Are you looking for the best hikes in Blue Mountains? Look no further, we’ve got 30 to share with you including some of the best lookout points near Katoomba, Blue Mountains waterfalls, swimming spots and awesome canyoning you won’t believe is near Sydney. If you don’t know what canyoning is, it’s a mixture of swimming, hiking, climbing and abseiling (in some cases).
You’ll be blown away when we share some jaw-dropping Blue Mountains hikes in this post.
If you’re wondering what to do in Blue Mountains, don’t just go to the Three Sisters Blue Mountains lookout and walk down the main street in Katoomba, thinking that’s it. We recommend hiring a car from here and checking out some of the best Blue Mountains walks and lookout points.
Although there are so many Blue Mountains hiking trails to consider, we’ve nailed down the best Blue Mountains walking tracks so you don’t need to do anymore research.
Please be super careful when exploring any of these places we mention in this post. Always wear hiking boots, let friends and family know where you are going, take more water than you need and always do your research before taking kids on any hikes.
How to get to Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is one of the easiest day trips out of Sydney as it’s just 1h30m drive or a 2hr direct train ride from Central Station.
Good news is, trains in Sydney are super cheap. If you happen to be from England, fear not, you can say goodbye to expensive transport. A train ride from Central Station to Katoomba (the central hub of Blue Mountains) will set you back just $16.80 for a return. Amazing right?
But we definitely recommend hiring a car from here because you’ll be able to get around a lot easier to get to all of these Blue Mountains bush walks.
If you’re looking for Blue Mountains accommodation, we 100% recommend staying at the YHA. The YHA Blue Mountains is located in the perfect spot, right on the main street in Katoomba.
We originally thought it might be full of boozy backpackers but yet again, YHA has surprised us. When we stayed, there were loads of families there and we even had central heating in our room, something we’ve never seen anywhere in Australia!
We had a great stay here and the staff are really knowledgable about the area and will recommend things to do and places to eat in Katoomba.
Camping Blue Mountains
Euroka Campground. Image via National Parks
If you’re looking for Blue Mountains camping spots, check out this post. We reckon Perry’s Lookdown Campground is the best camping in Blue Mountains. It’s very rustic but the main draw card is that it’s quiet and has amazing views out to the mountains.
It’s also near to Anvil Lookout (also mentioned in this post) which has incredible views right out to the Sydney skyline! Who knew you could see Sydney that far away?
30 hikes in Blue Mountains
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We’ve compiled this post into areas so it’s easier to see where everything is. Starting off with the closest to Sydney area is Wentworth Falls. We then end the article down at Wombeyan, which is a definite must visit. We’ve included hikes, waterfalls, swimming spots and canyoning in Blue Mountains.
Skip to the section you want to read about below:
⇒ Wentworth Falls / Leura / Katoomba
⇒ Newnes / Jenolan / Kanangra-boyd / Wombeyan
1. Lincoln’s Rock Lookout
Walking effort: Drive straight inLincoln’s Rock is a classic Blue Mountains lookout and one of the best to look like you’ve trekked far and wide to get an adventurous looking photograph. Truth is, the huge rock ledge isn’t as steep as it looks so you’ll easily be able to look like you’re super brave. Just be careful though when sitting this close to the edge and take care.
Lincoln’s Rock is also a great sunset Blue Mountains option but it also gets busy with tourists and photoshoots. Both times we’ve been, we’ve seen either wedding photos or engagement photos being taken here.
2. Wentworth Falls Hike / Swim
Walking effort: 1hr one way / 5km (roughly)
Are you wondering what the best Wentworth Falls walks are? We recommend hiking to the very bottom of Wentworth Falls itself. We timed it on our Garmin 235 watch and it took exactly 1 hour to hike to the bottom.
Wentworth Falls track is very busy but it seems to get really quiet about half way down. Most people think it finishes when they reach the first waterfall. Continue on down the steep staircase and you may well get the entire bottom of the falls to yourself like we did.
There are loads of families who take part in this unbelievably beautiful hike which cuts right into the mountain but we didn’t see anyone at the very bottom.
Bring your swimmers with you to cool off with a swim in this Blue Mountains waterfall.
Watch our video below of the Wentworth Falls hike!
3. Empress Falls Hike / Swim / Canyoning
Walking effort: 20 minutes one way / 1.1km return
Although it’s only 1.1km return hike, it only takes about 20 minutes to walk down the many steps to Empress Falls which is one of the most beautiful Blue Mountains waterfalls.
