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Overview

Lying a short distance inland from Sydney, the Blue Mountains comprise a spectacular sandstone plateau riven by deep valleys and blanketed by gum trees, wildflowers and peacefulness. Hikers come here to temporarily disappear into thick forests, threading their way between eucalypts exuding the fine mist that from a distance resembles a blue haze, giving the mountains their name. Those who are into more adventurous activities come here to go canyoning down narrow rocky crevices and abseiling down the faces of towering bluffs. The area’s trademark feature above ground is the Three Sisters rock formation, best viewed from the wonderfully scenic ...

Lying a short distance inland from Sydney, the Blue Mountains comprise a spectacular sandstone plateau riven by deep valleys and blanketed by gum trees, wildflowers and peacefulness. Hikers come here to temporarily disappear into thick forests, threading their way between eucalypts exuding the fine mist that from a distance resembles a blue haze, giving the mountains their name. Those who are into more adventurous activities come here to go canyoning down narrow rocky crevices and abseiling down the faces of towering bluffs. The area’s trademark feature above ground is the Three Sisters rock formation, best viewed from the wonderfully scenic Echo Point; below ground, it’s the limestone labyrinth of Jenolan Caves. Megalong Valley is a bucolic treat, where children can get the feel of farm animals and rural Australian life, while towns with melodious names like Leura and Katoomba offer upmarket cafe cuisine and cosy, charming bedchambers in their Art-Deco buildings.

Paul Smitz
About the Expert

Paul Smitz has coauthored a dozen guidebooks for Lonely Planet on places such as Australia, New Zealand, Malaysian Borneo, Brunei, various Pacific Islands, Prague, and Brussels.

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Paul Smitz for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Enigmatic year-round, from winter mist to summer sun