Blue Mountains National Park Things to Do

  • Elysian Lookout and its strange rock formation
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Best Rated Things to Do in Blue Mountains National Park

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    Katoomba and Scenic World

    by supercarys Updated Apr 23, 2008

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    cableway, scenic world
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    If you go to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains and see the three sisters, make sure you go right down to see them up close, it's an awesome feeling with all that rock above you.

    Also, go down the scenic railway (get a seat at the front for the best view - it is on a 52 degree angle) and walk the historical tour at the bottom, it's quite interesting. Also, go on one of the longer boardwalks at the bottom, they are tranquil and fresh to walk through. You can get the scenic cableway as well (stand at the bottom of this for the best view). If you have the guts for it, go on the scenic skyway. The new one has a clear bottom (Electro-Sceni Glass Floor) to look down through as you cross from one cliff to another.

    PRICES:
    Skyway costs $16 for adults, $8 for kids return, $10 for adults and $5 for kids one way.

    Railway and Cableway cost the same for return tickets ($19 for adults, $10 for kids). You should be able to get one in one direction and the other return for the return ticket price rather than paying for two singles. It's $10 for adults and $5 for kids for a one way ticket.

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    TOURIST DRIVE - LITHGOW - OBERON - JENOLAN CAVES

    by balhannah Written Nov 13, 2009

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    Lush pastures near Oberon
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    This signposted tourist drive is very pretty. You can make it a round tour if you wish. We did not visit Jenolan caves this time, but went directly to Oberon.
    The Jenolan caves are well worth a visit, and the way to them on this road is very scenic, and you could return via Edith to Oberon then back to Lithgow.

    Leave the Great Western highway at Hartley on the road signposted to Oberon and Jenolan Caves. The road winds through lush pastures in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, giving you great views of the Blue Mountains, very scenic.

    Oberon is a small country town, with a population of 2,500. There is not a lot here, but it is in a convenient location for the Jenolan caves. It can be quite cold here, we visited in October, and they had snow the week before, that is quite late in the year!

    (late March - early April) is a nice time to visit, as the leaves have turned to beautiful autumn colours, .....many of the roads around the area are lined with stately poplars.
    Oberon Dam, on the outskirts of town has a picnic and barbecue area, toilets and a children's playground, and there's the Oberon Museum, but only open on Saturday afternoons.

    Please take particular care if approaching at dusk or in the evening as the area abounds with wallabies and kangaroos.

    For more information on the drive if you wish to do it , check out the website, and it will give you further ideas for scenic drives in the area.

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    CAMPBELL RHODODENDRON GARDENS @ BLACKHEATH

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Aren't they stunning!
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    Wow! Stunning! Amazing! Fantastic! Beautiful!..........Words cannot describe the beauty of these gardens, and they are completely the work of Volunteers.

    The purpose of this garden is to conserve the natural features of the area, so the garden with azaleas, spring bulbs, rhododendrons, towering trees both native and exotic and lake, all intermingle nicely.
    There are more than 1500 rhododendrons in the gardens. Another feature of the garden is the beautiful natural fern glades and the abundance of native flora & fauna. We came across wild Crimson Rosella Parrots who were not very afraid of us!

    We visited late October, and the garden was at it stunning best, this is a WORLD CLASS GARDEN, and the ADMISSION IS A DONATION......you can't beat that.
    Elsewhere in the world, you would be paying a lot of money to see a garden of this calibre.

    Picnic areas are available, and there is a cafe with a balcony which overlooks the garden. We had a nice, reasonably priced, Devonshire morning tea here.
    I also bought Calendars of the gardens for the very cheap price of $10, a great gift for someone, it comes with an envelope and is not too heavy to post.

    OPEN from 9.00-4.00 daily Daily access for cars, Walk in anytime

    PLEASE GIVE A DONATION as this goes towards the upkeep of the garden.