Good news is, bring your swimmers because Empress Falls is a brilliant Blue Mountains swimming hole and you can abseil down it 30m as part of a canyoning trip with Eagle Rock Adventures for $129 pp.
4. Bridal Veil Falls
Walking effort: 2hrs / 2.5km (easy)
There’s a few options to get to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls in Leura but we recommend taking the track from Leura Cascades to Kiah Lookout which goes via the bottom of the falls and Fern Bower.
The steep stairs and ladders take you down to Bridal Veil Falls, a spectacular waterfall you really need to put on your list to visit. If you’re interested in this walk, check out this post.
5. Copelands Lookout Hike
Walking effort: around 1hr total/ 1.5km (easy)
Leura Park to Copelands Lookout is only 1.5km hike but it’s a lovely track that offers up fantastic views of the Jamison Valley.
6. Tree Sisters Walk
Walking effort: 25-45 minutes / 800m (easy)
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Having been to Blue Mountains plenty of times, on our recent visit we noticed the walkway right into the Three Sisters. How had we not seen this before? Good news is, it’s only an 800m walk over to it which is a great path for the whole family.
7. Mini Haha Falls (currently closed)
Walking effort: 3km one way
Unfortunately the MineHaha Waterfall is currently closed until further notice due to the stability of the rocks. You’ll get fined if you’re caught attempting to go here.
We’ve included this waterfall in this post because in the hope that it reopens, this is a popular swimming spot to consider in Blue Mountains.
8. Ruined Castle Hike
Walking effort: 4-5 hours return/ 6.6km (hard)
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BEYOND Beyond our mind A step into new territory That scares our rational way of being The controls we have set ourselves up with, throughout life Are to come down? Petrified, locked for moments in the past, the worries of the future An escape, ever-so near, waiting for our surrender Our pull of the pin For beyond our minds hopefully awaits our peace, our truth, our love Beyond💗 #bluemountains #ruinedcastle #bushwalk #photography #light #poetry #heart #amazingaustralia #australia #nsw #nature #naturephotography #heart #theyellowdoor_project
As one of the longer walks in Blue Mountains, Ruined Castle is a legendary hike that you’ll need some fitness to conquer because it takes around 4 hours to complete.
9. Echo Point to Scenic World via Giant Stairway Hike
Walking effort: 2hours / 4.7km one way and 888 steps (easy/moderate)
It’s 888 steps down into the Blue Mountains which takes you along to Scenic World (somewhere to put on your list to visit as well!). You must be quite fit to do this walk as it’s a Grade 4 but it’s a fantastic hike right in the heart of Katoomba.
10. Blackheath Lookout
Walking effort: drive straight inIf there’s one place you need to go to catch a Blue Mountains sunset, we recommend going to Blackheath Lookout. Here you’ll pretty much get the whole place to yourself. It’s one of our absolute favourite Blue Mountains lookouts!
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to watch the hang gliders on the weekend.
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Last Saturday I went to @thetravelbootcamp ran by @laurenepbath @youngadventuress and @georgiarickard, a digital influencer conference where how much money they made to what apps to use and how to pitch to brands were talked about. I've not see anyone be so open about this industry before, so I've written all about this conference on my blog (link in bio). I needed a rest after such a big day and headed up to The Blue Mountains on Sunday to catch this insane sunset and view ☀️
And if you’re looking for the ultimate Blue Mountains Instagram photo, you’ll be able to find it here too!
11. Hargraves Lookout
Walking effort: drive straight inHargraves Lookout is one of our all time favourite Blue Mountains lookouts as it’s never busy and it has absolutely knock out views of the Megalong Valley. Near to Blackheath Lookout, it’s also a great sunset spot in Blue Mountains.
12. Grand Canyon Walk Blue Mountains
Walking effort: 2.5 hours return / 6.3km loop (moderate)If you only have time to do one walk in Blue Mountains, we recommend doing the Grand Canyon walk. It’s not the easiest one as you have to walk right down into the canyon which has over 1000 steps in total. But it’s a brilliant introduction into the incredible rainforest which is over 100 million years old.
Don’t take young children on this hike unless they are used to hiking for more than 2 hours at any time.
13. Evans Lookout
Walking effort: drive straight inIf you’re not bothered about doing the Grand Canyon hike, then you can drive right up to Evans Lookout which is the start or end of the hike. It has awesome views of the mountains and worth making the effort to visit.
