Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of urban living in Sydney is vital in order recharge the soul. A Blue Mountains weekend getaway is the perfect answer. Whether you are lucky enough to spend Blue Mountains retreat-style stay or you only have time for a Blue Mountains day trip, our guide will help you plan your visit.
How to Get to the Blue Mountains
- Glenbrook/Lapstone, the entrance to the Blue Mountains are about an hour’s drive from Sydney. By car, follow the signs north west towards Parramatta and the M4 on to Lapstone and up to the mountains. However, you’ll likely find you will want to head on towards Leura or Katoomba (90 minutes by car).
- We recommend travelling bar car so you can easily drive Blue Mountains attractions outside of the town centre. This is particularly important if you are only
- The very scenic mountain train ride from Sydney’s Central Station takes about 2 hours to Katoomba.
- Coaches also leave from Circular Quay to take you to the mountains.
Blue Mountains Weekend Getaway
The Blue Mountains (so called due to the blue haze blanketing the picturesque region) is the perfect destination for anyone needing a break from the bright lights of the city in favour of mountain air and endless cliff-side walks. What this rugged region lacks in Instagrammable brunches and beautiful boutiques it makes up for in droves with its slower pace of life, cute and quirky cafes and breath-taking views that match the picture perfect postcards of this stunning destination.
The Blue Mountains’ most famous town is Katoomba. You’ll often find it teeming with tourists due to the Scenic World attractions. The cable car and railway trip offer a great way to see some of the best views in the Blue Mountains, but you’ll find much more untouched beauty if you veer off the beaten track. Here are my picks for the best things to do during a relaxing weekend escape to the beautiful Blue Mountains.
Blue Mountains Luxury Accommodation
While a Blue Mountains day trip is a great way for those pressed for time to experience it, staying overnight is a lovely way to see more of the area. It’s also a lovely way to spend a romantic weekend away near Sydney. These are few examples of Blue Mountains luxury accommodation. If you are on a more modest budget, search more Blue Mountains hotels here.
Due to its popularity among walkers, there’s a variety of motels and guesthouses that offer overnight accommodation, but if, like us, you enjoy a bit of luxury while on a weekend break, opt for Parklands Country Lodges.
Located in pretty mountain town Blackheath, this secluded Blue Mountains retreat is nestled in 28 acres of manicured lawns and is far from the trodden tourist trap. With a sweeping driveway flanked by fir trees, a private lake and 7 gorgeous cottages, Parklands perfectly fuses style with setting, and their cottages are both sumptuous and homely, with fireplaces, underfloor heating, and unbeatable views of the grounds.
Offering both a buffet and a la carte breakfast, that includes pastries, fresh fruit and perfectly poached eggs, it’s the ideal spot to fuel up before a day of walking. If post-hike, you need somewhere to ease the aches and pains of sore limbs and tired muscles, their in-house spa offers a range of luxury treatments from the Volcanic Stone Ritual, to the Mineral Healing Mud Wrap that will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated in no time.
The Hydro Majestic is an iconic Blue Mountains hotel. Offering retro-charm and views of the stunning Megalong Valley, the Hydro Majestic is located about 10 minutes from Katoomba and the many things to do in the Blue Mountains. The Hydro as it is affectionately known, is a Blue Mountains treasure. Even if you aren’t able to book a room here, drop in for an historical tour or to take High Tea.
For those looking for less of a Blue Mountains retreat and more of a luxury hotel with all of the bells and whistles, the Fairmont Resort and Spa might suit you. The impressive hotel sits on an expansive 9.5 hectares of grounds while still being conveniently located is just 5-minutes from the gorgeous Leura village shops. With two swimming pools, a fitness centre and Leura Golf Club a stroll away, this property would suit larger groups or families and golf enthusiasts.
Search more Blue Mountains Accommodation here.
Things to do in the Blue Mountains
Even if you are only planning a Blue Mountains day trip itinerary, the Three Sisters will probably be at the top of your list. With countless walks to chose from, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking which look-out point they want to visit. The Three Sisters is the mountains’ most famous and it’s also the most overrun with other walkers. By opting for lesser-known Blue Mountains walks, you’ll be afforded endless mountain landscapes, and the chance to cover some serious ground without sharing your space with others.
