Are you visiting Sydney and looking to venture out of the hustle and bustle for a total change of scenery just an hour and half away, on a low budget? Do you want to avoid tour operators and experience one of the most visited places in Australia independently and at the local chilled out pace? Or are you a Sydney-sider in need of a getaway, who has never really seen what The Blue Mountains has to offer?
If you are any of these, then this is the itinerary for you.
The foothills up to the Blue Mountains begin just 50km West of Sydney city centre. As a holiday destination it suits everyone. From the lone wanderers and spiritual seekers to the adrenaline junkies and vacationing families, there is something to please everyone. The Blue Mountains guards its cultural heritage with pride, preserves its collective respect for nature, and resists the hustle and bustle of hurried commercial hotspots. Today, it manages to exist harmoniously as both a popular tourist destination with a thriving flare for the creative arts, as well as an ancient geological gem rich in diverse flora and fauna, history and cultural heritage.
This itinerary is designed to give you a well-rounded view on the best of the Blue Mountains over just two days.
Here's an overview of what you will do:
Day 1 begins with one of the best bushwalks in the Blue Mountains. It is a fairly strenuous walk toward the end, but nobody ever comes out regretting it. Breathtaking views of cliff faces, waterfalls and valleys makes it more than worth it. Next, you will head to the village centre, Wentworth Falls, for a taste of some local favourites in the area before heading to Leura, the next village down, to explore the unique stores with high quality arts and crafts in a picturesque historical town of rustic charm. This part of the itinerary provides a good reflection of the creative scene that makes the Blue Mountains so inspiring. Dinner at another local favourite will give you a taste, if you're lucky, of the talented pool of local artists around.
Day 2 will start with breakfast at yet another top local pick in the heart of the most popular town in the mountains, followed by a high tech interactive exhibition of the rich history and cultural heritage of the region. After this, you will have a look at what put Katoomba on the map at the turn of the 20th century as 'the place to be': the famous Paragon Cafe and The Carrington Hotel. Next, takeaway lunch at Echo Point just a 5-minute drive away where you will discover the aboriginal legend of the Three Sisters and get a deeper insight in to the indigenous culture.
This guide best suits ages 12 and above, but it can be done with younger children too. You will need to be healthy enough to do a good bushwalk (2 hours) - although I have included alternative options for those who'd prefer to do an easier walk.
It is also best for those who have a car to get around; however, I have provided public transportation advice and maps to follow in case you plan on getting by without one. I have also included restaurant/cafe suggestions along with their addresses, average meal prices and contact numbers, as well as general tips on where to seek accommodation and how to check out what's on.
I kept it centred around the three most popular towns in the upper mountains to avoid spending too much time getting from one place to the next.
Also, I tried to make it clearly guided yet loose enough to allow you to navigate yourself around certain areas or choose some of the alternative options I've provided, depending on your individual interests. This way you're not always chained to the itinerary!
Still unsure? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and I'd be more than happy to help! :)