There’s nothing better than escaping to the Blue Mountains for a weekend. In just 90 minutes, you can leave Sydney behind. No more traffic. No more stress. You have 48 hours to bliss out and take in the sights.
And, thanks to Scenic World, you don’t need to waste time messing around with maps and getting lost searching for the perfect lookout. This place is legendary for its stunning views of the Blue Mountains’ escarpments, valleys and rainforests — and all its unique activities too. Ever ridden in a glass-bottomed cable car? You’ll (literally) feel on top of the world.
Here are a few good reasons to add Scenic World to your next Blue Mountains’ itinerary:
#1 You can see so much in one day
The Blue Mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of more than 11,000 square km of beautiful villages, cliffs, forests and waterfalls. With so much ground to cover, it can be hard to know where to start. But Scenic World covers loads of the best sites and offers fun ways to get around them all in one day.
The Three Sisters is at the top of that list. This iconic rock formation consists of three incredible sandstone peaks, named Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo. According to Gundungurra dreaming, these each represent a sister who fell in love with brothers from a neighbouring tribe and were turned to stone by the Kuradjuri (clever man). They were never returned to their original form, but they now stand overlooking the incredible Jamison Valley.
At Scenic World, you can see the Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley from above and below. You can explore the valley’s lush rainforest on the Scenic Walkway (which was constructed without removing a single tree), or cruise 270m above the trees on the Scenic Skyway.
Both cablecars at Scenic World capture the most incredible views of Three Sisters: you can watch the sun play off the sandstone cliffs and gaze out at a dense carpet of trees rolling on towards the horizon.
You can also get up close and personal with Katoomba Falls. This idyllic waterfall cascades down a rough cliff face into the Jamison Valley, providing the perfect backdrop to your rainforest boardwalk. You can even get the bird’s eye view of the falls when aboard the Scenic Skyway.
#2 It’s like an amusement park for adults
So ah… what exactly is the Scenic Skyway? It’s basically a floating glass room, open to the fresh mountain air, in the sky (stay with me).
The Scenic Skyway is the largest aerial cable car in the Southern hemisphere. It can carry 84 passengers at a time (though is currently operating at reduced capacity due to social distancing restrictions). The Skyway travels towards the Three Sisters, allowing you to glide past Katoomba Falls and providing panoramic views of the Jamison Valley. A warning for the faint-of-heart: your journey begins with the glass floor opaque and once you’re out over the valley, it suddenly turns clear.
Scenic World is also home to the steepest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere. The Scenic Cableway will take you down the 545m descent into the rainforest below. And, if that’s not enough of a thrill, you can try the Scenic Railway: the steepest passenger train in the world! It has its very own entry in the Guinness World Records.
After a short or long boardwalk (there’s two options) from the Cableway station through the rainforest, you’ll reach the Scenic Railway. This was originally built to transport miners in 1878, but has been accommodating nature-loving tourists since the 1940s. Of course, the train itself has been updated a lot since then. But it still offers timeless thrills: the train climbs up a 52-degree incline and you can even adjust the position of your seat to make it more intense. If you choose the “CLIFFHANGER” option, you’ll be travelling at a 64-degree incline! For those seeking leisure over terror, don’t worry. You can set your seat to a (literally) more laidback angle.
When you’re done, you can kick back on the Terrace — which doesn’t require a ticket and is free for everyone — and crack open a local beer. This is the best view you’ll get this side of the Grand Canyon (the one in Blackheath, that is).
#3 It’s the perfect starting point for your next adventure
Once you’ve surveyed the scene from a variety of cables cars, trains and boardwalks, you can head out on your own. There are a tonne of incredible trails that start at Scenic World and lead off into the National Park. Pro tip: walk into the Jamison Valley and catch the Scenic Railway back to the top (and spare yourself around 900 stairs)
What you do next is totally up to you. Are you in it for the Insta-worthy sights? Hang around at the lookouts to get the right light. Do you wanna just wander around and get lost in the wilderness? Go for it. Chilling out next to Katoomba Falls will be 100 times more relaxing than the rainforest sounds on your mindfulness app.
Lead image: Vladimir Haltakov / Unsplash
Book online to escape the city and reconnect with nature at ScenicWorld.