No matter what time of year, the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area makes the perfect retreat. Filled with natural beauty, fresh air and plenty of incredible sights to explore, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re after an outdoor adventure or a calming weekend escape. Base yourself in the quiet town of Katoomba and experience the rejuvenating treasures on offer.
The Three Sisters
No trip to the Blue Mountains is complete without a visit to the Three Sisters, one of Australia’s most iconic and breathtaking rock formations. There are different versions of the Aboriginal story of the Three Sisters, but one thing everyone agrees on is their spectacular, calming beauty. Known to the locals as Meehni, Wimlah and Gunneddoo, the three weathered sandstone peaks stand at 912 m, 918 m and 906 m respectively. Combined with the romantic blue haze of eucalyptus forests, it makes for a truly incredible sight. The Three Sisters are best seen from Echo Point lookout, where you can also spot the Ruined Castle and Mount Solitary. It can get busy between 10 am and 4 pm, but Echo Point is also the gateway for many stunning walks and quieter nature experiences in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Prince Henry Cliff Walk
Away from the crowds at the Three Sisters, there are plenty of walks you can take around the serene bushland, fragrant eucalyptus forests and majestic, rocky cliffs. One beautiufl trail with a moderate terrain is The Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Following the cliff edge from Katoomba Cascades to Gordon Falls, this walking track gives you breathtaking views of Jamison Valley, with plenty of open forest, hanging swamps, waterfalls, streams and rock formations along the way. You can walk the whole track in around three and a half hours, or there are plenty of starting and finishing points to choose your own length. Take your time, soak up the serenity of the cliffs, and enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch with incredible views.
The historic town of Katoomba is scenic and secluded, making it the perfect base for exploring the Blue Mountains. In town, wander the quiet, friendly streets and enjoy some lovely window-shopping. For those with a fondness for antiques, Katoomba has mountains of treasure to discover. Lose yourself wandering among the vintage clothing, furniture, homewares and bric a brac at the Katoomba Vintage Emporium on Katoomba Street. Or if the scent of old books is more to your fancy, head across the road to Mr Pickwick’s Fine Old Books and explore a magnificent trove of paperbacks, art books and antiquarian tomes.
Lovers of fresh, healthy food will find plenty of options in Katoomba. Stroll down the main streets and discover fresh juices, artisan breads and local cheese from specialty shops, along with great coffee, healthy wraps and a range of multicultural cuisines. Stop by Up Beet for tasty vegetarian fare and rejuvenating smoothies, try the Elephant Bean for an espresso fix, venture in to the hippy den of Yellow Deli for great sandwiches and a cosy, enchanting vibe, or check out Fresh for food that lives up to the name deliciously.
Find out more at visitbluemountains.com.au
Check out more ideas for weekend escapes or country retreats here on be. magazine.