Visit the Blue Mountains by Car (3 Fun Itineraries)

Last updated: April 10, 2024

Three ideas for exciting Blue Mountains day trip itineraries by car, offering a good mix of bushwalking and sightseeing.

Sydney’s most popular weekend destination, the Blue Mountains, is home to countless walking tracks, beautiful sights, scenic waterfalls, and trendy towns.

But with so many attractions and activities in the Blue Mountains, it can be challenging for first-time visitors to work out where to go in one day.

In this article, we are sharing three Blue Mountains day trip itineraries by car.

Important:
Before you travel to the Blue Mountains, it’s recommended to check for the latest updates on any closed areas on the National Parks website.

How to Drive to the Blue Mountains

As with most national parks, the best way to explore the Blue Mountains is by car. Driving by car will allow you to visit the major sights, walking tracks, and lesser-known destinations at your own pace.

Fortunately, driving to the Blue Mountains is very easy. The M4, known as the Western Motorway, feeds into the Blue Mountains from Parramatta and Sydney.

In the Blue Mountains, the Western Motorway evolves into the Great Western Highway, which continues past Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, and Lithgow.

Tolls and Tunnels

If you’re driving in from Sydney, you have the option to use the tunnels of the WestConnex (the M8 and M4).

You will need to pay tolls to use these tunnels, but they will get you to the Blue Mountains much faster than the old motorways and highways.

For example, if you’re entering the tunnel at St Peters (close to the airport), you will be in the Blue Mountains (Glenbrook) within 50 minutes. Other tunnel entry points are Rozelle, Haberfield, Concord, and Olympic Park.

Map

We can roughly divide the Blue Mountains into two areas:

  • Blue Mountains South (serviced by the Great Western Highway)
  • Blue Mountains North (serviced by the Bells Line of Road)

The most popular destinations in the Blue Mountains are (clockwise):

  1. Glenbrook
  2. Lawson
  3. Wentworth Falls
  4. Leura
  5. Katoomba
  6. Blackheath
  7. Mount Victoria
  8. Lithgow
  9. Bells Line of Road

The map below shows where these areas are located, with the Great Western Highway in the south and the Bells Line of Road in the north.

Highway past Blue Mountains destinations

Itinerary 1: Explore the Lookouts

Highlights of this car itinerary:

  1. Lincoln’s Rock
  2. Princes Rock Lookout
  3. Echo Point
  4. Katoomba Falls Lookout
  5. Cahill’s lookout
  6. Evans Lookout
  7. Govetts Leap lookout

This itinerary includes seven of the most beautiful lookouts in the Blue Mountains, all very easy to access by car and some walking.

The route we follow starts in Wentworth Falls, followed by Katoomba, and finishes in the Blackheath area.

1. Lincoln’s Rock

Lincoln's Rock
Lincoln’s Rock

Lincoln’s Rock is situated on the Kings Tableland plateau, south of Wentworth Falls. This large, unfenced lookout offers panoramic views of the Jamison Valley and beyond.

You can find Lincoln’s Rock at the end of Hordern Road in Wentworth Falls. The lookout area is only a short stroll away from the car park.

2. Princes Rock Lookout

Waterfall views from the Princes Rock Lookout
Waterfall views from the Princes Rock Lookout

The Princes Rock Lookout is one of the few lookouts in Wentworth Falls that offers fantastic views of the entire waterfall.

To get there, drive to the Wentworth Falls picnic area on Sir H Burrell Dr, where you can park your car. From the car park, follow the walking trail past the Jamison Lookout (also nice!), and look for the Princes Rock sign.

At that sign, follow the trail into the bush leading to the Princes Rock Lookout.

3. Echo Point

The Three Sisters as seen from Echo Point
The Three Sisters as seen from Echo Point

From Wentworth Falls, we are driving to Katoomba to visit the most famous lookout in the entire Blue Mountains region: Echo Point. Ample parking is available on the suburban streets nearby, but most streets are ticketed.

If you have spare time and don’t mind a bit of walking, it’s recommended to do the family-friendly Three Sisters Walk between Echo Point and the Honeymoon Bridge which is attached to the first of the Three Sisters.

4. Katoomba Falls Lookout

Katoomba Falls Lookout
Katoomba Falls Lookout

The Katoomba Falls Lookout is the best vantage point from which to see the entire Katoomba Falls waterfall.

To get there, park your car at Katoomba Falls Reserve and look for the walking path into the bush next to the old Katoomba Kiosk building. Once on that path, follow signs for Katoomba Falls Lookouts.

5. Cahill’s Lookout

Walking path to Cahill's Lookout
Walking path to Cahill’s Lookout

Cahill’s Lookout is very close to Echo Point but attracts far fewer tourists, even though the views are just as beautiful.

