A playground for the intrepid, a romantic escape for lovers or a cheap adventure for backpackers, the Blue Mountains is a perfect Sydney weekend getaway option.
Not far from Sydney, you can head up to Katoomba for just a day trip or for a long weekend away to explore this World Heritage listed destination. Even better, on Sundays you can use your Opal card to get to the Blue Mountains for as little as $2.70.
To really take advantage of this great offer I’ve put together a busy and affordable two-day itinerary for the Blue Mountains, Australia:
Blue Mountains Sydney Weekend Getaway
DAY 1 – MUST SEE
Echo Point > Giant Stairway > Katoomba Falls
Hit up all the top spots in the Blue Mountains in one day. All located within walking distance, start at Echo Point lookout to get the best view of the famous three-sisters. From Echo Point visitors centre you will find an easy trail that leads under a stone archway and into the bush. With plenty of jaw-dropping lookouts you will gain a birds-eye view of the vast and diverse natural landscapes.
You will then come to the start of the Giant Stairway that descends into Jamison Valley. This staircase can be challenging, with 998 steps, so you will need to be reasonably fit. Be aware, the stairway is narrow and is not for the faint of heart.
At the bottom of the staircase take the Federal Pass track that’s to your right. This track will take you through the bush where you will be surrounded by brush and gumtrees. On this trek you will come across Kedumba River and a bridge which acts as a viewing platform for Katoomba Falls. Continue along the trek and you will come to Scenic Railway which you can take for $16, a shortcut to the Scenic World carpark, or if you prefer a bit more of a heart-pumping challenge you can scale the stairs for free to access the same carpark. From the carpark you can catch a bus or a ride back to Echo Point or into Katoomba’s town if you prefer.
DAY 2 – HIKING & WATERFALLS
Grand Canyon Track > Wentworth Falls Circuit > Leura Cascades Fern Bower Circuit
Grand Canyon Track takes roughly 3 hours to complete and will lead you through lush native flora and past multiple waterfalls, creeks and lookouts. There are picnic areas near the lookout for a picturesque break and spot to eat and relax. We recommend starting at Evan’s Lookout, you will finish at another carpark that is roughly a short 10-minute walk from Evan’s lookout, making it a convenient circuit. Whether you’re skipping across the stepping stones of shallow creeks or walking through a valley of ferns, there is a lot to take in along the popular Grand Canyon Track.
Wentworth Falls Circuit offers sweeping views of Jamison Valley, with sandstone stairs cut into the cliff as you look over this World Heritage listed landscape. Start your journey at Wentworth Falls Picnic Area and take the Wentworth Falls Track. Along the way you will find lookouts and opportunities to take in different aspects of the three-tiered waterfall. This short circuit takes roughly half an hour to complete, making it the perfect low-intensity stroll after completing the Grand Canyon Track.
If you’re an avid hiker and have the time, or would prefer to take a quieter trail, then we recommend the Leura Cascades Fern Bower Circuit. It offers a tropical micro-climate that only exists because it’s a very narrow valley carved into tall sandstone cliffs. With tropical plants and trees on display that you would never normally see in that climate, such as the Sassafras tree, it is a trail surrounded by lush vegetation. The track takes roughly 3 hours, but you can just select to do a portion of the walk and return once you reach Bridalveil Falls.
The Blue Mountains is a great option as a cheap and easy one-night escape from the hustle and bustle of Sydney. If you’re in the area I also recommend taking in a bite to eat at Auntie Jack’s and maybe sample some free cider at Hillbilly Cider. If you have the means I also suggest splashing out on a tour of the famous Jenolan Caves.
Australia has a unique and diverse natural landscape, with every state offering affordable weekend getaways for those who would prefer to hit the road than the skies.
Planning a Sydney weekend getaway to the Blue Mountains?
Author: Jessica is an avid traveler, having explored over 25 countries and counting. As a local Sydneysider, she has acted as a tour guide for her boyfriend, who is originally from the UK. Professionally, Jessica specializes in creating unique and engaging content with an SEO focus. She has written articles covering a range of topics from finance to dating.
Images – all images in this article are the authors own.