    There is no set admission fee.
    HAVE PLENTY OF FREE SPACE ON YOUR MEMORY CARD!

    More beautiful flowers in my Travelogue.

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    BLACKHEATH & HORSESHOE WATERFALLS

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    View from Lookout
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    The track to these waterfalls leaves from the Govett’s Leap Lookout.

    At the start, I passed through some Rainforest with Tree ferns and a running creek, then the walk opened into bush with Wildflowers, and great views of the Blue Mountains from a different angle.
    The lookout gave views of Horseshoe falls, who didn’t look like a Horseshoe because of lack of water, this didn’t matter, as the walk was nice.

    WALK TAKES 15mins

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    BLACKHEATH & GOVETT’S LEAP

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Govett's Leaps falls
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    Blackheath is renowned as one of the Blue Mountains best spots for views and bushwalks of the area.
    We took the Govett’s Leap road, just a short drive off the main road.

    Also at the end of Govett's Leap Road is the National Parks & Wildlife Heritage Centre, well worth a vist for it's displays, information leaflets, maps, books and advice. There is also an easy nature walk, The Heritage Track which starts from the centre plus a picnic area with BBQ facilities and toilets. Other all day nature walks are available with varying degrees of difficulty. check them out if you have more time.

    The views are spectacular of Govetts & Grose gorge, with the vertical cliffs dropping 160 metres into the floor of the gorge.

    The lookout has spectacular views of Govett's Leap Falls that plunge 170 metres into the Grose Valley’s Grand Canyon. There wasn’t much water going over them in October, would love to see them after good rain.
    You can view them from the top lookout, or take a short walk to a little lower lookout.

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    ZIG ZAG RAILWAY

    by balhannah Updated Feb 20, 2011

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    Steam train ride on a Wednesday
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    The Zig Zag Railway, built in the 1860's, is a full size, narrow gauge tourist railway located at Clarence.
    The line was constructed to transport people and produce from the western plains of NSW to Sydney. It was replaced in 1910 by a 10 tunnel deviation.
    The trains, track and rollingstock are maintained and operated by the Zig Zag Railway Co-op Ltd, a voluntary, “not for profit’ co-operative.

    On leaving the Station, you pass through quite a long tunnel, be aware that there is
    NO AIRCONDITIONING OR LIGHTS IN THE TRAIN, so it is pitch black, and if your window is down, then you may be covered in soot.

    The steam train descends the steep gradient from Clarence to Bottom Points, through historic tunnels and over sandstone viaducts, revealing the engineering brilliance of the Zig Zag.
    At each zig.....zag..... you are allowed to get off (12mins) and go for a stretch of the legs while the engine changes to the other end of the carriages.

    On reaching the bottom, a little more time is available. As it was lunch time, and there was a Cafe, a "Mrs. Mac's" pie was a must. A little more time was allowed here, enough to eat lunch and to visit the Toilet if necessary.

    The whole journey takes about 1.5 hours
    The Zig Zag Railway can be reached by road or by CityRail train.
    Zig Zag trains run every day of the year (except Christmas Day)

    Steam trains run on Weekends, Public Holidays, Wednesdays and NSW public school holidays

    It is advisable to arrive early as most of the Carriages are reserved for Tourist coaches. When finding a seat, sit on the side nearest the platform as this is the side with the BEST VIEWS.

    COST IN 2009 was $25 adults

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    THE WALLS LOOKOUT BUSH WALK

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Wildflowers and the Mountains
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    This walk is on a fairly rough track, so make sure that you are wearing proper shoes. Some of it is flat, then there is a little climbing/clambering as well.

    It leads you through the bush, which happened to have quite a few Wildflowers in blossom when I did it in October. The end, is a sheer Cliff face, overlooking a lot of other sheer Cliffs in the Grose valley, stunning scenery.

    TIME About 2 hours return walk.