This lookout is located at the westernmost point of Cliff Drive and offers breathtaking views of the Megalong Valley, Megalong Head, Boars Head Rock, and the Narrow Neck Peninsula.

6. Evans Lookout

Evans Lookout
Evans Lookout

We are now leaving the Katoomba area and are driving to Blackheath via the Great Western Highway. The impressive Evans Lookout can be accessed by turning into Evans Lookout Road in Blackheath.

Parking is available at the lookout, but should that be at capacity, there is another car park a bit further away (for the Grand Canyon Walk) from where it’s a short walk to the lookout.

7. Govetts Leap Lookout

Govetts Leap Lookout
Govetts Leap Lookout

The Govetts Leap Lookout is similar to Evans Lookout and offers sensational views of the Grose Valley. This lookout is located at the end of Govetts Leap Road, where you’ll find ample parking.

If you feel like hiking, we recommend doing the short (but steep) walking trail to the top of the Govetts Leap waterfall. For a longer hike, you can continue on this trail and walk all the way to Evans Lookout.

Itinerary 2: Waterfalls and Bushwalking

Highlights of this car itinerary:

  1. Wentworth Falls Track
  2. Leura Cascades Walk
  3. Katoomba Falls Round Walk

This second itinerary includes three of the prettiest waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. Various short and longer walking tracks will get you very close to these waterfalls with great photo opportunities.

1. Wentworth Falls Track

Wentworth Falls views from Rocket Point Lookout
Wentworth Falls views from Rocket Point Lookout

Park your car at the Wentworth Falls picnic area and follow the signposted walking track to the top of Wentworth Falls.

From there, we recommend walking down the Grand Stairway, a historic staircase that leads to the middle of the waterfall. The views from there are phenomenal.

Another option is to visit the Rocket Point Lookout, which can be accessed via a short walking trail (signposted). From that lookout, you can see the entire waterfall.

2. Leura Cascades Walk

Leura Cascades
Leura Cascades

The next stop is the Leura Cascades Picnic Area, located on Cliff Drive in Leura. To get there, turn into Cliff Drive from Leura Mall, following the signs.

The Leura Cascades Walk is a short trail along Leura Falls Creek, leading to a beautiful lookout point offering beautiful valley and cliff views.

From there, you have the option to walk down into the valley via the Bridal Veil Falls Loop, a beautiful 4 km circuit walk.

3. Katoomba Falls Round Walk

Katoomba Falls
Katoomba Falls

The next waterfall is Katoomba Falls, a beautiful water spectacle on the Kedumba River. To get there, follow Cliff Drive past Echo Point until you arrive at Scenic World, where you can park your car.

A short loop walk, the Katoomba Falls Round Walk, starting from Scenic World, offers great views of the waterfall via various lookouts.

Itinerary 3: Bells Line of Road Area

Highlights of this car itinerary:

  1. Walls Lookout
  2. Mount Banks
  3. Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

The third Blue Mountains day trip itinerary explores a different part of the Blue Mountains that is not as busy as the Katoomba and Wentworth Falls regions.

The northern section of the Blue Mountains, the Bells Line of Road area, is home to many highlights but doesn’t draw large tourist crowds.

1. Walls Lookout

Walls Lookout
Walls Lookout

The Walls Lookout is a large rocky area from where visitors can enjoy incredible views of the Grose Valley.

To get to the start of the short walk to Walls Lookout, turn into Pierces Pass Rd, and then turn left into the parking area.

2. Mount Banks

Views from Mount Banks
Views from Mount Banks

Mount Banks is a small mountain with a recognisable rounded peak that can be seen from various other landmarks in the Blue Mountains.

The hike to the summit of Mt Banks offers beautiful views of the Grose Valley and the surrounding cliff walls.

To get there, turn into Mount Banks Rd from Bells Line of Road at the big signpost. Mount Banks Rd is unsealed but can be done with a 2WD vehicle.

3. Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

The third stop along Bells Line of Road is the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, a 28ha public space that features thousands of plants from around the world.

Established in 1972, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden sits 1,000 metres above sea level and specialises in cool-climate plants that would not grow well in Sydney’s warmer conditions.

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is located in Mount Tomah and is well-signposted on Bells Line of Road.

Don’t want to drive to the Blue Mountains? Check out our guide to the best Blue Mountains day tours for a collection of professional tours departing from Sydney.
 

Visit the Blue Mountains by car (3 itineraries)

 

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AJ Mens

AJ Mens is a digital publisher based in Sydney, Australia, and the editor-in-chief of Sydney Uncovered and Blue Mountains Uncovered.

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