14. Pulpit Rock Lookout
Walking effort: 5-10 minute walk (easy)When you drive over to Pulpit Rock Lookout carpark, it suggests it will take you 15 minutes to walk to the lookout. It takes around about 5 minutes and it’s an easy walk down to it. There are some stairs so it’s not a flat walk.
We think Pulpit Rock Lookout is one of the best lookouts in Blue Mountains. The walk down the staircase took us a while to get the courage to do it but it’s got a magnificent view.
There’s also an excellent walk along the cliffs which is a must do in Blue Mountains.
15. Govetts Leap Lookout
Walking effort: drive straight inKnown for being the best Blue Mountains lookout, Govett’s Leap doesn’t disappoint. It’s so popular there’s even a tourist information centre there.
There are also plenty of hikes to discover at this lookout spot that you can find our more here.
16. Lockleys Pylon Hike
Walking effort: 1hr each way / 7km return (easy)Lockley’s Pylon is a fantastic walk for the whole family. It’s a gorgeous almost flat walk that takes you right out into the mountains with views of the Grose Valley. It’s a different hike in that it’s not like Wentworth Falls or Hanging Rock where there’s a spectacular view at the end. The view is during the entire path.
When we did this hike it wasn’t quiet but not packed so don’t expect to get it to yourself. There’s something very beautiful about this hike that we just loved.
17. Anvil Lookout
Walking effort: drive straight inWe found Anvil Lookout when we went to check out Perry’s Lookdown and couldn’t believe how amazingly beautiful it is. We reckon this is easily one of the best Blue Mountains lookouts and we were the only people there!
As it was a clear day, we could actually we the Sydney skyline in the distance. Just amazing! Some of the road is unsealed but you can easily drive a car down it, no problem.
18. Perry’s Lookdown lookout
Walking effort: drive straight in
We found Perry’s Lookdown as we saw a sign for it on the way to Pulpit Rock Lookout. It’s got a brilliant campground, an excellent lookout and it’s super peaceful.
There’s a hike that’s very steep for those who are more on the adventurous side that starts from here to the Blue Gum Forest.
19. Hanging Rock & Baltzer Lookout Hike
Time: 2hrs return / 7.6km return (easy)If hiking to a jaw dropping lookout point is your thing, then the hike to Baltzer Lookout at Hanging Rock is absolutely incredible. This is arguably one of the best hikes in Blue Mountains. It’s an easy path, almost no hills at all for an hour straight to get to the lookout out point.
We wouldn’t suggest jumping the gap over to the very edge, it’s incredibly dangerous.
Check out our video of our hike to Hanging Rock below!
20. Victoria Falls Hike / Swim
Walking effort: 2hrs / 3.1km (easy/moderate)
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Victoria Falls in Blue Mountains is an absolutely special waterfall is one that you need to put on your bucket list. There’s no actual swimming spots but who doesn’t love a shower under a waterfall?
21. Claustral Canyon
Walking effort: 4hrs minimum (very hard)
Known as being one of the most beautiful places in Australia, Claustral Canyon based in Mount Tomah is a Sydney bucketlist item you’ll want to tick off.
But it’s definitely not easy and you’ll need to be very fit to tackle this long adventure of four abseils, swims and hike through this canyon with Eagle Rock Adventures. It costs $299 per person.
22. Lower Bowens Creek Canyon
Walking effort: 5-7hrs / 8km (for beginners)
Image source: The Life Outdoors
Known as being a great beginners canyon, Lower Bowens Creek Canyon isn’t easy as you’ll need to give at least five hours to complete but expect few crowds and absolutely spectacular scenery. Find out more information here about this trek.
A bit further away…
23. Glow Worm Tunnel Hike
Walking effort: varies but quickest route 20 minutes each way If you’re looking to search for the glow worm tunnel in Blue Mountains, we recommend popping over to the beautiful Newnes in the Wolgan Valley. There’s a free campground there which is absolutely stunning! There’s various ways to do this hike but the quickest will take just 20 minutes to get to the tunnel.
Newnes is without a doubt one of our favourite places to visit near Sydney.
24. Donkey Mountain
Walking effort: overnight camping / 10km+
Donkey Mountain is a remote hike in the Wolgan Valley and requires overnight camping. But it’s worth it for the expansive views. Check out this blog for more details.
