Last updated: July 24, 2021
Millions of people each year head to Sydney’s west to visit the Blue Mountains. Loved by tourists and local Sydney-siders alike, the Blue Mountains region is one of the most popular day and weekend destinations in New South Wales.
Countless walking tracks, beautiful waterfalls, deep valleys and canyons, thriving rainforests and numerous lookout points with breathtaking views, the Blue Mountains truly has something to do for everyone.
To help you decide where to go and how best to spend your time there, we have come up with an extensive list of the best things to do in the Blue Mountains.
Top 37 Blue Mountains Attractions and Activities
We’re starting in Glenbrook in the Lower Blue Mountains, and are going clockwise all the way to Bilpin via the following towns and regions:
- Wentworth Falls
- Bells Line of Road
1. Knapsack Bridge
Let’s kick off this list of Blue Mountains attractions with a highly enjoyable bushwalk that leads to an impressive, almost two centuries old, viaduct.
The Zig Zag walking track in Glenbrook follows a decommissioned railway line that was built in the second half of the 19th century.
The Knapsack Bridge officially opened in 1867, and with the road sitting at 40 metres above the gully, it’s a truly majestic sight in the Blue Mountains.
Read more about the Knapsack Bridge and the Lapstone Zig Zag walk.
2. Waterfalls in South Lawson
The South Lawson waterfall circuit walk may be rather short, but it is an absolute gem with no less than four pretty waterfalls to explore.
It’s a bushwalk that is perfect for the whole family (including the dog), and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
Read more about the South Lawson waterfall circuit walk.
3. Horseshoe Falls Walking Track
The second hike in the Lawson area, the Horseshoe Falls walking track, is similar to the previous one, with also four small waterfalls to discover.
The main waterfall, Horseshoe Falls, is a beautiful water spectacle located deep inside the forest. What’s great is that you can walk behind the waterfall which is a fantastic experience.
Read more about the Horseshoe Falls walking track.
4. Lincoln’s Rock
Located on the Kings Tableland plateau just south of Wentworth Falls, Lincoln’s Rock is one of the most impressive lookout points in the Blue Mountains, offering panoramic views of Jamison Valley and beyond.
It’s not just the views though that attracts visitors to Lincoln’s Rock, it’s also the unique photo opportunities that make this spot so popular in today’s social media driven society.
Read more about the Lincoln’s Rock Lookout.
5. Wentworth Falls Waterfall
Wentworth Falls is one of the most popular bushwalking destinations in the Blue Mountains and in New South Wales. The name Wentworth Falls refers to the impressive 3-tiered, 187m high waterfall, but it is also the name of the town where the waterfall is located.
There are lots of different walking tracks to choose from in the Wentworth Falls area, some quite short and easy, others much longer and more challenging.
To get close to the actual waterfall, you will need to head down the historic Grand Stairway, a steep set of stairs that leads down into the valley towards the bottom of the waterfall.
If you don’t feel like hiking though, there are several fantastic lookouts nearby that offer fantastic views of the waterfall.
Read more about all hikes and lookouts in Wentworth Falls.
6. Rocket Point Lookout
The Rocket Point Lookout is a bit of a secret gem in the otherwise very popular Wentworth Falls region of the Blue Mountains.
There are various lookout points to enjoy in this area, but the Rocket Point Lookout is not the most obvious one, although the views of the waterfall are spectacular.
The reason this lookout is not so well-known is that the short walking track to Rocket Point is a bit hidden, so most people simply ignore it.
Read more about the Rocket Point Lookout.
7. Empress Falls
There is no shortage of beautiful waterfalls in the Blue Mountains, and Empress Falls, located in the Wentworth Falls area, is perhaps one of the prettiest.
A short but very steep hike starting from the Conservation Hut brings visitors up close and personal with this fantastic waterfall.
What’s great about the walking track to Empress Falls, is that there are a couple of really nice lookout points to enjoy as well, before arriving right in front of the waterfall.
Read more about the walking track to Empress Falls.
8. Freshly Baked Hot Pie
It’s no secret that Australians have a love affair with meat pies.
Some of the best meat pies, in our humble opinion, are freshly baked and served in the Blue Mountains. In Wentworth Falls, to be more precise.
What better way to reward yourself after a day of sightseeing and hiking than with a hot pie and a freshly brewed cup of coffee? Head to Mountain High Pies in Wentworth Falls to find out for yourself what all the fuss is about.
Read more about Mountain High Pies.
