While world-famous rocks, old buildings and unpredictable weather may not seem like the setup for an idyllic retreat at first glance, venture to the Blue Mountains and you’ll soon see there’s more to these meadows and peaks than meets the eye. A magical place where rock formations refract the day’s light, historic manors line the streets and cool mountain air makes the warmth of the fire all the more pleasing – there’s no better time to explore this majestic mountain region than right now.
Time to spare this weekend? Pick up car hire in Sydney and be prepared to be spellbound by the Blue Mountains’ many sights.
No Blue Mountains guide can be complete without mention of the area’s most-famous maidens – the Three Sisters. And, as luck would have it, spring is the perfect time of year to see a different spin on these light-reflecting rocks. Not only is it an off-peak time to visit, meaning clear, crowd-free viewing, the change in weather also welcomes the season’s first wildflowers, bringing an extra coat of colour to the valley’s trademark blue haze and these shape-shifting pillars of stone.
While Katoomba's Echo Point Lookout gets most of the credit when it comes to capturing incredible views in the area, the little town of Leura has its own vantage points worth vouching for – if you know where to look. Set your sights on Sublime Point for sweeping views of the valley below and a fresh perspective on the Three Sisters, or go to Gordon Falls – a locally coveted lookout on the fringes of Blue Mountains National Park.
Trade in Leura's tree top vistas for views of cascading waterfalls in the Valley of the Waters, a rugged escarpment home to plenty of walking trails and the legendary Wentworth Falls. Amongst the more picturesque of the Blue Mountains' many sights, this 300 hundred metre, three-tiered waterfall can be viewed from a number of different points in the area. An incredible sight all year round, Wentworth Falls is particularly spectacular in spring, when the overflowing Jamieson River feeds into the falls at astonishing speed.
Perched at the top of the Blue Mountains' mighty ranges, Blackheath boasts better views than anywhere else in the region. Less of a commercial hub than lower altitude communities like Katoomba and set high enough above sea-level to keep tourists at bay, Blackheath is the perfect place to stay if you're looking for seclusion. Whether you're after crowd-free bushwalking or breathtaking scenery, Blackheath is well worth a detour off of the area’s well-trodden tourist track.
While the towns that surround the Blue Mountains may not be known for their bar scene, there is something to be said for the authentic old-world charm of the area’s local watering holes, housed in historic buildings reminiscent of times past. Step back in time at one of Katoomba’s taverns and you just might forget that the hustle and bustle of Sydney is only an hour’s drive away.
All set for a weekend away? Pick up a car hire in Sydney and see the special charms spring brings to the Blue Mountains.