Located at about two hours west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains is an amazing place to discover. Apart from the main touristic points, there is so much to see you would need weeks to go everywhere!
For me, this is the perfect nature getaway for hikes, waterfall chasing and autumn leaves chasing as I did recently.
With an area covering more than 11,400 km2, there is a wide range of dramatic landscapes, steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, and cute villages to discover. These are mountains but of course, you can’t compare to the European mountains. There you can’t ski (if you want to ski in Australia, have a look at my article here) but nonetheless, it still gets cold in Winter. The highest point in Mount Werong with 1,215 metres.
Quick history of the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains formed around one million years ago as part of the Kosciusko Uplift during the Pliocene Epoch. Before the Europeans arrived in Australia, the region was already inhabited by the Aboriginals - the Gundungurra people and the Darug people.
It also took a really long time to figure out how to build a road around the Blue Mountains. From first explorations, the rugged terrain and many challenges made the crossing of the mountains extremely difficult. It is only in 1814 that the first road was constructed thanks to great engineer skills from Europeans and Aboriginals.
What I liked in The Blue Mountains
Wentworth Falls and the Charles Darwin Walk
Wentworth falls is from far one of my favourite places in The Blue Mountains. It has wonderful views, entertaining hikes and so much beauty. I love how the atmosphere can change whether it is foggy, sunny or even stormy!
The Charles Darwin Walk let you follow the famous steps of the naturalist who walked this track in 1836. You can start it from Wilson Park and easily stroll through the boardwalk and bush tracks within the forest until the end of the walk for impressive views.
Hassans Walls Lookout
Located in Lithgow, this lookout (among many other cool lookouts around the area) will show you spectacular views over the Blue Mountains. At approximately, 1,100 metres above the sea level you will have an overview of to Mount Wilson, Mount York, Mount Tarana and Mount Blaxland and the whole Hartley Valley below. It is said to be at its most spectacular for sunrise or sunset. I’ve only experience during the day but can’t wait to go back!
Glow Worm tunnels near Lithgow
Be forewarned, this is a true expedition to get there! Through about one hour of driving on a very wild, dusty and unsealed road in the Newnes plateau, you will arrive to the majestic and mysterious glow worm tunnel. My favourite part before arriving was entering with the car this massive tunnel that just looks like a decor out of Jurassic Park. Thrilling feeling and memories of Disneyland guaranteed!
Once arrived, you have 20 minutes walk through the forest to get to the tunnels. Make sure to bring some lamps as it can get really dark but don’t let them on for too long otherwise, you will have trouble seeing the worms. Best to go early or late as it can get crowded. And if you are not a scaredy cat, go at night. Even more thrilling feelings guaranteed!
Mount Wilson in Autumn
There are many villages in the Blue Mountains and I have yet to explore most of them! However, if you happen to be in Sydney during the month of may, this would be the best time to explore Mount Wilson and the Breenhold Gardens. You will see the most beautiful colours of Autumn leaves which will leave you with an unshakable feeling of mystery and beauty. Make sure to bring your camera!
Katoomba and the Three Sisters
While this is a very touristy and probably the most famous area of the Blue Mountains, I would definitely recommend you have a look at it. Very accessible and free, the lookout offers majestic views on The Blue Mountains. You can also explore the area with many walks around, be careful though the lower you get, the harder it will be to go back up haha! But definitely worth it.
Bonus: Lincoln Rock
On my last trip to Mount Wilson, we wanted to catch the sunset from somewhere and my friend Kel suggested Lincoln Rock. While this is a small part of the Blue Mountains, once again you can see wonderful views! The giant flat rock is great to sit on and relax and appreciate the view. Just be careful if you get closer to the edge, you never know!
So this is of course a non-exhaustive list as there is so so much to discover in The Blue Mountains. I really want to go back again and discover new places!
What would you recommend I go to next :)? Looking forward to seeing your comments!