9. Leura Cascades
Did you know that part of what is now the peaceful Leura Cascades picnic area was once a public swimming bath? The Katoomba Municipal Baths were opened all the way back in 1913, with separate sections for women and men.
Fast forward one century, instead of going for a swim, we can now enjoy a pleasant picnic in scenic surroundings, with great facilities such as tables, seating and plenty of shaded sections.
But a picnic is not the only reason to visit this peaceful area. The Leura Cascades walking track is a short but picturesque trail along Leura Falls Creek, leading to a beautiful lookout point with amazing views of Jamison Valley.
Read more about the Leura Cascades picnic area and walking track.
10. Sublime Point Lookout
The Sublime Point Lookout is a true hidden gem in the Leura area of the Blue Mountains, a scenic vantage point that offers panoramic views of the Jamison Valley.
A short and easy walking path that includes a set of stairs and a small footbridge, leads to this lookout platform, with various other pretty sights nearby to make an exciting day of it.
Read more about the Sublime Point Lookout.
11. Lockleys Pylon
A great hike in the Blue Mountains that is not so well-known is the walking track to Lockleys Pylon, located just north of the town of Leura.
The track meanders through scenic open bushland before arriving at a small mountain top from where you can enjoy incredible views of the Grose Valley and the cliffs of Mount Hay and Mount Banks.
Read more about the walking track to Lockleys Pylon.
12. The Town of Leura
One of the best spots to re-fuel with a good lunch and a cup of coffee is Leura, a lovely little town situated between Wentworth Falls and Katoomba.
Leura’s main strip, Leura Mall, is a pleasant accumulation of a great variety of coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and galleries.
But do go ahead and explore Leura beyond the main street, and discover its tree-lined streets, small-town village appeal, nineteenth century cottages, and beautiful cool climate gardens.
Read more about things to do in Leura.
13. The Three Sisters
For many tourists visiting the Blue Mountains for the first time, the Three Sisters is on top of the list of sights to visit.
The Three Sisters were formed by land erosion by wind, rain and rivers, causing the sandstone cliffs surrounding the Jamison Valley to be slowly broken up over time.
The best views of the Three Sisters can be enjoyed from Echo Point, but it’s much more exciting to meet the Three Sisters in person by following a short walking track from Echo Point.
Read more about the walk to the Three Sisters.
14. The Giant Stairway
Once you’ve arrived at the Three Sisters, you can choose to descend into the valley via the historic Giant Stairway, consisting of more than 800 well-maintained steel and stone steps.
It’s an amazing experience that is well worth your time and effort, but do keep in mind that this is a very steep and long-winding stairway.
If you do decide to go down the stairway at the Three Sisters, it’s strongly recommended to continue hiking through Leura Forest, and returning back to the Three Sisters via a loop trail.
Read more about the Giant Stairway and Dardanelles Pass circuit walk.
15. Katoomba Cascades
The Katoomba Cascades form a small but picturesque waterfall on the Kedumba River in the Katoomba area of the Blue Mountains.
It’s a family friendly destination with lots of sightseeing opportunities and a great picnic area to have lunch in beautiful surroundings.
From the Katoomba Cascades, you can follow two short walking trails that lead to fantastic lookout points offering great views of the Jamison Valley.
Read more about the Katoomba Cascades and nearby sights.
16. Katoomba Falls
Katoomba Falls is a beautiful segmented waterfall peacefully situated between Echo Point and Scenic World.
A pleasant walk starting at Scenic World through lush rainforest brings visitors all the way to the waterfall with panoramic views of Jamison Valley and beyond.
Arguably one of the prettiest waterfalls in the greater Blue Mountains region, Katoomba Falls forms part of the Kedumba River which drops almost 150 meters into the valley.
Read more about the Katoomba Falls circuit walk.
17. Scenic World Rides
Open every day of the year from 9am until 5pm, Scenic World in Katoomba is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Blue Mountains.
Visitors to Scenic World can enjoy a variety of rides – referred to as Experiences – that all offer breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery characterised by valleys, waterfalls and rainforest.
The most exciting Experience is the Scenic Skyway, a cable car with glass flooring that glides above the rainforest of Jamison Valley between two cliff tops.
With 360 degree views, this adventure offers amazing views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, and the valley.
Read more about all the Scenic World rides.
18. Ruined Castle
Starting at the very steep Golden Stairs, the Ruined Castle Walk is a refreshing and challenging bushwalk near Katoomba that leads to a unique landmark.
