Think Blue Mountains in Sydney is all about the Three Sisters in Katoomba and Scenic World? Think again. Most people think the activities in Blue Mountains resolves around these two places but we’re here to tell you there’s so much more to see when coming from Sydney to Blue Mountains.
After our recent visit back to the beautiful Sydney getaway, we’ve seen so much of the area that it’s about time we told you we’ve found 30 things to do in Blue Mountains.
Be prepared to bookmark this blog post because here’s everything you need to know about what to do in Blue Mountains. If you’re looking for things to do in Sydney, the Blue Mountains is a day trip from Sydney that you’ll love.
Although Blue Mountains Sydney is absolutely accessible for everyone to visit thanks to the direct train service from Central Station in Sydney, we 100% recommend you hiring a car from here to make the most of it as there are many places that are difficult to get to by public transport.
1. Visit Pulpit Rock Lookout
Make sure you head over to one of the most jaw dropping Blue Mountains lookouts at Pulpit Rock Lookout. The question is, will you be able to have the courage to embrace the staircase down to the further lookout? It definitely took me a few attempts at doing it.
It’s a five minute walk from the car park to Pulpit Lookout.
2. Explore the Grand Canyon Walk
One of the main things to do in Blue Mountain is going on a hike. If you’re looking for one of the best hikes in Blue Mountains then you really should put aside time to complete the Grand Canyon walk. It’s a circuit which takes 2h30m.
The hike takes you through loads of different types of terrain and you’ll spend most of it in absolute awe as you’ll be walking through part of the Gondwana Rainforest which is over 1 million years old. That’s right, 1 million years old!
Tips – don’t take young kids, it will take a good few hours to do the circuit.
2. Hike to the bottom of Wentworth Falls
Wentworth Falls might be a popular Blue Mountains hike but it’s also one of the best. As one of the best things to do in Blue Mountains, Wentworth Falls has multiple stopping points and viewing platforms from the start to finish meaning that you can stop at any time and turn back if you need to.
There’s a lot of steps to be had on this hike but it sure is beautiful. The main thing we noticed is that after we reached the first tier of the waterfall, the crowds filtered out and we got the entire bottom of the waterfall to ourselves.
3. Go to Aunty Ed’s for a drink
We really love Aunty Ed’s (formerly Aunty Jacks) – a retro basement restaurant and bar on the main street in Katoomba. I know when you hear the word basement you might think it’s going to be a dive but it’s not at all. They have bands playing on the weekend and it makes a great night out that we doubt you’ll find anywhere else like it in the Sydney area. It’s also perfect for families, couples or groups of friends wanting to have a laugh.
The food is based around burgers but what stood out for us was the drinks. Make sure you order the warm cider, it’s honestly one of the best drinks we’ve ever had!
4. Visit Scenic World
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Did you know that the Scenic Railway holds the Guinness Book of Records title for the steepest train in the world?! The carriages might have changed over the years however the track remains the same, descending 310 metres through a cliff-side tunnel and emerging into the ancient Jurassic rainforest below. . . . #ScenicWorld_Aus #ScenicWorld #Katoomba #BlueMountains #VisitBlueMountains #NewSouthWales #VisitNSW #Australia #SeeAustralia #ScenicRailway #Railway #train #steepestintheworld #GuinnessBookofRecords #JamisonValley
An obvious one but there is so much going on at Scenic World that you’ll be able to keep the whole family entertained.
Scenic World seems to have the world record titles for the steepest railway in the world and the steepest cable car in the world which takes your right over the mountains. The Blue Mountains cable car is our top pick for things to do at Scenic World.
