Blue Mountains is a rugged region west of Syndey that is known for its breathtaking scenery. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site that encompassss steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages.
Blue Mountains got its name from the refraction of eucalyptus oil in the hot sun which looks like a blue mist from Sydney.
Locals and tourists alike like to go on a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Let me show you how you can tour the Blue Mountain by just spending AU$2.70.
How to Tour Blue Mountain for Just AU$2.70
This travel tip comes in two parts. The first part is to go on Sundays. Opal card offers daily, weekly, monthly and Sunday “travel cap”. Opal card’s “Sunday travel cap” means that the moment you reach the travel cap of $2.70 for adults, child/youth and concession and $2.50 for gold senior/pensioner, travels on all public transport for the rest of the Sunday is free. This is why Sundays are also known as “Family Fun Day” in Sydney. The picture below is taken from the Opal card website:
So the 2-hour train ride to Katoomba station from Kings Cross will cost you only AU$2.70, and that is all the money you will need to spend on transportation in Blue Mountains.
Now that you are in the Blue Mountains, you have to see the famous sites that make the Blue Mountains so popular, don’t you? How do you do all the sightseeing without spending a dime and without walking your feet off?
The second part of the trick is to take the public buses. The Blue Mountain Bus Company operates public bus services in Blue Mountains. Bus 686 runs between Katoomba station, Echo Point and Scenic World every 30 minutes. Bus 685 is a loop service between Katoomba station, Leura and Wentworth Falls. If you are taking the train from Sydney using an Opal card, you will have hit the Sunday travel cap of $2.70 (or $15 day-cap for other days), so you are essentially travelling on the Blue Mountain public buses for free.
If you want to explore to explore Leura and other more remote areas, you can take the Blue Mountains Trolley and Blue Mountains Explorer bus.
Blue Mountains Trolley offers two routes: an express bus that travels the same route as bus 686 and a longer second route which covers Leura and other more remote parts of Blue Mountains. You can get an all-day ticket for AU$25 that gives you unlimited use of both trolleys.
Blue Mountain Explorer bus covers the same route as Blue Mountains Trolley. You can get a 7-day pass for AU$36 which is perfect for extended stays.
Blue Mountains Sightseeing
Now that we have covered on how to go to and get around Blue Mountains, let me show you a few of the famous sightseeing spots that make Blue Mountains so famous.
Echo Point is where you can see the iconic Three Sisters rock formation. It is located at the north escarpment of Jamison Valley. Legend has it that three sisters, Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo lives in the Jamison Valley as part of of the Katoomba tribe. They fell in love with three men from the neighboring Nepean tribe but inter-tribal marriage was forbidden by tribal law. The three men were not happy with the law and decided to use force to capture the three sisters. A major tribal battle started and an elder turned the three sisters into stone to protect them. The elder was killed in the battle and no one else could turn them back. There they stand overlooking the Jamison Valley till this day.
Scenic World allows you to experience the Blue Mountains with four attractions – Scenic Railway, Scenic Skyway, Scenic Cableway and Scenic Walkway. You will need to pre-book your tickets beforehand as it is very popular. On-site tickets are available but you may have to wait for more than 2 hours for the next available timeslot. You can enjoy early bird special if you buy your tickets online. Scenic World is open 9am – 5pm daily.
Prince Henry Cliff Walk is one of the many walking tracks available in the Blue Mountains. Following the cliff edge from Katoomba Cascades to Gordon Falls near Leura, this moderate walking track boasts some of the best views in New South Wales. There are 20 lookouts offering magnificent views of Jamison Valley and three waterfalls. This track is estimated to take 3-4 hours, so make sure you have enough time.
Katoomba Falls is arguably the prettiest waterfall in the Blue Mountains. It is a segmented waterfall that is located near to Echo Point. You can see it on the Prince Henry Cliff Walk.
Blue Moutains have many other points of interest such as Jenolan Caves, Govetts Leap Lookout, Wentworth Falls, Leura and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. Due to time constraints, I did not manage to visit all the attractions that Blue Mountains has to offer.
If you have a day to spare, do consider visiting the Blue Mountains for a dose of nature and wildness.