Wentworth Falls Loop
Try the Wentworth Falls loop for a scenic walk that passes through waterfalls a-plenty, rugged cliff edges and an abundance of look outs with breathtaking views. A 7km circuit that takes approximately 3 hours, stop at the Conservation Hut for a refreshing drink and an unbeatable mountain vista.
Govett’s Leap Walk
If you’re visiting Blackhealth, the Govett’s Leap Walk is not to be missed. A twenty-minute stroll from Parklands Country Lodges, this walk is one of the Blue Mountain’s very best, though with a steep descent and ascent, it’s certainly not for the faint hearted. The views are picture-perfect, the landscape endless and though the paths may be steep, they’re oh-so worth it.
The Blue Mountain’s Botanical Gardens – though a fair distance from the main mountainous hub – are well worth the extra mileage. Boasting 28 hectares of heritage listed botanic garden, they’re not only free to the public, but abundant in their splendour. Located at Mount Tomah, the gardens boast a number of walks, a rustic café – offering homemade lemonades and ciders – with mountain vistas, and a jungle lodge that sleeps ten.
Keen to see more than just mountains? Visit the Jenolan Caves. The world’s oldest and Australia’s most awe-inspiring caves, the Jenolan Caves are made of limestone and located just west of the Blue Mountains. Worth a visit for the stunning countryside en route alone, visitors are able to drive through the caves before parking and taking a tour. With dazzling formations and underground rivers, the caves offer the perfect day trip for challenge-seekers, allowing visitors to wind their way through undeveloped caves, using just a headlamp to light the way.
Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum & Tearooms
While the Blue Mountains doesn’t boast the stylish boutiques city-dwellers may be accustomed to, there are antique dens and shops a-plenty. Offering homewares from days gone by to vintage jewellery and well-thumbed books, the options are endless; the bargains bountiful. Perfect for anyone with a keen eye for a stunning steal; the selection of vintage shops offer the perfect place to while away a lazy afternoon. Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum & Tearooms in the quaint village of Leura is a good place to whet your antique hunting appetite, housing the world’s largest private collection of teawares.
Cafes in the Blue Mountains
For food with a view, it doesn’t get better than one of the most prized cafes in the Blue Mountains, High tea at the Hydro Majestic is a must. Located on the mountain’s edge in Medlow Bath, this iconic hotel offers diners unrivalled views of the mountain range, that can be covered with a veil of mist in a matter of minutes. Try their sumptuous afternoon tea for a post-hike treat. With a standard, Asian Fusion or vegetarian option on offer, wash the warm scones with clotted cream and jam down with a glass of their finest champagne.
Nestled in the heart of Katoomba, and much like the Hydro Majestic, the views from Echo Point take some serious beating. With a refined wine and cocktail menu, and an a la carte that includes soft-shell crab, seared scallops and zucchini flowers filled with prawns, Echo Point boasts city sophistication dining in a peaceful rural location.
Katoomba’s Avalon Restaurant is the go-to for anyone wanting hand-picked wines and hearty dishes. A converted theatre, the restaurant boasts retro décor with a cocktail lounge and mountain views. After a day in the mountains enjoy a well-deserved glass of wine by the fireplace, alongside their tasty antipasto plate or their famous fillet steak if your feeling hungry.
For locally sourced food in the heart of beautiful Blue Mountains town Leura, head to Leura Garage. Combining rustic chic interiors with stone baked pizzas and a seriously soothing atmosphere, it’s a great place to relax and recharge. If you don’t feel like pizza, opt for one of their banquet menus. With Tasmanian Salmon gravlax, baked sweet potatoes and charred vegetables on offer it’ll satisfy the fussiest of foodies.
Lucy Pearson is a certified bookworm, wanderluster and a qualified yoga teacher with a thirst for adventure and love for life.
Lucy has her own blog, The Unlikely Bookworm and also contributes to Stylist Magazine and Hip and Healthy.