5. Tackle the Ruined Castle Hike
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Ruined Castle- this has to be the most challenging, but most spectacular, bushwalk I’ve ever done in the Blue Mountains. I’m exploring the Blue Mountains this weekend from the comfort of the cosy and convenient @yhaaustralia in Katoomba. As I sit here by the fireplace writing this with a cup of hot chocolate, my aching legs from the walk this am are starting to feel better. Definitely will publish a blog post soon on this amazing hike. ❄️ #yhaoz #bluemountains
Although it takes a good 4-5 hours to complete, Ruined Castle hike is one of those hikes that’s not for the faint hearted. But the best part is, it won’t be nearly as busy as other hiking paths in Blue Mountains.
Want to know more? We love this article written by The Accidental Australian here >
6. Visit the beautiful Breenhold Gardens
If you’re missing the English countryside, head over to Breenhold Gardens in Mount Wilson. Although it’s only open in Spring and Autumn, Breenhold Gardens is a spectacular place to visit that you’ll be making sure you come back next season. It also makes a brilliant Blue Mountains day trip and is something different to do in the area.
Watch our video below!
7. Go mountain biking in Blue Mountains
Fancy mountain biking around the Blue Mountains instead of hiking? Blue Mountains Biking Adventures offer up either self guided or guided mountain biking tours in Blue Mountains which would be an awesome day out.
Experience one of the best mountain biking trails in Australia called The Oakes or other trails which are designed for all different types of fitness levels.
8. Go cider Tasting in Blue Mountains
Fancy doing some cider tasting in Blue Mountains? Make sure you check out Bilpin Cider and Hillbury Cider cellar doors.
Bilpin Cider Opening Hours: Mon- Sun 10-4pm
Hillbilly Cider Opening Hours: Fri 12-5pm, Sat-Sun 11-5pm
9. Spend the day at a Japanese Bath House
One of our favourite ever finds in Blue Mountains is the Japanese Bath House called Sparadise. You honestly won’t find a better way to spend $70 in your life than by checking out the five pools and awesome tea rooms.
Watch our video below at Sparadise!
10. Go horse riding in the Megalong Valley
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Out enjoying this beautiful Spring day. Fingers crossed it stays like this for the weekend 🌝. . 🐴 🐴 🐴 🐴 #centennialglenstables #centennialglen #horseriding #horses #🐴 #horsefarm #valley #kanimblavalley #bluemountains #nsw #nswtourismaustralia #nswtourismaustralia #nswtourism #sunny #spring #springvibes #springisintheair
A great Blue Mountains family activity is horse riding in the Megalong Valley.
Centennial Glen Stables offers an awesome horse riding package from 10am-4pm which starts at the Kanimbla Valley and ends at the Megalong Valley with a stop off at the Megalong Valley tea rooms for lunch.
Horse riding with Centennial Glen Stables costs $225 pp but you’ll need to pay for lunch separately.
11. Go on a Vipassana Meditation retreat
If you need some space away from everyday life, we recommend going to the Vipassana Meditation Centre in Blackheath. They offer a range of courses, the most popular being the 10 day course but they also hold 1 day courses as well.
It’s a silent retreat and the 10 day course is spent meditating around 16 hours a day. Having completed this course, it’s not easy but it’s definitely worth investing your time in. It’s also donation based so you can pay what you feel for the entire course which includes accommodation and all meals.
You’ll be surprised at the diversity of people who attend the Vipassana course, honestly there’s nuns, hippies, tradies, sporty types and more (basically everyone!).
The Vipassana Meditation Centre in Blackheath is an amazing place to get away from it all and have some time out from everyday life.
12. Check out Anvil Lookout
One of our favourite secret lookouts is Anvil Lookout. You won’t find many other people (if any) there and best of all, on a clear day, you’ll be able to see all the way to the Sydney skyline. Mad right?
13. Hanging Rock
One of the best walks in Blue Mountains is the hike to Hanging Rock. We love it because it’s not only an easy one hour walk, it offers up mind blowing views at the end. Don’t jump the gap whatever you do, it’s pretty dangerous.
Watch our video to Hanging Rock below
14. Christmas in July
Christmas in July or Yulefest as it’s known is actually a thing in Blue Mountains. What was discovered by a couple of Brits in Blue Mountains to have a proper Christmas has become a huge deal in the Sydney area.
