11 Reasons to Visit the Blue Mountains

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

The catastrophic fires that recently surrounded our beautiful Blue Mountains are OUT and the rains have stopped. The restrictions have lifted, the sun is out, and the mountains are sparkling.

It has been a tough year, it's not just the loss of property, lives and animals, that devastation goes without saying, but the residents and local businesses, are really doing it tough. One of our most popular resorts was at just 10% capacity at a time of year where they are normally overflowing.

It’s no surprise then that the mountains been quiet of late, when you looked at a map it would appear that the mountains were surrounded by fire. It was honestly quite scary, smoky and it was terribly quiet. Hotels were empty, Airbnb’s and holiday home bookings were cancelled, the stores and streets were empty at what is usually our busiest time. It meant that casual staff went without work and the cafés were screaming for customers to walk through their doors, many chose where possible to just remain closed.

The Blue Mountains bushfires

BUT the fires officially out, the air is clear and we are SO READY to see everyone again. And with the recent rain our waterfalls are insanely stunning right now.

So now is the time, throw the esky in the car, load up the family and head up the hill, come see us, the mountains are ready, open and more beautiful than ever.

Planning a Road Trip?

As the restrictions around international travel grows amidst the coronavirus pandemic, people are seeking alternative ways to spend their holidays.

With so much to explore here in Australia, and the devastating impact this bushfire season had on many communities, Budget Direct have put together 5 road trips you can take to show your support to those affected and still make the most of a long-weekend getaway.

Megalong Valley Blue Mountains de lumiere photography

To make it easy we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite things to do in the Mountains. Why not make a weekend of it (or a week or two) and cross of as many off the list as you can.

1. The Three Sisters

Well this one is obvious, you can head to Echo Point and grab a selfie or two, or if walking is your thing you can even walk out to them (safety first of course!!). Alterntively if you are looking for a unique view of the iconic rock formation then Scenic World is worth a visit.

Three Sisters Blue Mountains de lumiere photography

2. Food

The Blue Mountains is a smorgasbord of amazing food venues, from quirky breweries to hatted restaurants with incredible views, you won't go hungry!

Some of our favourites include :

  • Madame Wang's in Leura

  • Mesa Barrio in Lawson

  • The Tea Rooms in the Megalong Valley have THE best scones and jam

  • Avalon in Katoomba

  • Dry Ridge Estate in the Megalong Valley

  • Logan Brae Orchards - pick your own!

  • Synonymous in Medlow Bath - a local favourite

  • High Tea at the Hydro Majestic overlooking the Megalong Valley

  • Cortado in Lawson for coffe

  • Black Cockatoo in Katoomba for delicious pastries

  • Mountain Culture Beer Co

  • Solitary in Katooma

  • The Carrington Hotel - dine in the Grand Ballroom and feel like you have gone back in time or stay in one of the heritage listed restored rooms

Looking for Fresh Produce?

  • Lyttelton Stores Cooperative - Lawson

  • Blue Mountains Food Co-op - Katoomba

  • The Hive Door - pop up store selling locally made honey in Medlow Bath

  • The Carrington Cellar - along with a vast range of local wines and beer, they also stock gorgeous cheeses and condiments sourced from local vendors

  • Fruit picking in Bilpin

3. Places to Stay

With over 300 properties listed on Airbnb alone, there are no shortage of places to stay in the Blue Mountains.

  • Fairmont Resort - for the golf enthusiasts!

  • The Hydro Majestic

  • Blackheath it’s the funky mountains getaway you’ll wish was yours with cafes, antique stores and amazing walks, and it can be – if only for a night or two.

  • The Carrington Hotel - Heritage listed accomodation

  • Lillianfels Resort and Spa - fine dining and luxury accomodation

  • Echoes

  • The Potting Shed

  • The Strawbale Cottage

4. Markets

The Blue Mountains is a region populated with a diverse and creative community. And with that, comes a wide range of wonderful markets for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. With artisans, foodies and artists from all disciplines selling their wares, visitors can find gifts, great coffee and affordable art from Blaxland to Bilpin.

  • Glenbrook Rotary Markets

  • Springwood and Blackheath Grower Markets

  • Lawson Magpie Markets

5. Antique Stores and Art

The Blue Mountains is a haven for artists and there are plenty of galleries, workshops and antique stores to explore. Whether you are looking to find a unique treasure, or a new work of art for your wall there is something for everyone!

Victory Theatre and Antique Centre - One of the largest antique dealers west of Sydney, the Victory Theatre represents 50 dealers right here in the Blue Mountains. Over two floors you’ll find books, jewellery, vintage clothing, toys, furniture, china, ornaments, art and more. There’s also an art gallery on-site, and make sure you check out the beautiful work done by Blackheath Jewellery. The Victory Theatre was built in 1915 and was originally called Neate’s Hall. It was renamed the Arcadia Picture Palace in 1921 when it opened as a 999 seat cinema. There’s certainly some history in this building!

Norman Lindsay Gallery - A controversial artist and author in his time, Norman Lindsay’s home now serves as a gallery of his many works. His paintings adorn the walls and his sculptures can be found in the beautiful gardens, including characters from the children’s classic “The Magic Pudding”.

Hazelbrook Antiques - family business with over 85 years of combined experience in the trade. Specialising in Advertising Tins & Signs, Aussie Farm Relics, Industrial, Retro, Kitchenalia, Victorian & Edwardian Clothing, Hats, Sewing, Haberdashery, Tools, Aussie Pine, Cedar & Other Furniture, Glass, China, Porcelain & Pottery, Ephememera, Old Garden Pots, Stands, Cast Iron & Wirework. Architectural, Hardware & Decor and everything else you can Imagine!

Wollemi Gems - not far from Katoomba is the Wollemi National Park, where the ancient and rare Wollemi Pine was discovered in 1994. The name Wollemi is an Aboriginal word meaning “look around you, keep your eyes open and watch out” – and that is just what you will do in our beautiful shop that is filled with natural beauties.

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre - The spacious state-of-the-art Blue Mountains City Art Gallery is one of the leading regional art galleries in Australia. It opened in November 2012 as part of the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. The Blue Mountains City Art Gallery space of 600 m can be divided into three areas and features quality, curated, local, regional and major touring exhibitions. It also hosts educational workshops, concerts, and outreach programs to the community.

6. Lookouts

Surely this one also goes without saying, it’s what the Blue Mountains are most famous for and we absolutely have no shortage of stunning lookouts, if you’re not a walker that’s fine too, some you can drive right up to and enjoy from the car.

  • Wentworth Falls

  • Lincolns Rock

  • Echo Point

  • Pulpit Rock

  • Cahill's Lookout

  • Landslide Lookout

  • Perry's Lookdown

  • Sublime Point...just to name a few!

Blue Mountains captured by de lumiere photography

6. Bushwalks

Regardless of whether you are an experienced bush walker or a complete novice we have walks up here to suit everyone. Blue Mountains Tourism (Glenbrook and Katoomba) has all the information you need on choosing a walk and how to be prepared and safe – remember you’re going bush on a Mountain, there’s cliffs, drop offs and nature to contend with so if you don’t really know how to prepare head to Blue Mountains Tourist information and let them guide you.

If you are looking for Family Friendly walks then you could try the Charles Darwin Walk in Wentworth Falls, Gordon Falls Walk in Leura or Furber Stairs in Katoomba.

7. Leura Mall

If going bush isn’t really your idea of a restful day out and you’re more into a touch of retail and a latte then head to Leura Mall. There are an abundance of beautiful boutique stores and cafes for you to browse and shop.