Blue is one of those colors that aren’t featured much in nature, but here in the beautiful New South Wales outdoors, the Blue Mountains, so called because of their incredibly high concentration of Eucalyptus trees, will let you enjoy an unforgettable experience in mountains exploration. Here is our all-inclusive guide to have a Blue Mountains overnight tour from Sydney.
The Blue Mountains are enveloped by a misty blue haze that results from the oil of the Eucalyptus trees mixing with water vapor. Coupled with greatly dramatic outdoors sceneries which feature raging waterfalls, steep cliffs, and great jungles, the Mountains provide visitors with endless places to explore. Add to this a growing range of accommodations and cultural hotspots, and it can be overwhelming to try and plan an overnight trip that can pack in as much of the Blue Mountains experience as possible. Below are some of the unmissable experiences that the Mountains have to offer the time-crunched tourists looking to make a quick 2-day-1-night visit from the busy streets of Sydney.
Scenic World Blue Mountains
If you’re into outdoors adventures, the Blue Mountains is in no shortage of options from which to choose, but the flagship Blue Mountains Scenic World is a great place to start at. Designated a World Heritage Wilderness, the Scenic World is a short trip from Sydney. Your journey begins from Katoomba, which itself is about 2 hours from Sydney Central Station. Short buses are readily available to take you to Scenic World. There, travel in the world’s steepest inclined passenger railway to arrive at the Scenic Walkway, an elevated boardwalk through the Jurassic rainforest. If that doesn’t sound like your speed, the Scenic World also features a Cableway and Skyway. The Cableway offers you a descent into the valley in an enclosed cabin with the added benefit of increased peace of mind. If you want just a bit of a kick to your travel, but don’t want to feel the 52-degree incline of the Railway, the Skyway lets you travel 270 meters in the air, through ravines and rocky hilltops. Whether it’s a leisure look at the amazing natural sights, or an adrenaline-fueled descent into the wilderness itself, Scenic World Blue Mountains has it all.
The Aboriginal Blue Mountains Tour
The Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout offers a more traditional adventure to those who are keen on challenging the outdoors with their own 2 feet. On this tour guided by Aboriginals, visitors learn about the creation and spiritual significance of the mountains in the local culture. If culture isn’t your interest, the wildlife and sandstone caves along the wave will surely capture your attention. If, however, you are interested in the culture and myths of the Aboriginal people, you can fully immerse yourself in the tour, which features ceremonial sites, art viewings, and Dreamtime stories. The centerpiece of the tour is a challenging off-track walk through a secluded forest called the Songline – a path remembered in the songs of the people. You can reach the toursite from Falconbridge station, which is about an 80-minute ride from Sydney Central Station.
The Jenolan Caves
The Jenolan Caves is one of the oldest cave systems in the world. Within, visitors can explore 11 show caves, trek through underground rivers, and marvel at naturally-formed rock formations. These caves date back hundreds of millions of years, and are a treasure trove for the history-minded tourists out there. Guided tours are available which focus on the fossilized remains found throughout the cave. However, not all of these attractions are accessible to everyone. For safety reasons, the guided tours are offered at different difficulties depending on the visitors’ fitness levels. If traversing the cave sounds too taxing, local walking tracks are located nearby which can be found through an iPhone app. Overnight accommodations are available next to the caves, which makes the Jenolan caves a great way to end your first day of the tour. You can reach the Jenolan caves through buses from Katoomba, though you will have to get in touch with the Blue Mountains Bus Co. to reserve your seats on one of the buses.
Tread Lightly Eco Tour
The Tread Lightly Eco Tour is a more family and environmentally friendly walking tour offered in the Blue Mountains. There are various guided tour available, ranging from a few hours long to full-day tours, where you’ll explore the region’s various geographical features and the wildly diverse ecosystem. Between the valleys, canyons, waterfalls, rivers, and forests, there’s something for every hiker out there. The tour guides are trained to be specifically knowledgeable in not only the geology and biology of the region, but also the culture and astronomy of the local Aboriginals. Tours are offered seven days a week, so it’s easy to fit this into you schedule. If that still doesn’t work, there are also night tours offered with an emphasis on Southern Hemisphere astrology and observation of the local nocturnal fauna. Thus, this makes the tour another great alternative to the Jenolan Caves in closing your first day. The Tread Lightly Eco Tour is located in Medlow Bath, a short 2-hour train ride from Sydney Central Station.
Waradah Aboriginal Centre
The Waradah Aboriginal Centre is the destination for those interested most in the Aboriginal heritage of the Blue Mountains. Here, Aboriginal Art is honored and brought to a wider audience. There are regular performances of Aboriginal dance and didgeridoo held throughout the day, and should you want to immerse yourself greater, these performances are interactive, sometimes involving the audience in their dances. For those who resonate more with the visual arts, there is an art gallery with contemporary pieces on display by Aboriginal artists from all around the continent such as Papunya, Yuendumu, St Teresa, and Utopia. Learn first-hand about Australia’s living Aboriginal culture through interaction and informal discussion, and even lectures given by staff and performers at the Centre. The Waradah Aboriginal Centre is a great way to cap off a 2 day trip to the Blue Mountains, being that it is located in Katoomba, a hub between a lot of the hotspots in the Mountains. Not only so, the Centre also offers for sale a variety of authentic Aboriginal souvenirs, including didgeridoos, alongside the arts on display in the Gallery.
Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum and Tearooms
The Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum and Tearooms offers a nice break from the outdoors adventures. Hidden away in the mountain village Leura, the Teapot Museum is home to over 5000 pieces of teawares, amounting to the largest private collection of teapots in the in the world, and is sure to excite any and all tea enthusiast. The collections includes pieces from the last 5 centuries of Australia’s tea culture, and will set the mood great for the tea break that you will enjoy. The Tearooms offers light refreshments and lunches, alongside a wide variety of tea, served on the finest china. If you have the chance, the house specialty is a Devonshire Tea that is greatly adored by guests. Additionally, any bookings of 20 guests or more is eligible for the invitation of a guide to help you through gigantic teapot collection.