Blue Mountains Accommodation

Things To Do

Visit one of the Blue Mountains Visitor Information Centres – on the Great Western Highway at Glenbrook or at Echo Point, near the Three Sisters in Katoomba – for all the advice and information you will need for your trip to the mountains. The Blue Mountains National Parks & Wildlife Centre is on Govett's Leap Road, Blackheath, phone 4787 8877.

Whatever your age and level of fitness there are walks and wildlife adventures for you in the Blue Mountains. This is an area of both primeval forest and beautifully designed gardens; of rugged canyons and established walkways; and of spectacular scenery to be seen from natural lookouts or skytrains. Whether you stay in town and take the train, or put your hiking boots on and leg it, you will love the Blue Mountains. You can hire a mountain bike for an exhilarating ride down to Glenbrook, or join a canyoning or rockclimbing adventure. When you're fresh out of energy take a scenic ride on the Skyway with its world's-first glass floor and get a bird's-eye view of the Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls and, in the distance, Mt Solitary and the blue Jamison Valley.

There are several descents into the valley down steep tracks to the valley floor, where you will feel you have stepped back in time into ancient forest. Choose from a quick descent and back up the world's steepest railway, or walk along the Federal Pass at the bottom of the cliffs and out into the valley before ascending at another point. The most extreme incline of the funicular railway is 52 degrees and requires a certain degree of cool-headedness to remain seated, although it is perfectly safe. It operates every 10 minutes every day of the year, and is a wonderful way to climb out of the valley after a day's bushwalking.

If you venture into the bush unescorted, make sure you have enough drinking water and warm clothes as wild water is not always potable and temperatures can drop suddenly. Leave early in the day to be sure there is enough daylight to return, be sure that your equipment is not too old, worn out or damaged in any way, and do not travel in too large a group. Lives can be lost through carelessness. There are several good bushwalking and canyoning guides to the Blue Mountains, and plenty of outdoor/adventure shops in Katoomba to equip and advise you.

  • Bushwalking – tramping, trekking, rambling or hiking – is possible all over the mountains. Take an easy stroll to see a beautiful waterfall, or don a pack and make a camping trip of it. Either way, you will be rewarded well beyond your expectations with stunning scenery, secret wildlife and an experience you will live with forever.

  • Looking at the View – it seems superfluous to say it, but the views from all over the Blue Mountains are so gorgeous that you could spend an entire week just going from one lookout to another. They are generally high up (up to 1,000 metres) and on vertical cliffs, so the views are panoramic. Take a sundowner and watch the sunset from Pulpit Rock, wander down to Govett's Leap and see the moon come up, or marvel at the geology of Hanging Rock. These are just some of the spectacular places from which to drink in the Blue Mountains.

  • Abseiling – known as rappelling in North America and parts of Europe, is a method of descending a steep face or overhang in safety. Equipped with a harness, a good rope and a firm anchor point, you can descend the length of your rope, or half its length if you have it doubled. Remember, though, for every descent there is a necessary ascent, usually by walking or climbing.

  • Rock Climbing – is a year-round activity in the Blue Mountains, although in winter you'll want to seek out the sunny faces. The sandstone cliffs offer every grade and type of climb. Climbing is not about strength, but concentration, planning and coordination. See www.climbing.com.au/crags for full details of the grades and types of climbs available.

  • Canyoning – is the typical Blue Mountains experience, and the reason why so many people come here, especially during summer. Generally you need a reasonable level of fitness, a sanguine approach to cold water and a tolerance of heights to go canyoning. There are numerous commercial operators in Katoomba who will provide all the gear and guide you, or you can plan your own trip. Either way, there are hundreds of canyons in the Blue Mountains, some entailing high abseils and deep water swims, others more easily negotiated with just a good pair of walking boots. Some dry canyons are achievable all year round.

  • Caving – is more difficult than other activities because it usually requires a permit and proof of proficiency. Limestone does not occur much in the Blue Mountains proper, so a trip to Kanangra-Boyd national park is necessary for good caving. There are guided trips for the inexperienced, and more details can be gleaned from speleological groups. The well-known limestone caves at Jenolan are a big attraction.

  • Mountain biking – can be a gentle ride along flat tracks or a downhill thrill that will leave you breathless. Make sure if you have your own bike that it is well-equipped for rough country if you are taking any of the more adventurous routes. There are literally hundreds of kilometres of bikeable tracks in the mountains, so plan your trip well.

  • Horse riding – experience the forest and the mountains as the early pioneers did – on horseback. There are plenty of horse-friendly tracks in the area, particularly in the Kanimbla and Megalong Valleys. The Megalong Valley Heritage Centre has horses suitable for all riders and you'll pick up a bit of local folklore too. Megalong Road, Megalong Valley (02) 4787 8188

  • Swimming – if you like getting wet, there are endless opportunities in the Blue Mountains. So numerous are the waterfalls and creeks that it is impossible to list them all. Some are easily accessible by a short walking track, while others require a commitment to a steep walk or canyoning trip. Near Mt Wilson you can take a lilo (inflatable mattress) on the Wollongambe River and admire the scenery as you float along.

  • The Edge Cinema – more than just a movie theatre, this is a screen the height of a six-storey building, which will literally transport you to the heights of adventure. Be sure to catch The Edge, the story of the Blue Mountains.
    225 Great Western Highway, Katoomba (02) 4782 8900

  • Six Foot Track Marathon - a 45km marathon across the Blue Mountains from The Explorers' Tree near Katoomba to Jenolan Caves, run annually in March. www.coolrunning.com.au

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