The Ruined Castle is a large rock formation located on top of a ridge between Castle Head and Mount Solitary. This landmark is kind of located in the middle of nowhere, and that’s exactly what makes it so fascinating.
Read more about the walking track to Ruined Castle.
19. Cahill’s Lookout
While most tourists visit nearby Echo Point, the Cahill’s Lookout is almost just as impressive, but doesn’t attract the large tourist crowds.
Quietly tucked away along the westernmost point of Cliff Drive, the lookout offers breathtaking views of the Megalong valley and the Narrow Neck Peninsula.
Read more about the Cahill’s Lookout.
20. Blue Mountains Explorer Bus
If you don’t have access to a car and you’re travelling to the Blue Mountains by train, the hop-on-hop-off Blue Mountains Explorer Bus is an absolute must if you just want to go sightseeing.
The bus will take you to all the major tourist attractions in the Katoomba and Leura region, and you can stay at the various attractions for as long as you like. The bus makes for a fun and convenient day out.
Read more about the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus.
21. Minnehaha Falls
The walking track to Minnehaha Falls (there are actually various alternative names for this waterfall) has been around for more than a century, and leads to a natural swimming pool at the base of the waterfall.
It’s a short but rather steep walking track, with various steps and ladders to conquer on the way. But the destination makes the effort worthwhile, especially on a warm summer’s day when you can go for a quick swim.
Read more about the walking track to Minnehaha Falls.
22. The Town of Katoomba
Home to many of the famous tourist attractions, Katoomba is by far the most popular and most visited township in the Blue Mountains.
Katoomba’s main street is a must-visit, and offers a great variety of restaurants and cafes, in addition to several galleries and heritage buildings.
Katoomba also has its own train station with a direct connection to the city, which makes this town the perfect starting point for a day well spent in the Blue Mountains.
Read more about things to do in Katoomba.
23. Evans Lookout
The Evans Lookout is one of the most breathtaking lookout points in the Blackheath area of the Blue Mountains, with spectacular views of the Grose Valley.
If you do have the choice, sunset and sunrise on a clear day are the best times to visit Evans Lookout, when the views of the valley and the cliff walls are even more impressive.
Read more about the Evans Lookout near Blackheath.
24. Grand Canyon Walk
If we had to make a call on what is the best hike in the Blue Mountains, then that would certainly be the Grand Canyon Walk near Blackheath.
Opened at the start of the 20th century, the 6 km long Grand Canyon Walk quite literally has it all. Lush rainforest, creek crossings, waterfalls, sandstone walls, rock overhangs, there is a lot to love about this hike.
While it has some very steep sections, the track can be completed by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. The cooler temperatures in the valley make this walk a pleasant adventure during warm summer months too.
Read more about the Grand Canyon Walk.
25. Govetts Leap Lookout
Another impressive and popular lookout point is the Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath, which offers spectacular views of the entire Grose Valley.
This lookout is also the starting point of several walking tracks, one of them leading to the Barrow Lookout from where you can see the Govetts Leap waterfall from close by.
Govetts Leap was named after William Govett, a painter and surveyor, and also the first European settler to have visited this area. According to the sign at the lookout, he first discovered this beautiful spot almost two centuries ago, in June 1831.
Read more about the Govetts Leap Lookout.
26. Blue Mountains Heritage Centre
The Blue Mountains Heritage Centre is located close to the Govetts Leap Lookout, and can be accessed via a short paved walking path from the lookout.
At the centre, visitors can learn about local Aboriginal culture, plants and animals, and the various walking tracks located in and around the beautiful Grose Valley.
Read more about the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre.
27. Pulpit Rock Lookout
Another lookout that deserves a spot in this list of top things to do in the Blue Mountains is Pulpit Rock in the Blackheath area.
It sits on a large cliff edge with three viewing points on different levels, connected via several sets of stairs. A short walk through the bush will get you there.
It’s not difficult to spend a few hours at Pulpit Rock to take in the panoramic views of the valley. And without the big crowds, there is more opportunity to take some really good photos, especially at sunset or sunrise.
Read more about the Pulpit Rock Lookout.
28. Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock in the Blackheath area is one of the most iconic (and also most photographed) landmarks in the greater Blue Mountains region.
Trust us when we say that it looks even better in real life!
An 8 km long return walk first leads to the Baltzer Lookout, from where you can enjoy stunning valley views. The trail then continues to Hanging Rock, which is such a unique sight against a beautiful backdrop.
Read more about Hanging Rock and the Baltzer Lookout.
