The Blue Mountains Day Trip Travelogue
Table of Contents
A couple of weeks back, Vinayak and his family were visiting Sydney, and I reached out to him asking if he had any specific plans for the weekend. Knowing that he didn’t have any plans, and both Jo and I have been meaning to visit the Blue Mountains, we figured this is a good time to do a road trip!
About the Blue Mountains #
The Blue Mountains are a mountainous region starting at about 50 kilometers west of Sydney. The mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range, which runs along the east coast of Australia. The Blue Mountains area comprises a range of mountains, waterfalls, and eucalyptus forests and is famous for having many hiking trails and scenic drives, especially during Autumn.
Getting there #
Since moving to Sydney, my standard for a road trip has been to book a GoGet. Since we are a group of 5 this time around, I booked a Toyota RAV4. GoGet’s tariff means that when the hourly rate crosses the daily rate, they will automatically apply the daily rate, so we always get a lower tariff. We picked up the RAV4 just outside our house and started heading towards Vinayak’s hotel to pick them up. The hotel was barely 2kms away, and the RAV4 did not have CarPlay, but it did come with SatNav. I always wanted to try out the SatNav, so I punched in the street number and name and headed off.. only to realize why CarPlay/Google Maps is used so much. The SatNav was horribly bad, kept giving wrong instructions, and a 2km trip ended up being a 5km drive across the city tunnel. I promptly put away the SatNav and switched back to Google Maps.
The rest of the drive to Blue Mountains was pretty uneventful as we were on the M4 and Great Western Highway, and the roads were straight. As we got closer to the Blue Mountains, we started seeing some curves, and the foliage changed a bit. I’m told the colors are a lot more brighter closer towards Autumn. We could also see the railway track run parallel to the road (and fun fact: you can actually reach Blue Mountains via public transport, via the train to Katoomba). Our first stop was Lincoln’s Rock, about 94kms from our home, and it took us about 2 hours to cover the distance.
Lincoln’s Rock #
Lincoln’s Rock is a popular cliff-edge lookout in the Blue Mountains. It has some amazing views of the mountains. Lincoln’s Rock is named after Lincoln Hall, a mountaineer resident of Blue Mountains. As a mountaineer, he was part of Australia’s first Mount Everest expedition in 1984. Lincoln was left for dead after a successful ascent to Mt Everest and lost his way on descent.
We parked the car and walked to the lookout. The place wasn’t full, but soon after a couple of buses made their way, and it got fairly congested. The expansive view of the ranges and the valley was pretty awesome. There’s a particular place that you can sit and grab a photo of - and that proved to be quite popular with a tour group. The tour lead kept repeating the instructions repeatedly - “shuffle on your butts!”. Became second nature to everyone there!
Three Sisters #
After spending about a half-hour at Lincoln’s Rock, we headed off towards Katoomba for the famous Three Sisters walk.
The Three Sisters are located about a 45-minute drive from Lincoln Rock. This place can get quite crowded, so be prepared to drive around for a bit to find a parking spot. The view from The Three Sisters is awesome. However, our plans to walk to the first Sister were dashed as the bridge leading to it was closed. The other hiking trail was much longer, and we didn’t feel like doing it.
By this time, it was close to lunch, and we were hungry. We looked at a couple of cafes and decided to head over to Basil Nut Cafe. We chose to sit outside since the indoor seating was full. Basil Nut Cafe had really good food! They use fresh ingredients and the portions were generous. I highly recommend it if you’re in Katoomba.
Walking around in Katoomba #
With lunch over, we picked up a couple of coffees and started walking around Katoomba’s city center. Vinayak was looking for the Cultural Center, and just in front of it, we found several amazing murals and graffiti on the walls across multiple crossroads. Some of the artwork was amazing and had special traits - notably, one mural showed a “hidden” face only when viewed at a certain angle. Katoomba is filled with many quaint shops, from specialty gift shops (we checked out one that focused on cat-themed apparel, including mittens that had paw marks on them - very cute!), little bookstores, antique shops, etc.
We must have easily spent a couple of hours between lunch and the walkabout. We would have spent more time hunting for graffiti, but by this time (approximately 4 pm), it was getting dark as the sunlight was fading out. Our plans for a waterfall hike had fallen through, so we decided to make one final stop at Everglades House & Gardens. Unfortunately, when we reached it, the place had closed for the day, so we could only take some pictures from the outside.
With that, we started heading back to Sydney, as we had other plans there and didn’t want to delay those. I hope you enjoyed reading this!
- Distance driven: 209 km
- Time taken for the whole trip: 4h 58min