THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
A visit to Sydney would not be complete without a trip to the Blue Mountains. With its spectacular scenery, waterfalls, lookouts, cliff faces, flora and fauna; numerous walking tracks, go mountain bike riding, abseiling, canoeing.Visit the Norman Lindsay Gallery located in Faulconbridge, open 10am to 4pm, seven days.
The region's cool climate has made it an ideal summer location for Sydneysiders to escape the heat. Approaching the mountains they appear blue due to the haze produced by light reflecting off the fine droplets of oil given off by the eucalyptus trees that cover the rugged slopes and valleys.
The Blue Mountains National Park, covering 250,000 hectares (617,750 acres), and rising more than 1,000 metres above sea level, they are about 100km west of Sydney.
The Greater Blue Mountains have been listed on the World Heritage register, after a 14-year battle, for its international recognition of its eucalypt forests and rare plants.
The best way to explore the area is by car, it is a one and a half hour trip from Sydney via the M4 Freeway.
Trains to the Blue Mountains leave hourly from Sydney Central Station from platform 12/13. (Stopping at Strathfield, Parramatta, Penrith and all stations to Springwood, Katoomba)
Day tours are available which run from Sydney.Visit the villages along the way, the English gardens.
There are 26 towns in the Blue Mountains.
Katoomba, (Aboriginal word meaning 'shiny, tumbling water') the most popular of the towns and a good starting point for exploring the area, is in the heart of the Blue Mountains.
The Three Sisters, the most photographed feature in the area, floodlit at night.
The Scenic Skyway
A horizontal cable car ride, rebuilt in 2005, across a 300m deep gorge, above Katoomba Falls. Superb views of the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock.Operates between 9am to 5pm, seven days.
The Giant Stairway
At Echo Point, consisting of 980 steps.
Then go for a two-and-a-half-hour walk through the Jamison Valley to the foot of the Scenic Railway.
The Scenic Railway
The site of a disused mining operation, closed since 1895.
Since 1930 coal skips have been used to provide the steepest incline railway in the world.
The Visitors Guide
The 'Blue Mountains Wonderland Accommodation & Visitors Guide', your best guide to the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon regions.
It is essential reading if you are planning a trip to the Blue Mountains, get your free copy.
Visit the Blue Mountains Tourism website.