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The Blue Mountains

Listed under Mountains in New South Wales, Australia.

  • Photo of The Blue Mountains
  • Photo of The Blue Mountains
  • Photo of The Blue Mountains
  • Photo of The Blue Mountains
  • Photo of The Blue Mountains
  • Photo of The Blue Mountains
  • Photo of The Blue Mountains
  • Photo of The Blue Mountains
Photo of The Blue Mountains
Photo by flickr user Charlie Phillips
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The Blue Mountains aren’t actually a mountain range but are a series of plateaus topping escarpment like cliffs rising out of rolling hills. These golden sandstone cliffs were once deep gorges, but the torrential rivers that created them have dissipated and their crevices are filled with forest. The mountains are actually blue though, or appear blue from a distance because of the oils released by eucalypt forests. As well as eucalypts, rainforests huddle into the warmest, most protected, areas and the plateaus are topped with scrub creating a range of Australian micro climates - a way for international visitors to see a few varieties of bush in one place.

The natural wonder tourist attractions are The Three Sisters, three fingers of rock which have been eroded from a line of cliff (please note the story about them being sisters from the Dreamtime who fell in love with brothers from a neighbouring tribe isn’t a Dreamtime story.) and the Jenolan Caves, a spectacular system of show caves. Most people will view the Three Sisters from the platform and continue on the ‘walk’ which has steps and a metal walk way to protect your feet from getting too muddy. Most tourists will also ride the scenic railway, which is the steepest railway in the world, like a cross between a roller coaster and a monorail. There is also a cable car from one plateau to another.

There are countless possible walking routes, from the above mentioned tourist trails to multi-day camping trips out into remote regions of the park. These are just some of your options.  This is a National Park so as you get away from the towns you can expect to see lots of wildlife in a beautiful bush setting.

Even if you usually hate that sort of thing you should see ‘The Edge’ a film shown on loop in a theatre near the visitors centre, narrated by Hugo Weaving; they have packed a lot of information into a 45 minute film and though I would usually imply you’re better off outside walking around actually looking at the world I’ll admit that it’s pretty interesting.

The Blue Mountains were thought impenetrable by the first settlers, all expeditions into them lead along river beds up against steep cliffs hundreds of metres high, harking back to their heritage as gorge walls.

As well as bushwalking you can also ride (bikes or horses), go fishing, rock climbing or spend a day at a spa?

Catch the train up to Katoomba or drive from Sydney, there are plenty of places to stay, this isn’t really a remote bush experience, it is fast becoming part of Sydney’s commuter belt. You can expect to find all the comforts of home including good restaurants and cafes and a cinema, just at a higher elevation and a nicer view. Expect it to be cooler than Sydney - it sometimes even snows…

Blue Mountains Tourist Information Site.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Other expert and press reviews

“Greater Blue Mountains Area”

The Greater Blue Mountains Area consists of 1.03 million ha of sandstone plateaux, escarpments and gorges dominated by temperate eucalypt forest. The site, comprised of eight protected areas, is noted for its representation of the evolutionary adaptati… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

“Single Girl Seeks Three Sisters”

By Glynis Traill-Nash for The Sydney Morning Herald First Published June 28, 2009 I'm an urban creature. I don't get out of Sydney much so I could do with a little R&R away from deadlines and pedestrian rage. Even I'm surprised, however, when on th… Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Childfriendly canyoning in Katoomba

The Blue Mountains, a world heritage site west of Sydney, offer some spectacular views from the plateaus running along the top of the range. However, some of the most fun to be had in the Blue Mountains is down in the valleys, slipping and sliding around in the deep, and a bit mysterious, chasms, thick with lush vegetation and sprinkled with clear water pools. Canyoning lets you get stuck right in to these geological adventure parks and scramble your way through the rock formations and grottos swimming through shimmering pools of water, abseiling down narrow rock faces, with some climbing, scrambling and walking thrown in too.

There are loads of different guided canyoning experiences depending on how fit you are and whether you’ve done any abseiling before, but there are so many canyons that you could easily do one a day and build up the skills you need to scale the more challenging ones. You’ll need some basic gear like a water bottle, sturdy shoes and a torch and the activity centre will provide all the rest. So then all you’ve got to do is throw on your wetsuit and take the plunge.

Luxury in the Blue Mountains

If you are looking for luxury in the Blue Mountains, check out Lilianfels. With all the facilities you could wish for combined with superb service, this is true relaxation.

Two fantastic experiences stand out in my memory from Lilianfels:-

1) Best afternoon tea.

2) Best horse ride ever!! (Concierge recommended stables)

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