Country : Australia
Outdoor activity: Hiking, climbing, bird-watching
Duration: 1 hour to several days
Sustainable tourism rating:
The Blue Mountains, one of the most visited mountain ranges in Australia, will reward you with breathtaking hiking tracks. This high plateau (1100m altitude) is cut by deep gorges and beautiful eucalyptus valleys.
Erosion has shaped many cliffs that are a delight for climbers and hikers. The park was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
The Blue Mountains are just 2 hours from Sydney and are easily accessible by car or train (the round trip only costs $ 2.50 AUD on Sundays with the Opal Card and in the week if you avoid rush hour
it will cost $ 10 AUD).
The best known and most visited town in the Blue Mountains is Katoomba, close by is the famous Three Sisters viewpoint. You can go for many walks including the famous Prince Henry cliff top walkway or the Golden Stairs.
Blackheath, a few miles away, also offers many routes including the “Great canyon walk”, one of the oldest hiking trails in Australia. This 3 hour hike will take you into the valley passing under beautiful waterfalls and along what seems like a bottomless canyon. It finishes at Evans Lookout, one of the finest viewpoints of the park. If you’re feeling energetic we also recommend the nearby Cliff Top Walk that leads to Govets Leap.
Blackheath is also a paradise for climbers, around the Centennial Glen hundreds of climbing routes have had protection installed.
It is best to bring your own climbing gear, but if you are unable you will find a shop in Katomba where you can hire everything except the rope which you must purchase. You can also go on organised climbing trips.
The Blue Mountains is certainly a place not to be missed for the Sportrotters and we recommend that you stay a few days at least. You can spend weeks hiking and contemplating the surrounding valleys but to help you, here are some of our favorites: Govets Leap, Evans Lookout, Echo Point, Pulpit Rock, Gordon Falls, Sublime Point …
The pros :
– Impressive views
– Numerous well maintained tracks for hiking
– You can see many birds including many species of parrots
-Several buses can take you to where the hikes start
The cons :
– The mountainous climate is cooler than in Sydney, do not forget to take a sweater and a raincoat for the evening, even in Summer