29. The Town of Blackheath
While most visitors to the Blackheath area are drawn to the fantastic walks and lookouts to be found there, the town itself also has a lot to offer, and is certainly worthy of a visit.
For starters, Blackheath is a great town to fuel up for lunch, with lots of great cafes, restaurants, and pubs to choose from. There are also galleries and local markets to explore in Blackheath.
Read more about things to do in Blackheath.
30. Blackfellows Hand Cave
The Blackfellows Hand Cave is a large rock overhang and shelter north of Lidsdale in the Lithgow area of the Blue Mountains.
The rock overhang is home to well-preserved Aboriginal drawings of hands and weapons, and is now considered a place of cultural significance.
A very short walking trail leads to the Blackfellows Hand Cave, where visitors can spend time exploring the drawings and beautiful natural surroundings.
Read more about the Blackfellows Hand Cave.
31. Glow Worm Tunnel
The second Blue Mountains attraction in the Lithgow area is the popular Glow Worm Tunnel in Wollemi National Park.
The tunnel is an abandoned 400 metres long former railway tunnel that was constructed in the early 1900’s. It is now home to thousands of glow worms that can create a magical light show.
Exploring the Glow Worm Tunnel, and undertaking the scenic walking track to get there, makes for a fantastic and adventurous day out and about in the Blue Mountains.
Read more about the Glow Worm Tunnel near Lithgow.
32. Japanese Bath House
If you’re looking for a relaxing activity in a beautiful natural setting, a visit to the Japanese Bath House near Lithgow is something to consider.
Situated in front of a scenic lake on a large block of farmland, this authentic bath house offers relaxation treatment packages, public and private bath sessions, tea rooms, and so much more.
Read more about the Japanese Bath House near Lithgow.
33. Jenolan Caves
Situated in Jenolan in the Central Tablelands region of the Blue Mountains, the Jenolan Caves are known to be the largest, most spectacular, and most popular caves in Australia.
Open daily, visitors to the Jenolan Caves can choose from several guided tours to explore some of the caves with spectacular and unique limestone formations.
The Jenolan Caves are also considered to be the world’s oldest known and dated open cave system, approximately 340 million years of age.
Read more about the Jenolan Caves.
34. Walls Lookout
The Walls Lookout in the Mount Wilson area of the Blue Mountains is an unspoiled and rather hidden gem where visitors can enjoy 360 degree views of the Grose Valley and beyond.
The 2 km return walking track to the lookout is short and easy, suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
Do keep in mind that it’s not a purpose-built fenced platform, instead it’s a large area at the end of a cliff where visitors can wander around and take in the views.
Read more about the Walls Lookout.
35. Summit of Mount Banks
Also located in the Mount Wilson region, not too far away from the Walls Lookout, is the walking track to the summit of Mount Banks.
It’s a very recognisable mountain because of its distinctive rounded peak. And that peak, the summit, is where you can hike to, while enjoying fantastic valley views.
This walk is a bit more challenging though, because it is quite steep. But the unique scenery and the panoramic views make this hike a highly enjoyable adventure.
Read more about the Mount Banks summit walk.
36. Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
Situated in Mount Tomah, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is a 28ha public botanic garden that features thousands of plants from the southern hemisphere and around the world.
The garden was established in 1972, and sits at 1,000 metres above sea level. It specialises in cool-climate plants that would not grow well in Sydney’s warmer conditions, which is why you will find a lot of unique plants there.
Read more about the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.
37. Cider Tasting in Bilpin
Bilpin is a popular town on the 60 km long Bells Line of Road.
Also known as the Land of the Mountain Apple, Bilpin is home to various fruit orchards and beautiful gardens.
This is also the area where you will find roadside stalls selling home-made produce, and various eateries where you can try apple pie and other delicacies.
But you will also find a few characteristic cider tasting venues in Bilpin, where you can try out locally brewed ciders, and have lunch at the same time.
More Blue Mountains Resources
Hopefully the above list of top things to do in the Blue Mountains has given you more than enough ideas for great attractions to visit and activities to undertake.
To help you make the most of your visit to the Blue Mountains, and find even more things to see and do in this beautiful part of the world, here are some practical resources to read through:
- Best walks in the Blue Mountains
- Best Lookouts in the Blue Mountains
- Most scenic waterfalls in the Blue Mountains
- Day trip itineraries in the Blue Mountains
- Day tours to the Blue Mountains
- How to get to the Blue Mountains
- Where to stay in the Blue Mountains