    LOCATION...Off Bell's lines road, just past Mt. Banks, there is a signposted turnoff to Pierce's pass. The left hand track goes to the car park for the Wall's lookout track.

    Accessible at all times.
    FREE

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    Waratahs & more.....MT. TOMAH BOTANIC GARDENS

    by balhannah Written Nov 14, 2009

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    NEW SOUTH WALES WARATAH
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    These gardens have quite a few stunning areas. It is one place where you will see the NEW SOUTH WALES STATE EMBLEM GROWING, the Waratah, a beautiful flower.
    They also have growing another Waratah, this one is found in the region around Braidwood.
    The PROTEA area is excellent, with a big selection to wander around.

    The 1st area I visited was the FORMAL GARDEN, unfortunately, this was not at its best, as the Roses were not in full bloom, but it was still nice.

    The RHODODENDRON area, of course, was beautiful, as late October is when they are blooming at their best.

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    ECHO POINT

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    School party visiting

    A MUST VISIT, as this is where you get the BEST VIEW OF THE OF “THE 3 SISTERS”
    From here, you also get good views across to “Scenic world “ and the Scenic skyway operating.

    The area here, you need a parking ticket to get from a machine and to put on the dashboard of your car. It is very busy here, and at other times when we have visited, we were unable to get a car park.

    This time, we arrived late afternoon, didn't have to buy a ticket as we were outside of the hours, got a car park easily, and most of the crowds had gone.

    This is the time to visit this area. ......Excellent!

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    LITHGOW

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Rail viaduct at Lithgow
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    Lithgow is located on the western slopes of the Blue Mountains and is 144 km north-west of Sydney.
    It is an industrial City, but has a few interesting sights to see.

    A power generating plant was built at Wallerawang in the late 1950s, and, in latter years Mt Piper Power Station opened near Portland. These stations created a ready market for the local coal. In 1901 there were seven collieries.

    You can visit the Mt Piper Power Station Energy Expo.
    Tours take 1 hour, and are FREE!

    Open daily 9am - 4pm with Tours Mon - Fri @ 11am (except on public holidays)
    LOCATION...350 Boulder Road, Portland NSW

    Dams and lakes were built in the Wallerawang area to provide water to the Power Stations, with Lake Wallace a popular destination for trout fishing.

    In the city centre is a Statue honouring one of our famous Olympic sprinters, Marjorie Jackson known as the ('Lithgow Flash') It is located in Cook Street Plaza.

    Pop into the "Miner's Light" Tourist information centre for details on what to do for your visit here.

    If coming from Bathurst, check out the nice rail viaducts as you come down the hill and into Lighgow.

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    BLACKHEATH & WALKS

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Some of the walks you can do in the area are......

    Take the road to EVAN’S LOOKOUT for great valley views and bush walks to NEATE’S GLEN, GRAND CANYON & BEAUCHAMP FALLS.
    WALL’S CAVE ROAD will take you to the WALL’S CAVE, which was occupied by the first Australian’s 12,000 years ago.
    The highest point in the Blue Mountains is on HAT HILL ROAD, which takes you to PULPIT & ANVIL ROCKS.

    For more great views, head to MOUNT BLACKHEATH & HARGRAVES for viewing the Mountains, KANIMBLA, MEGALONG VALLEY AND KANANGRA WALLS.

    This area has so many excellent walks, that we need to choose what ones we see and do each time we visit, as some take hours to walk.
    Luckily for me, I can come back, and do a different walk each time, gradually working my way through them. I still have the Wall’s cave walk to do, have done the others over past years.

    If you are visiting from Overseas, you may need to decide which you really want to do in the time you have.

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    MOUNT TOMAH BOTANIC GARDENS

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    These are large, cool climate Gardens, set on 70 acres, so be prepared to do some walking! I did see a shuttle going around the gardens, not sure if this is included in the price, as I walked the gardens.

    You need at least an hour to take in more than one part of the gardens, a few hours for quite a good look.

