The Best Blue Mountains Trails
The train travels from central Sydney, through urban development and urban wastelands, leaving all signs of the city behind as it chugs out west through endless and endless olive green valleys, orange rock tunnels and blue mountains. Packs of yellow crested cockatoos squawk along just outside the window. In a heavy Australian accent, the conductor announces through the intercom “Wentworth Falls, next stop”…
The Best Blue Mountains Trails: Cockatoos in the gum trees
The train rounds its way to Wentworth Falls, a small village with just about 3 cafés and maybe that’s it. There are town maps around directing to different hikes and lookouts. It is an area full of hikes, lookout points, waterfalls, and bird life. Stop here for some of the best Blue Mountains trails.
The National Pass trek is one of the best Blue Mountains and friendly to all fitness levels. The path was chiseled out around 1900, The first to be constructed in the Blue Mountains. The path is carved out of the huge rock cliffs so that the walk is in between the rock faces, all along the cliff with sheer rock face towering over you and below. At certain points of the trek, you walk on huge rock stepping stones over creeks and past waterfalls. Flocks of those beautiful white cockatoos swooping in the eucalyptus gum trees above. The pass goes in a loop, starting from the town and finishing back at the town.
The Best Blue Mountains Trails: National Pass at Wentworth Falls
Duration: 4 hours from Wentworth Falls station if you are taking pictures, return
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate, not a lot of steep inclines except at one bit at the end up a staircase with rail or beginning (depending from which way you start from)
Back on the train and the untouched scenery unfolds for another 20 minutes or so until Katoomba. “Passengers going to Katoomba, next stop”. Katoomba is the hub of the Blue Mountains, with cafés, library, supermarkets, secondhand bookshops, hostels and of course many Blue Mountains trails. It’s an adorable town and it’s worth the trip to take a stroll around the cute streets of Katoomba.
Katoomba is famous for its Echo Point overlooking the Three Sisters and Giant Straircase. While it is beautiful, it is very touristy. Huge busses come with tourist drops what seems like every 15 minutes. There’s so many tourists that all the bird life has flown to nearby Blackheath or Wentworth Falls! However, there are still many a beautiful hikes in the area and endless lookouts.
The Best Blue Mountains Trails: Three Sisters
Starting at Echo Point, you can slowly descend the steep 900-step Giant Staircase having breaks along the way, looking out over the cliff. At the base of the staircase the track joins the Dardanelles Walking Track, across the valley floor. The track wanders through the bush land, under the Three Sisters and on to Katoomba Falls. Bring a picnic and enjoy at the boulders under the falls.
Finally, the last stop and perhaps the best for Blue Mountains trails and lookout points is Blackheath.
Here there is the majestic Govetts Leap. For an easy walk, you can walk along the cliff top from Govetts Leap to Evan Lookout.
Pulpit Rock Track is a longer one and goes into the valley from the cliff top. The walk starts from the Govetts Leap lookout, goes around the cliff tops to Pulpit Rock lookout. You will see beautiful and dramatic cliffs, endless valleys and gushing waterfalls. From there, you can walk down to Pulpit Rock by steep stairs.
Duration: 2.5 hours, one way
Difficulty: Easy-moderate, depending on if you descend to Pulpit Rock’s steep stairs
And the best for last, Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock is one of the best Blue Mountains trails located in Blackheath. It’s a quick drive or a 30 min walk from the station. The starting point is Baltzer Lookout. This is a great spot for climbers, there is an anchor point there you can’t miss. Words can’t describe the stunning views of and from Hanging Rock. Think the photos say it all.
The Best Blue Mountains Trails: Hanging Rock
Duration: 1.5 hours from the train station, one way
Difficulty: Moderate-difficult, take caution when walking on the tip
You’ll need good hiking boots if undertaking this Blue Mountains trail
Blue Mountains is a special part of Australia that is really accessible! There’s so much of beautiful, untouched, raw Australia. The country is as big as Europe or the US in size with a fraction of the people. To get to a lot of places off the beaten track you need a car. However, the Blue Mountains is just 2 hours inland from Sydney and there’s a train that goes straight there from Central. And it’s just $8 each way to any of the above mentioned stops.
There’s many stops in the Blue Mountains but I’d recommend starting with Wentworth Falls and making your way to Katoomba and Blackheath. If you’re backpacking, go straight to Katoomba to stop off in a hostel or hike to a campground in the area.
Cost to get here: $8 Sydney city train, Central Station, Sydney to Blue Mountains
Where to Stay: Hostels in Katoomba
Check out Airbnb There’s even a cave on here!
Camping: Free camping is available in some valleys that you can hike or drive to. Check out NSW National Parks