25. River Caves Canyon
Walking effort: around 2hrs / 3km
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Sunday's awesome #RiverCavesCanyonHike deep in the canyon with the enthusiastic crew! . A lovely showing of keen adventurers and hikers who showed interest in this walk-in canyon hike I set out to guide, the last of the season before it got too cold. . Special mention to @japl31 @mshbee @36th_exposure who were also with us for the day but missed the group shot! Also to everyone who offered their 4WDs for us to all hop into and allow for a smoother journey, apologies to all those who wanted to come but the date didn't suit! I'll do it again next season. . Thankyou for the wonderful company for the day which involved canyoning, an awesome sunrise and misty morning, hiking, stars and even some cool slacklining! Keep an eye out for the next open hike! 😎 **************************************** Itinerary for March 26 – River Caves Canyon Hike . 6:15am start- 1. Rigby Hill Sunrise short hike (Pierces Pass) 2. River Caves Canyon (Wollemi National Park – Newnes Plateau) 3. Bilpin Ciders and Pines Orchard 4. Bellbird Hill Reserve Lookout and Slacklining ***************************************** #australiagram #focusaustralia #opentheworld #beautifuldestinations #bluemountainsaustralia #sydney #visitnsw #cruising_australia #explorenewsouthwales #ig_australia #australia #awesomeglobe #seeaustralia #awesomeearth #newsouthwales #wow_australia2017 #fantastic_earth #aussiephotos #cruising_australia #socialifeaustralia #시드니 #visualsgang #호주 #discoverglobe #exploringaustralia #australiangeographic #australia_shotz #canyon #shotoncanon #hike
The River Caves Canyon in Newnes is a spectacular canyon everyone needs to put on their bucket list. We tried to find this once when we visited Newnes but we had no such luck.
Instagrammer @hikeandseek runs guided tours from time to time, something we’d definitely consider joining as this is a place we’ve wanted to visit for ages.
26. Twister Canyon & Rocky Creek
Walking effort: 7pm-5pm tourTwister canyon via High and Wild.
Known as one of the best canyons in Blue Mountains, Twister Canyon and River Creek both make a brilliant day out with High and Wild. Expect a lot of fun jumping into pools and following a trail into the 50 metre high walls of the River Creek canyon. This canyon looks absolutely breathtaking and costs $270.
27. Jenolan Caves
Walking effort: varies
One of the best things about going to visit the Jenolan Caves in Blue Mountains is the drive over. As it winds down through the valley, you’ll be in amazement at how beautiful the drive really is. It’s once you get to Jenolan Caves and drive right through the caves which is incredible impressive, you’ll see all of the big tour buses congregated by the entrance to the site.
Jenolan Caves is a very popular day trip from Sydney and there’s reason for it. Known as being the world’s biggest open cave system, you’ll have loads to choose from that we recommend you taking a tour to learn more about them. Check out this blog for more information about each cave to visit.
28. Kanangra Walls Lookout
Kanangra-Boyd National Park
Just a 45 minute drive south of Jenolan Caves brings you to the other side of the Blue Mountains to Kanangra-Boyd National Park. This park is an absolute hidden gem to visit and has one of the best views we’ve ever seen near Sydney. To us, it honestly felt like we were looking out to a view in somewhere like Borneo. It’s a very special place.
Park up at the Kanangra-Walls Lookout car park and take the trail to the Plateau walk. It takes just 20 minutes to reach the top. Steve said this was one of the best hikes he’d done in Australia, and as an Aussie, that’s saying a lot 😉
Watch our video of our hike below!
29. Wombeyan Caves
We personally prefer Wombeyan Caves to Jenolan Caves because it’s not nearly anywhere as busy as Jenolan and Wombeyan feels like a proper hidden Aussie gem. You can go on a tour, check the website for timings but we went on a self guided one. During our visit, we were the only people in the caves and it was properly amazing.
There’s a brilliant campground at Wombeyan Caves complete with loads of kangaroos in the area.
30. Mares Forest Creek Canyon
Ending our favourite 30 hikes in Blue Mountains with a hike through a canyon we did at Wombeyan Caves a few years back.
The Mares Forest Creek Canyon is an absolutely incredible spot where we were the only people there. It’s a 30 minute walk down and then we spent about 2 hours climbing over boulders, hiking and swimming through this canyon.
It’s definitely something to put on your bucket list! Next time we’d take a floatie and more.
Have you read our other posts about Blue Mountains yet?
When you visit Blue Mountains next time, we hope this post helps you make the most of your trip!
Hikes in Blue Mountains
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