Immediately west of Sydney are the Blue Mountains - named so because of the blue mist that rises from the forests of eucalyptus after the oil blends with the sunlight. The scenery is dramatic, with the aforementioned eucalyptus forests, almost vertical cliff drops and waterfalls all waiting to be explored.
It's an ideal place for bushwalking amongst the craggy peaks and cavernous gorges, and is a haven for wildlife. There are hundreds of walking trails to try and many more lookouts to rest, but more importantly, to take in the surrounding views of mountains and valleys. Prince Henry Cliff walk offers majestic vistas throughout, while Murphy’s trail from Wentworth Falls to Woodford goes through untouched bushland right in the heart of the Blue Mountains National Park.
Explore Aboriginal culture
This National Park is part of native history: the Gundungurra, Darkinjung, Daruk and Wiradjuri peoples have all left their mark here. The Aboriginal sites in the Blue Mountains are a reminder of the past and there are many Blue Mountains tours where you can see fascinating links to Aboriginal culture.
The area is also home to one of Australia’s best-loved Aboriginal landmarks, the Three Sisters. This unusual rock formation has three distinct peaks, each — according to the indigenous people — represents one of three sisters who lived as members of the Katoomba tribe. This spot is wonderful for capturing the peaks and the mountains in the background, and is sure to provide a favourite holiday snap.
Things to do in the Blue Mountains
This part of New South Wales is exciting to visit any time of the year, with frequent festivals and events happening in addition to the many Blue Mountains tours on offer. In October, join fellow bushwalkers at the Festival of Walking; mid-March sees the Festival of Folk, Blues and Roots; and the Blue Mountains become a winter wonderland between June and August each year at Yulefest.
The Scenic Railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world and has been providing visitors with views of the rainforest on the way up plus Jamison Valley from the summit since 1945. Refurbished in 2013, visitors can see more than ever before thanks to the glass roofed carriages. This part of Australia is all about the views and Blue Mountains holidays show you the stunning sights of New South Wales.