popular town in the Blue Mountains, you'll probably stumble through Katoomba at some point. While you're there, be sure to check out the excellent collection of antique and second-hand book shops and great cafés.
  • On the edge of Katoomba, you'll find Echo Point, which offers a perfect view of the Three Sisters and the surrounding Jamison Valley.

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Activities

Bush walking

The Blue Mountains are a prime spot for avid bush walkers. With walks ranging from easy to hard and short to long, there are plenty of options depending on your capacity. The Prince Henry Cliff Walk in Katoomba is pretty much a must-do, as it follows along the cliff edge that marks the town's southern border, affording gorgeous views of the Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters.

Shopping

Towns like Katoomba and Leura are great for their collection of art galleries, second-hand bookshops, antique shops and other random shops. Prices can be steep, but so is the quality.

Cinemas

While nature affords more than enough eye-candy, you may want to escape the outdoors and enjoy a movie at either of the Blue Mountains' two cinemas: the Edge cinema in Katoomba, which boasts a six-storey screen and plays modern films as well as a documentary about the Blue Mountains; and the old-style Mount Vic Flicks in Mount Victoria, which plays modern films and has been awarded Best Country Independent Cinema three times.[2]

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Events and Festivals

Check the Blue Mountains Calendar for more options.

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Weather

Because of the elevation, the Blue Mountains are generally a notch colder than Sydney, so be sure to pack warm clothes if you're travelling there any time in autumn, winter or spring (April to November). Temperatures in summer can reach 40 °C, so be careful in relation to dehydration and overheating in summer (December to March).

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max23.5 °C22.3 °C20.2 °C17 °C13.6 °C10.4 °C9.7 °C11.4 °C14.8 °C17.6 °C19.6 °C22.1 °C
Avg Min13 °C13 °C11.3 °C8.8 °C6.4 °C3.7 °C2.6 °C3.2 °C5.4 °C7.6 °C9.6 °C11.5 °C
Rainfall143.5 mm192.6 mm154.1 mm128 mm105 mm86.8 mm70.8 mm94.4 mm72.6 mm103.1 mm134.9 mm114.3 mm
Rain Days15.915.81511.711.710.911.810.310.112.315.314.8

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Getting There

By Train

The Blue Mountains are easily accessible from Sydney by train. From Sydney Central, the train trip takes about 2 hours to get to Katoomba, but stops at other popular towns in the area along the way. A one-way adult ticket costs about $12 (AUD).

By Car

To get to Katoomba by car from Sydney, follow the signs for Parramatta and join the M4 Motorway, which turns into the Great Western Highway in Lapstone. The drive takes about 90 minutes. The Great Western Highway continues past Katoomba, heading north to Lithgow, where it branches to the west and north.
There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.

By Bus

There are a number of bus services that offer day trips from Sydney to Katoomba and other spots in the Blue Mountains. Most of these run from Circular Quay.

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Eat

There are some exceptional restaurants and cafés in Katoomba and Leura.

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Drink

There are a few locally produced wines.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Blue Mountains Backpacker Hostel144 Bathurst Road KatooombaHostel86
Blue Mountains Heritage Motel224 Katoomba Street KatoombaGuesthouse86
The Cecil Guesthouse108 Katoomba Street KatoombaGuesthouse-
The Flying Fox190 Bathurst Road, KatoombaHOSTEL88
Katoomba Town Centre Motel218-224 Katoomba Streethotel84
Milroy Holiday Apartments218-224 Katoomba Streetapartment-
Blue Mountains YHA207 Katoomba Street KatoombaHostel91
Kangaroo BakPak Katoomba260 Katoomba St KatoombaHostel80
Katoomba Backpackers Lodge31 Lurline stHostel79
Leura Gardens Bed & Breakfast26-28 Fitzroy Street LeuraGUESTHOUSE-
No1414 Lovel St KatoombaHOSTEL-
La Maison Boutique Hotel175-177 Lurline StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Belgravia Mountain Guest House179 Lurline Street KatoombaGUESTHOUSE-

Cinemas

While nature affords more than enough eye-candy, you may want to escape the outdoors and enjoy a movie at either of the Blue Mountains' two cinemas: the Edge cinema in Katoomba, which boasts a six-storey screen and plays modern films as well as a documentary about the Blue Mountains; and the old-style Mount Vic Flicks in Mount Victoria, which plays modern films and has been awarded Best Country Independent Cinema three times.[3]

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Events and Festivals

  • The Blue Mountains Festival is in March each year and features folk and blues music.
  • Winter Magic Festival and Yulefest are celebrated in June throughout the Blue Mountains .
  • Spring Gardens Festival runs from September to November.

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Weather

The Blue Mountains are generally a notch colder than Sydney, so be sure to pack warm clothes if you're travelling there any time in autumn, winter or spring.

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edit

Getting There

By Train

The Blue Mountains are easily accessible from Sydney by train. From Sydney Central, the train trip takes about 2 hours to get to Katoomba, but stops at other popular towns in the area along the way. A one-way adult ticket costs about $12 (AUD).

By Car

To get to Katoomba by car from Sydney, follow the signs for Parramatta and join the M4 Motorway, which turns into the Great Western Highway in Lapstone. The drive takes about 90 minutes. The Great Western Highway continues past Katoomba, heading north to Lithgow, where it branches to the west and north.
There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.

By Bus

There are a number of bus services that offer day trips from Sydney to Katoomba and other spots in the Blue Mountains. Most of these run from Circular Quay.

Top

edit

Eat

There are some exceptional restaurants and cafés in Katoomba and Leura.

Top

edit

Drink

There are a few locally produced wines.

Top

edit

Sleep

TPIDPropertyAddressTypeLatitudeLongitude
22935Blue Mountains Backpacker Hostel144 Bathurst Road KatooombaHostel-33.7114711000000150.3098988000000
409Blue Mountains Heritage Motel224 Katoomba Street KatoombaGuesthouse-33.7176111000000150.3111219000000
410The Cecil Guesthouse108 Katoomba Street KatoombaGuesthouse-33.7143538000000150.3113257000000
411The Flying Fox190 Bathurst Road KatoombaHostel-33.7095612000000150.3090941000000
29554Katoomba Town Centre Motel218-224 Katoomba Streethotel-33.7200300000000150.3104200000000
29555Milroy Holiday Apartments218-224 Katoomba Streetapartment-33.7200300000000150.3104200000000
407Blue Mountains YHA207 Katoomba Street KatoombaHostel-33.7181118000000150.3106308000000
54757Kangaroo BakPak Katoomba260 Katoomba St KatoombaHostel-33.7206050000000150.3107190000000
60446Katoomba Backpackers Lodge31 Lurline stHostel-33.7151173000000150.3125414000000
68805Leura Gardens Bed & Breakfast26-28 Fitzroy Street LeuraGuesthouse

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -33.714364
  • Longitude: 150.311535

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This is version 23. Last edited at 5:17 on May 21, 13 by Peter. 8 articles link to this page.

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