Celebrate Christmas In July at YHA where they usually get carol singers in and hold a huge Christmas lunch celebration.
15. Have lunch at Yellow Deli
One of the best restaurants in Blue Mountains is Yellow Deli. Although many people question the rumours in the press about the community who run this cafe, we can only imagine if the rumours are actually true, the cafe certainly wouldn’t still be open.
Whether you want to dine at Yellow Deli or not, it’s definitely worth taking a look because the interior is absolutely stunning. All of the wood has been found and recycled into a beautiful place.
16. Visit The Three Sisters Blue Mountains
One of the main Blue Mountains attractions is the Three Sisters rock formation in Katoomba. Make sure you go on the 800 metre walk right over to the Three Sisters as well which is short enough and suitable for the whole family.
If you’re wondering what to do in Katoomba and you’re visiting for the first time, make sure you check out the Three Sisters first!
17. Visit the incredible Wombeyan Caves
Our alternative to Jenolan Caves is Wombeyan Caves, a must visit if you’re looking for things to do in Blue Mountains. It’s an absolutely spectacular place with barely any crowds at all that you’ll more than likely get all of the caves to yourself as you walk around completely in awe.
You can even camp at the brilliant campgrounds at Wombeyan Caves and make a weekend of it. If you’re visiting in Summer, we dare you to take on the Mares Forest Creek Canyon hike here >
18. Spend the day at the spa in Blue Mountains
If you’re looking for a Blue Mountains day spa, then head over to Lilianfels Resort & Spa which is right next door to The Three Sisters in Katoomba.
19. Check out the vintage shops in Katoomba
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In the windy #BlueMountains weather, our big Emporium is a peaceful place to wander around immersed in the wonderful #Antiques we have on display. With fabulous ideas for #ChristmasGift giving, and heaps of decorative options, we hope you will find what you are looking for. Two Big floors to explore! Just follow the winding stairs at the back of the shop. We are open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. During School terms, we close on Wednesdays, and in School holidays we open every day. Find us on #Katoomba Street, opposite the Commonwealth Bank, just down from the beautiful @thecarringtonhotel, and very close to @bluemountainsculturalcentre. #visitbluemountains #lovehistory
One of our favourite things to do in Blue Mountains Australia is to go vintage shopping in Katoomba. You could spend all day walking up and down Katoomba’s main street looking through the shops and will probably come away with some fantastic finds.
20. Find Hargraves Lookout
Hargraves Lookout is one of our favourite Blue Mountains lookouts and best of all, there’s hardly anyone ever there when we visit. We’ve been coming to this lookout for years now and love how we feel like we have the entire Megalong Valley to ourselves.
21. Visit Kanangra Boyd National Park
Kanangra Boyd National Park is an absolutely amazing national park that you’ll be so shocked how near it is to the Blue Mountains. We like to think of it as being one of our favourite ever secret finds near Sydney. The views are incredible, the crowds are non existant and you’ll wonder if you’ve been transported to somewhere like Borneo with the views it has.
Camping is available at this national park.
Watch our video of our hike in Kanangra-Boyd National Park below!
22. Keep the kids entertained at Kids Kingdom
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All the colours of the rainbow at #kidskingdom in #katoomba today. A great #wetweather option. Best value is an annual pass, otherwise regular visits can get pricey but still a great space to burn off energy with a huge castle, slide and trampoline to explore. #kidsizefun
Need to entertain the kids in Blue Mountains? Kids Kingdom is a great place to visit especially if you’re looking for Blue Mountains kids activities in the rain. With three levels of activities to keeps the kids entertained, Kids Kingdom at Katoomba Sports & Aquatic Centre is a must visit for things to do in Katoomba.
23. Swim at Minnehaha Falls
Although it’s currently closed at the moment, keep an eye out here for when Minnehaha Falls reopens here because it’s a brilliant Blue Mountains wild swimming spot. Do not attempt to visit this waterfall until it reopens as the track isn’t safe right now.