    The Gardens are split into different areas.

    I started at the FORMAL GARDEN, then had a look at the RHODODENDRONS, and did the FOREST WALK., BOG GARDEN, ROCK GARDEN, HEATH & HEATHER GARDEN AND THE GODWANA FOREST, AND THERE ARE MORE!

    They have a man made WATERFALL, and nice landscaping around this. There was plenty of LAWNED AREA with picnic tables scattered around. I saw some different tiny Birds flittering around, quite a bit of Birdlife too!

    The Nursery had some plants for sale. There is a Visitor centre and a Restaurant where you can sit and overlook the gardens.

    The gardens were quite nice, and I enjoyed my walk around them

    OPEN DAILY 10 -4pm April to September 10 – 5pm October to March
    ADMISSION in 2009 was.... $15 Adult

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    MOUNT WILSON

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Private garden @ Mt. Wilson
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    This is a very scenic drive that we came upon by chance. The road took us through the Australian bush where lots of beautiful wildflowers were flowering, then headed up the Mountain, through lovely rainforest.

    At the top, the drive is amongst huge Trees which line either side of the road. Huge Homes, set well back from the road amidst lovely gardens, there was beauty where ever you looked in this area.

    A few of these gardens were open for public viewing, will be back here another time to have a look at these.
    This area for me, was just beautiful.

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    EVERGLADES- NATIONAL TRUST HOUSE & GARDEN

    by balhannah Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Everglades garden
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    “EVERGLADES” is a National Trust House & Garden, located in Leura in the Blue Mountains. There are 13 acres of European –style gardens and Native bushland.

    In 1932, a Belgium born Industrialist, Henri Van de Velde bought the land, then commissioned a Danish born landscape artist to design the garden. It took 4 years to complete this garden which has a lot of Terraces.

    The Art Deco style house was built in 1936, and you can go inside for a look. There is not a lot to see inside the house, a Lounge suite of the era, and the “HIS” and “HERS” Bathrooms, these would have been quite opulent for the era it was built in.

    The landscaped gardens are beautiful. Formal garden mixes with Informal and the bush. I loved the water course, that falls over a cliff into the “Grotto. ”
    Nearby, is the lookout, which has good views of the Blue Mountains. The Rhododendron walk was stunning.

    There was a Marquee being erected for a Wedding when I was there, what a beautiful setting! …I could only imagine the gorgeous photos of the wedding couple that would be taken in this lovely setting.

    In October, when I was there, the plants flowering were…..Flowering cherries, Bluebells, Azaleas, Roses, Lilacs, Magnolias, Rhododendrons, Crab Apple, Waratahs, Wisteria, Aquilegias and more.
    Spring is a very pretty time to visit. There are tea rooms if you wish to have refreshments, and Toilets are available as well.
    A visit in Autumn (March-May) when the leaves would be turning colour, this would be another stunning time to visit.

    ADMISSION IN 2009 WAS $8
    LOCATION OPEN DAILY October to March 10 – 5pm
    April to September 10 – 4pm

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    ROCK GARDENS & MT. TOMAH BOTANIC GARDENS

    by balhannah Written Nov 14, 2009

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    rock garden
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    The Rock Garden covers a large area below the Visitors Centre.
    This Garden has been designed to provide a variety of habitats for plants from rocky places in the world.
    Plants in the Rock Garden are mainly arranged in geographical groups and include special plantings of alpine moraine and scree slope species, a sphagnum bog, limestone-adapted plants and water plants. The local basalt rock was used in the construction except for a limestone section that accommodates plants adapted to this material.

    Flowing through the centre, of the Rock Garden, is a series of cascades plus ponds, pretty,and there are quite a few different Birds and Lizards in this area. This was an area that I loved. There are lots of unusual plants in these Botanic Gardens.

    ADMISSION IN 2009 was $15 adult
    Open daily 10 - 4pm

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