At Vitora we know that finding a gap in your busy schedule for some time-out may sometimes seem like “mission impossible!” But, with some of Australia’s most spectacular mountain scenery, mysterious caves, waterfalls, streams, pristine fresh air and endless activities just over an hour’s drive from home – the Blue Mountains could be just the place to recharge your batteries, reconnect with nature or simply enjoy some much-needed downtime with the family. So … before you think of an excuse, read on and here’s hoping you’ll feel inspired to get yourself out (and of course those Vitora’s pumped up and ready!) for a bit of an adventure into the iconic Blue Mountains’ haze.
How to get there
From the centre of Sydney, head west on the M4 … and the rest is a breeze! In just 90 minutes you’ll be winding your way into Katoomba, the very heart of the Blue Mountains, where you’ll find yourself totally surrounded by this impressive World Heritage Site’s magnificent landscapes, eucalyptus treescapes, great cafes and so many things to see and do.
The all-important question of vehicle and tyres
Being an easy ride and a good road to all the main sites, this is a trip that just about any vehicle can do with ease – (and there’s a perfect Vitora tyre ready for every task at hand). A Mazda CX-5 (or similar) fitted with StreetLife tyres would be the perfect combination – offering a quiet, comfortable drive with a bit of extra height for enjoying the most perfect view!
What to do when you get there
From bushwalking and rock climbing to bird spotting … or simply sitting and soaking up the scenery and wildlife that is so exceptional in this breathtakingly picture-perfect location – you won’t be left wondering how to spend your time whether you’re here for a day, weekend or a longer stop! Brimming with unique character, accommodation for every budget, and restaurants and tea-shops giving you a real taste of fresh-from-the-earth-local mountain produce and cuisine, you’ll be bound to find something that’s exactly right for you. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:
The Three Sisters sandstone rock formation is the hallmark and “must see” of the Blue Mountains, steeped in Aboriginal legend and renowned for their changing colours, both with the time of the day and the seasons. Take the well-signposted walking track and enjoy the panoramic views of the Sisters up-close from Echo Point and other lookouts along the way.
You won’t find more spectacular 360 0 views of this World Heritage Site than those seen from Scenic World’s glass-floored Skyway, where suspended high above the earth, you can take it all in! You’ll get to check out the Sisters in all their glory as well as the Katoomba Falls, the Jamison Valley below and loads more! Scenic World also offers exhilarating railway and cableway options to make the most of these views – or you can take the 2.4km Scenic Walkway, for a magnificent close up family-friendly experience of the Jamison Valley rainforest and its abundant birdlife.
Another Blue Mountains’ masterpiece, and conveniently close to Echo Point, the beautifully cascading Katoomba Falls can be reached on foot from Scenic World.
If you’re up for a more challenging walk – and ready to take in another renowned view and landmark, a 1.4km track will take you from the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area to the falls themselves, the highest (and arguably most majestic) in the Blue Mountains’ area.
An hour-and-a half-on from Katoomba (on the Great Western Highway and then along the Jenolan Caves Road) – the world-famous Jenolan Caves is a definite destination to put into your sat nav! As the largest caves in Australia, these are where adventure and nature meet! A series of tours (of differing levels of difficulty) are offered to explore the nine caves, complete with fossils, underground rivers and plenty of intrigue! At 150 C year-round, this is a great option for a hot summer’s day – and be sure to take a jacket.
Leura Gardens Festival
Special varieties of plants, vegetation and flowers of the Blue Mountains in full bloom – is a spectacle that you won’t want to miss! This October in its 55th year, the Leura Gardens Festival features a number of exquisite gardens on display along with music and art festival events. Make sure you check the dates and details, if you want to make this part of your visit.
If you tire of the great outdoors, a visit to this marketplace co-op in the centre of Leura may be just up your alley. The co-op showcases the works of local Blue Mountains artists – ranging from clothing, jewellery and home goods to artworks and gifts – all in one convenient location.
Street Art Walk
Still on the subject of art, Street Art Walk in Beverly Place, Katoomba, is a vibrant, colourful and highly creative outdoor gallery of street art by local and artists from around the world.
Shops, shopping, and more shops
From jewellery and paintings to artisan chocolates and even a jacket for your dog… the Blue Mountains may surprise as being a paradise for book lovers’ and just as perfect for picking a unique outfit, gift or stocking up on some fresh produce, cakes or a piece of hand-made furniture.
And where to stay
If you’re selective about what you do when you get here, this road trip can be comfortably done in a day – getting you back to Sydney before you know you’ve even left home! However, if you’re feeling like making a weekend of it (and giving yourself that bit of extra time to really relax) there are plenty of places to stay and put your feet up after all your mountain sightseeing is done for the day. While the Blue Mountains is known for its boutique hotels and luxury resorts, it’s equally well-loved for its mid-range family hotels, self-catering, Airbnb options, caravan and camping parks – as we always say, booking ahead is always your best bet!
Anything else I need to know before I go
The Blue Mountains is vast and mobile phone coverage can vary. If you’re going on a bushwalk or heading off down an unbeaten track, extra and careful planning is essential. This includes (among other relevant preparations) to check bushfire warnings and weather conditions before you set off, carrying food and sufficient drinking water and letting the relevant authorities know your plans.
Now it’s over to you
At Vitora we’re here to encourage you to get the most out of your lifestyle, wherever you’re heading. And with the Blue Mountains so close and just waiting to be explored, what are you waiting for? We look forward to hearing what you discover when you get there – so be in touch and, most importantly, happy driving!