The historic town of Katoomba, Australia is surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Blue Mountains. Scenic and secluded, Katoomba is a great place for a weekend getaway with many opportunities to relax and recharge. Katoomba is home to excellent accommodation options, including heritage-listed guesthouses and eco lodges, as well as great cafes and restaurants. There are many things here for you to do — something for every taste and budget!
1. Enjoy thrilling adventures in Scenic World
Scenic World is home to many amazing experiences that provide visitors stunning views of the Blue Mountains and the Jamison Valley. Scenic World offers something for every age!
The steepest railway in the world is located here — with a total incline of 52 degrees at which you will descend through a cliff-side tunnel. In the past, the railway was used to transport supplies. Nowadays, it is only used as a tourist attraction, offering a unique perspective of the valley.
Once you descend via the railway, you can go for walks through the rainforest along the 2.5 km (1.55 mi) forest boardwalks or go for a 12 km (7.45 mi) hike to the Ruined Castle rock formation. You can also choose to ride across the gorge by the Scenic Cableway in an enclosed cabin. The cableway can also take visitors back to the top of the cliff from Jameson Valley.
Scenic World also offers a revolving restaurant, a cafe, and a souvenir shop. From Katoomba, you can take a the Blue Mountains Explorer or the Trolley Tour Bus in order to get to Scenic World. The site also provides free parking.
Address: Violet St & Cliff Drive, Katoomba NSW 2780, Australia
Price: from 21 AUD / 16 USD
Opening Hours: 9 am to 5 pm, every day.
Duration: full day
Access: Reachable by bus from Katoomba
Contact: +61 2 4780 0200
Website: Scenic World
2. Admire stunning views at Echo Point
Echo Point’s viewing platform offers a stunning view of the Blue Mountains’ most famous landmark: the Three Sisters. This iconic rock formation is viewed by thousands of visitors each year. Throughout the seasons, the sunlight brings out beautiful colours of the rocks, which are all above 900 meters (2,952.76 ft) tall.
The aboriginal legend says that three sisters, “Meehni”, “Wimlah”, and “Gunnedoo” used to live in the Jamison Valley as part of the Katoomba tribe. All three girls had fallen in love with three brothers from a different tribe and therefore, they were not allowed to marry.
To express their dislike towards this tribal law, the brothers captured the three sisters causing a battle. A witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe wanted to protect the three sisters from danger and turned them into stone. before he could reverse the spell, the witch doctor died in the battle and unfortunately, the sisters have remained in their rock form ever since.
There is also a visitor information centre located at Echo Point, which provides maps and additional information about the area. Echo Point is also the starting point of many excellent walks and hikes. Prince Henry Cliff walk for example takes you to many scenic lookouts, and the Giant Stairway allows you to get below the cliffs.
Address: 23-31 Echo Point Rd
Opening Hours: Visitor Information Center 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Christmas Day)
Duration: a full day can be spent here
Access: Easy access from Katoomba
3. Immerse yourself into culture and history at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre showcases cultural programs for every visitor. The Blue Mountains City Art Gallery and the World Heritage Interpretive Centre form part of the Cultural Centre.
The 600 square metre (6,458.35 sq ft) Blue Mountains Art Gallery, which is divided into three parts is one of the most important art galleries in the country. Featuring quality, curated, local, regional, and major touring exhibitions, the gallery is worth a visit. The World Heritage Interpretive Centre is devoted to environmental education, history, and culture of the Blue Mountains and surrounding area.
The Cultural Centre is located on the highest point in Katoomba and offers amazing views of the Blue Mountains. You can also take some time to relax in the cafe, or buy gifts in the souvenir shop.
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
Address: 30 Parke Street, Katoomba, New South Wales 2780
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm Saturday + Sunday – 10 am – 4 pm Public Holidays – 10 am – 2 pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day)
Duration: around 3 hours required
Access: 5 minute walk from Katoomba train station
Near by Food: Cafe on site
Website: Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
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4. Cycle or hike along the Narrow Neck Trail
This route will lead you into the deep and unspoilt wilderness of the Blue Mountains. It is both suitable for experienced cyclists or hikers.
You will experience breathtaking views and come across diverse flora and fauna. First, you will be cycling through open forest and swamplands. At one point, the cliffs fall away on either side of the route and you will notice how high up you are. Later on, you will be able to enjoy beautiful views of Lake Burragorang.
As this route is almost 10 km (6.21 mi) long, it is important to check weather conditions beforehand. It is recommended to take maps and a compass, as well as enough drinking water. Keep in mind that there is limited mobile reception in the park.
Narrow Neck Trail
Duration: around 2 to 3 hours required
Katoomba: a place you shouldn't miss on your trip to Australia
Katoomba is a place for the whole family, as well as backpackers and adventure seekers. With all the beautiful views, hikes, and places to visit, you will certainly not get bored and it’s recommended to spend a few days in the Blue Mountains region.
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