The Blue Mountains are a perfect day trip for the adventurous and those who wish to see spectacular scenery. It is also worth spending a weekend in the mountains.
There are numerous walks. The best known starts at Katoomba, with a view of the Three Sisters and from there relatively gentle walks. More challenging are the walks from Wentworth Falls and Blackheath. One can reach the mountains by train (the Blue Mountains Line) from Sydney, Central Train Station (circa 2 hours). On the weekends it is only $11.90 return. It is worth getting a very early train (there is a train departing Central at 7.18am or, for early risers there is a train at 5.48am). After the two-hour train journey you should allow another 30-60 minutes to get to a starting point. It can be significantly colder in the mountains than in Sydney so check the weather. The following walks offer stunning views:
Three Sisters Walk (1 km, easy). Take the train from Sydney Central Station to Katoomba. From Katoomba, there is a local bus that goes to the Three Sisters.
Wentworth Falls – Overcliff/Undercliff walk (6kms, hard). Take the train from Sydney Central Station to Wentworth Falls Station. From there either walk or take a local bus to the lookout (2 km) to start the walk.
Echo Point/Prince Henry Cliff Walk/Katoomba Falls (4 km, easy). Take the train from Sydney Central Station to Katoomba. From Katoomba, there is a local bus that goes to the Three Sisters.
Govetts Leap to Evans Lookout (6 km, medium). Take the train from Sydney Central Station to Blackheath. From Blackheath train station, there is a local bus that goes to Govetts Leap.
It is also possible to travel to Katoomba by train and simply get on a tourist bus which takes you to all the major lookouts (Wentworth Falls, Three Sisters and Govetts Leap).
Wine and the Hunter Valley
Australian wines are very fine. The better ones tend not to be exported, so if you enjoy good wine consider bringing back a bottle or two, sealed up in a padded plastic envelope called a “wine skin” that allows one to transport bottles without fear of breakage. For advice on wine, the Australian Wine Centre in Circular Quay is one very good place to go. Expect a good wine to cost at least AUD $30.
One of the best wine-growing regions in the country is the Hunter Valley, near Newcastle, on the Central Coast north of Sydney. To visit this famous wine region it is best to book one of the numerous day tours. These trips tend to be aimed very much at the tourists but they do allow one to sample the goods in some of the wineries.