When it comes to sightseeing in Sydney’s backyard, the Blue Mountains really is all that and then some.
Where else can you see breathtaking natural sights like Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, Mount Solitary, and the Jamison Valley in a single day’s adventure?
There’s no doubt about it: the Blue Mountains is an outdoor lover’s paradise. And there’s no better way to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site than with a trip to Scenic World.
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Just a 90-minute drive from Sydney’s CBD, Scenic World’s network of cable cars, raised walkways, and a cliff-descending railway let you explore some of the most breathtaking natural wonders of the Blue Mountains. Whether you soar above a valley in a glass-bottomed cable car, descend a mountain onboard the world’s steepest passenger railway, or walk along the rainforest floor, Scenic World is the best seat in the house (the house being the Blue Mountains).
Feelin’ inspired? Here are four Insta-worthy sights you can take in (and take snaps of) at Scenic World.
#1 Travel across a valley in a glass-bottomed cable car
Starting with the big-ticket item, the Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains’ most remarkable landmark. The triple-peaked sandstone formation looks different depending on what time of day you visit – expect to see lots of greens and purples in the morning and glowing orange hues in the late afternoon sunlight. We love some peak golden hour Instagram content.
The best way to see the Three Sisters is to ride the Scenic Skyway. This cable car glides above ancient sandstone ravines and rainforest canopies, offering better-than-panoramic views thanks to an electro-glass floor that’ll surprise you by turning see-through – all while you’re suspended a casual 270m in the air.
If you’re not totally sold on see-through floors, the Scenic Cableway is a much more chill way to take in the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, and Mount Solitary. This cable car gently descends into the Jamison Valley before returning to the top of the escarpment, and gives you incredible views all the way up and down.
#2 The front seat of the world’s steepest railway
Tired? Cars, bikes, and buses travelling horizontally.
Wired? Riding the world’s steepest passenger railway over the edge of a cliff and straight down.
The Scenic Railway is a 310m ride that emerges from a cliff tunnel above the Jamison Valley before plunging down at a crazy 52° incline.
You’ll see the sights no matter where you sit, but try to score the front seat for bragging rights and uninterrupted views of the Three Sisters, ancient rainforests, Mount Solitary, and the gorgeous Jamison Valley. On cool mornings, you’ll look out over a valley blanketed in fog and mist. Our advice? Ride the Railway in the late afternoon for a great photo op of the Three Sisters bathed in golden sunlight.
#3 Get up close and personal with a waterfall
If you prefer a more self-guided experience, some of the best hikes in the Blue Mountains start and finish at Scenic World.
Sure, you could skip the beginning of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk by riding the Skyway, or you could take the track from Scenic World HQ to the Katoomba Falls lookout. It’s an easy 30-minute return hike that will take you right to the top of the waterfall, looking out over the valley below.
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If you’d prefer to see the falls from below, take the Furber Stairs trail. Descend 996 steps, stopping at the lookouts along the way to take in stunning vistas of the waterfall and the natural wonders in the valley.
You’ve got two options for the return trip: climb back up the stairs or take it easy on the Scenic Railway.
#4 A secluded rainforest
The Jamison Valley is what you’re looking at when the Skyway floor turns see-through. But if seeing it from above gives you the heebie-jeebies (fair) then you’ll be pleased to know that you can get amongst it on the Scenic Walkway.
You’ll explore a secluded rainforest section of the valley on foot along 2.4kms of elevated boardwalks. Make sure you snap plenty of photos along the way of the native flora and fauna, including the Lyre Bird – the master of mimicry – and tree ferns that have been here since the Jurassic era.
But the most astonishing thing about the Walkway is the fact it sits within the valley’s own microclimate.
The rainforest canopy keeps the boardwalk cool on hot summer days, and when it rains the native birds grow louder, the colours are more vivid, and a fine layer of mist settles in among the trees. Don’t even think about cancelling your trip just because of a little wet weather – but do expect the waterfall to put on even more of a show after it rains:
Experience the best of the Blue Mountains in one place at Scenic World. Book online to escape the city and reconnect with nature today.
(Lead image: Quentin Grignet / Unsplash)
Alana is the staff writer on AWOL who thinks the best way to travel is by taking spontaneous detours and stopping at every local bakery to try the cakes. She writes a lot about Australian TV, Big Things, cursed food, and theme parks. You can follow her on Instagram @alana.dotcom. It’s mostly dogs she meets along the way.