24. Eat Devonshire Tea at Megalong Valley Tearooms
Are you looking to go for high tea in Blue Mountains but want something a bit more low key that doesn’t break the bank? Head over to the Megalong Valley Tearooms and then follow on with a horse ride in the valley.
25. Happy Buddha Retreat
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"Sensational food, just what the Dr ordered" Thankyou @hubbys_unfiltered, glad you enjoyed our more-ish medicinal meals! 💛😋💛 . . . . . #happybuddharetreats #mindfulcooking #glutenfreefood #yogaretreat #retreatme #mindbodysoul #foodforthemind #mindfulfood #plantbased #vegan #healthretreat #nourish #veganrecipes #veganchef #plantmedicine #soulfood #feedyoursoul #dinner #yogilife #nourishnotpunish #naturescandy #plantpowered #munchies #meditation #bluemountains #travel #foodie
If you’re looking to recharge your batteries and need a bit of a wellness injection, head over to the Happy Buddha Retreat which is a beautiful yoga & meditation retreat in Blue Mountains. They have a gorgeous swimming pool and serve up wonderful veggie food.
26. Jenolan Caves
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Great photo of the massive Devil's Coach House, our free self guided cave by @meganhinds_ . . . . . . . @Australia #NewSouthWales @visitnsw @nswnationalparks #NSWParks @sydney @bluemountainsaustralia #visitbathurst #bluemtsaus #unearthcentralnsw #experience_oberon #bucketlist #westernadvocate #lithgowtourism #watchthisinstagood #travel #naturephotography #animalphotography #caves #nswenvironmentandheritage #australia #earth #aroundtheworld #natureaddict #cavehunting #explore #adventure #weekendadventures
Everyone’s favourite Jenolan Caves is a must visit when heading to the Blue Mountains. The drive over is incredible as you wind through the mountain and ending up driving through one of the caves to the carpark. It’s an incredible place but it’s very very busy with tour buses and tourists from overseas.
27. Visit the Glow Worm Tunnels
We love the glow worm tunnels in Newnes, that there’s loads of ways to get there for all ages and capabilities. There’s a free campground in Newnes as well and it’s one of the best free campgrounds near Sydney.
28. Explore the canyons in Blue Mountains
If you’re brave enough, there are loads of amazing Blue Mountains canyons to explore that you’ll be coming back time and time again to discover them. You can read all about our top canyons to explore and abseiling in Blue Mountains in the link below.
29. Visit the famous Govetts Leap lookout
One of the most popular lookout points in Blue Mountains is Govetts Leap. This impressive valley is the type of place you could come back to at various times of the day and it will completely change.
There’s also loads of hikes to explore at Govetts Leap as well and there’s an information centre at the lookout so you can ask any questions about any of the hikes you want to do.
30. End the day at Blackheath Lookout
We always end our Blue Mountains NSW trip by visiting Blackheath lookout for sunset. It’s an amazing lookout point that very few people ever explore. The sunset views are incredible and if you’re lucky you might see some of the para-gliders there which makes for some awesome photos.
Blue Mountains Accommodation
Stay at the beautiful Old Leura Dairy here >
There are some amazing accommodation in Blue Mountains to consider, we recommend you checking out this post about all of our favourite Blue Mountain hotels.
If we had to pick our top three places to stay in Blue Mountains they would be the following:
Budget: YHA Blue Mountains (find the best deal here)
For couples: Eagle View Escape for couples (find the best deal here)
For families: The Old Leura Dairy (find the best deal here)
Want to do a Blue Mountains tour?
We recommend going on this Blue Mountain Sydney tour which takes in waterfalls and hikes as well a photographer included and transfers to and from Sydney! Otherwise check out the below!
Blue Mountains Books
Read our other Blue Mountains posts below!
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30 best things to do in Blue Mountains
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