There seems to be much confusion on how best to see the Blue Mountains independantly?
The two hour train trip from Central to Katoomba in the heart of the Blue Mountains is the best way to get there if you don't have a car.
When purchasing your ticket at Central Railway Station, you may be offered a "Link" Ticket by the station staff which includes the train and sightseeing by the Double Decker Explorer Bus. This will in fact cost you more in the long run than purchasing a return rail fare and taking the option of the Trolley Bus when you arrive. Both operators show exactly the same sights in the Katoomba/Leura/Echo Point area and have the same number of stops. The Trolley Bus operates hourly in the Leura area and half hourly in the Katoomba /Echo Point area. Most of the stops in the Leura area, such as Leura village itself, Everglades Gardens and the bushwalk from Gordon Falls to Leura Cascades will require a one hour break anyway.
The Trolley fare is $25 per adult; $20 concession and $15 child under 15 years.
This represents a considerable saving on the alternative Double Decker Bus
In answer to a forum question.
A good way to do the Blue mountains on your own from Sydney, is to buy the combination Train/bus ticket known as the "Explorer Link."
The Blue Mountains ExplorerLink combines CityRail travel to Katoomba Station and day access to the hop-on, hop-off Explorer bus, a red double decker that drives between 30 attractions around the Blue Mountains.
I, myself, would rather do this than a set tour, as it gives you the flexibility to get off and on where you want, and to pick out the main sights you wish to see.
The first Bus departs from 9.45am at Katoomba station, and takes you to all the scenic attractions in the Blue Mountains.
ONE DAY TICKET INCLUDES....
RETURN TRIP BY CityRail to Katoomba Station with all day access to the Explorer bus.
EXPLORER BUS BLUE MOUNTAINS 3 DAY TICKET.
This ticket includes return CityRail travel to the Blue Mountains (any station between Wentworth Falls and Zig Zag) as well as unlimited travel between these stations over a three day period. It also includes unlimited access to the Explorer bus.
These tickets are not available to half fare concession holders and pensioner fares are only available for the one day ticket.
The city to the Blue Mountains is a great day out. When its hot in the city it is always a great escape to get on a train to Katoomba...Katoomba is the main railway station for the Blue Mountains area. Intecity train services are frequent and the cost of a return ticket is I beleive about $25.oo (please check as there has recently been a price rise). The train (depending on how many stops) (as some are minimum stops). usually takes about an hour and a half or more,from the city to Katoomba.
There is so much to see here and upon arrival at Katoomba there is a choice of bus transport to use usually a day ticket hop on/hop off. There is the trolley or red bus to choose from.
Don't underestimate the weather here in the mountains as it can change in a minute. Always carry a jacket and a mobile phone..A good strong sunscreen is also a good option to carry.
Trains leave every hour fromCentral stations platforms # 12 & 13
Information number 13 1500
Blue Mountains Bus Company is operated under the NSW transportation system. It means you can use your MyMulti ticket to take these buses. It really depends where you are going, you will have to read a bus timetable to ride a bus, cause they are not many frenquency on each bus route. If you miss a bus, you might have to wait up to 1 hour for another bus.
Please pick up a booklet of bus timetable at Sydney Visitor Centre or Transport Info Office (Circular Quay Station got one).
Blue Mountains Explorer Bus gives you the convenience to travel from Scenic World to each Blue Mountains lookouts between Katoomba and Leura. Each bus will stop at each stations according to its schedule. Please make sure you have your timetable before you ride on each bus. Once you miss a bus, you might have to wait at least 30 minutes, and up to 45 minutes.
You can buy its package outside Katoomba Station.
I personally did not buy its package. I decided to walk. It was not too bad. It took me 20-minutes walking from Katoomba YHA to Scenic World. I took the Skyway to another side of a cliff. I walked along the cliff to each lookouts between Katoomba and Leura. By doing that, I did not miss any of the views, enjoy more views instead of waiting for a bus. It took 4 hours to walk the trail. From Leura, I took the train to Katoomba.
For the fare, please check out the website...
You can take the CityRail train from Central Station to Katoomba or Leura. It takes about 2 hours to get there, and the ride is smooth and comfortable.
I took the train from Central Station to Katoomba. Within Blue Mountains, I traveled from one station to another, Leura, Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, and Mt Vctoria.
If you have MyMulti3 ticket, it covers all the Blue Mountains's stops.
One Way ticket A$7.80, or return A$15.60.
MyMulti Day Pass will cost A$20, which cover rides from one station to another within Blue Mountains and Sydney in one day.
the Katoomba scenic railway would make an excellent transport option to visit the National Park of the Blue Mountains
of course own transport makes you independend. but you could book from Sydney 1 or 2 day package bustransfer and accommodation
The Mountains now have 2 explorer tours.
The explorer bus cost $25 a day and has about 27 stops.
The Trolley link tour is $12 and runs between Katoomba, Echo Point and Leura with a total of 12 stops.
My wife arranged a tour for us of the Blue Mountains. We were picked up next to Central Station by a bus and driven to The Blue Mountains. The drive wasn't bad at all and considering it was a bit rainy out I was glad to be nice and dry. Under three hours was the duration to the Mountains since there was a bit of traffic and construction along the way.
The City Rail runs every hour or so out of Sydney via Sydney Central. Mt. Victoria or Lithgow are stops you can hop off for the Blue Mountains. Unless you have a car waiting or tour you might not want to take this route since it is a long walk to town areas.
From Sydney, from where I assume most will be basing their trip, the train is the best. Reasons are, traffic can be a nightmare getting out of Sydney, the train stops at all the main places you want to do your trips from (i.e. Leura, Katoomba, Blackheath, Wentworth Falls), it's much more relaxing and inexpensive.
They leave regularly from Central Station.
Look up Country Link on the internet for more info.
There are various options for tourists to travel to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Site, particularly to the fave tourist destinations like Katoomba, Jenolan Caves, etc.
Trains are the best form of transport if coming from the city centre. Buses via bus tours from the city are also good.
Travelling by car is not recommended during wet weather unless one is thoroughly familiar with the area.
Four-wheel driving is highly recommended for extremely inaccessible areas around Wollemi National Park and other rugged terrains!
The Blue Mountains Explorer serves well to people who want to get around the peak. It will pass by places like Leura, Katoomba, Echo Point etc... the frequency of the bus is about once every hour. So plan ur trip well to avoid missing the bus! this explorer bus is definitely suitable for those of you who are staying in the mountains and really in need of mobility!
From Sydney CBD, you can the CityRail to Katoomba Railway Station. It costs about 20 bucks and will take about 2 hours to reach. There are plenty of nice scenery along the way, so you won't get bored.
Alternatively, you can take a day tour. Just book from ur hotel concierge or backpacker's place, i'm pretty sure the staff will assist in getting the best day tour. Mine just cost AUD$55 bucks! and the tour leader was freaking great! he has all the knowledge and info about the place in his finger tips.. can't rmbr the travel company though. Anyway, the tour beats all the hassle!
Whe chose to take the Katoomba scenic railway back up the mountain after hiking down. At first glance the train was steep, but nothing we couldnt handle. After being on it, it was terrifying! You are not strapped in to anything, going on a 52 degree incline! I felt like I was going to fall straight down and die.
If this ride were in the USA, there would be seatbelts and straps! Be careful of bringing little kids on it!