No trip to Sydney is complete without heading 90 minutes North West, to the Blue Mountains National Park where nothing beats Blue Mountains walks.
It’s here you’ll be treated to small village life with quiet and eclectic stores and visiting tourists. Blue Mountains villages are an attraction in themselves, but The Blue Mountains walks are what every person in NSW should experience, with an easy day trip to the region.
Three main towns make up the Blue Mountains National Park; Katoomba, Wentworth Falls, and Blackheath. Katoomba is the most popular of the three because it is home to The Three Sisters, and has the largest township, whereas Wentworth Falls and Blackheath are primarily locations for longer walking tracks.
The Three Sisters
Located on Echo Point Road, (a 10 – 20 minute walk from Katoomba town, and Katoomba train station) The Three Sisters are certainly worth a visit. They are three large rock pillars protruding high above the valley floor, surrounded by nothing but dense, green, tree life. The way the sun catches their rocky sides, combined with the backdrop of national parkland, make great photograph opportunities.
At The Three Sisters there is an information kiosk with souvenirs and maps of walks in the area, bathroom amenities, and plenty of seating at the large viewing area. The high volume of tour buses arriving here can make it difficult to find a peaceful place to contemplate, but this area is the hub of the Blue Mountains region. Visitors can use the car park for up to 4 hours , which is plenty of time to complete the short walks starting here.
For one such short – yet intense – walk follow the well marked sign Giant Staircase to the left of The Three Sisters. This will take you on a steep descent to the valley floor, along narrow, steel, steps for an approximate 40 minute – 1 hour round trip. The hike back up is certainly one to increase your heart rate!
At the bottom of the Giant Staircase, instead of returning back up the way you came, there is an option to continue on a well marked path and loop back to The a Three Sisters. A small scenic train also stops along this track.
A small train station connecting to Sydney central is situated with easy access to the town centre. Katoomba town is one Main Street lined with cafes, eclectic antique and bric-a-brac shops, with plenty of casual dining available. Paragon is a favourite: selling new 1930’s toys and collectables is a joy only second to the 1930’s styles cafe within.
Driving North from Katoomba for around 20km, turn right onto Evans Lookout Rd. Around 5km down this straight road you’ll come across Grand Canyon Loop car park where you can begin a well signed loop walk. We recommend instead continuing to the end of the road to use Evans Lookout car park as this will give you panoramic canyon views at the start and end of your walk. There is also a covered area that you can use freely for shade.
Dense, damp, rain forest surrounds the trail at the bottom of the valley, with cliffs towering above. Through the foliage lizards can be spotted and well placed rocks make for easy river crossings. At times you’ll hear only the thundering siren sounds of cicadas fading in and out.
There is no mobile phone signal here making it easier to appreciate the nature around. Take a backpack, plenty of water and a snack.
Blue Mountains walks can feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney life. It can be surprising just how lush green the region is, and Blue Mountains walks can be a totally peaceful experience.