Last updated: August 29, 2023
A guide with 35 of the best things to do in the Blue Mountains to help you decide where to go and how best to spend your time in Sydney’s most popular national park.
Millions of people head to Sydney’s west each year to visit the Blue Mountains. Loved by tourists and local Sydney-siders alike, the Blue Mountains region is one of the most popular weekend destinations in New South Wales.
Walking tracks, waterfalls, valleys, canyons, and lookouts with incredible views, the Blue Mountains truly has something to do for everyone.
Read on, as we reveal 35 of the most popular attractions and activities in the Blue Mountains.
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Top 35 Blue Mountains Attractions
We’re starting in Glenbrook in the Lower Blue Mountains and are going clockwise to Bilpin via the following towns and regions:
- Wentworth Falls
- Mount Victoria
- 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 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. Jellybean Pool
If the weather is nice and warm, a visit to Jellybean Pool in the Glenbrook area of the Blue Mountains can turn into a fun day out.
Jellybean Pool is a beautiful natural swimming hole on Glenbrook Creek, with easy access and lots of space to swim and relax around the pool.
Do note, though, that the Jellybean Pool is very popular and does get very busy during weekends and school holidays. If you’d like to go for a quiet swim, either go early or on a weekday.
Read more about the Jellybean Pool.
3. South Lawson Waterfalls
The South Lawson waterfall circuit walk may be short, but it is an absolute gem with no less than four pretty waterfalls to discover:
- Adelina Falls
- Junction Falls
- Federal Falls
- Cataract Falls
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.
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 that attract visitors to Lincoln’s Rock, but 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. 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 many walking tracks to choose from in the Wentworth Falls area, some relatively short and easy, others much longer and challenging.
To get close to the actual waterfall, you will need to head down the historic Grand Stairway, a steep set of stairs leading to the waterfall’s base.
If you don’t feel like hiking, there are several great lookouts nearby that offer scenic views of the waterfall, with the Rocket Point Lookout being one of the best.
Read more about all hikes and lookouts in Wentworth Falls.
6. Valley of the Waters
The walking track through the Valley of the Waters in the western section of the Wentworth Falls area is an absolute delight, with four scenic waterfalls to explore:
- Empress Falls
- Sylvia Falls
- Lodore Falls
- Flat Rock Falls
The 2.5 km return walk starts from the former Conservation Hut and is quite steep. Make sure you bring decent hiking shoes and your camera for the best photos of the waterfalls.
Read more about the Valley of the Waters walking track.
7. Freshly Baked Hot Pie
It’s no secret that Australians have a love affair with meat pies.
In our humble opinion, some of the best meat pies 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 how good those pies really are.
Read more about Mountain High Pies.
8. Leura Cascades
Did you know that part of what is now the peaceful Leura Cascades picnic area was once a public swimming bath? That’s right; the Katoomba Municipal Baths first opened all the way back in 1913.
Fast forward one century, instead of going for a swim, we can now enjoy a pleasant picnic in scenic surroundings, with excellent 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 with amazing views of Jamison Valley.
Read more about the Leura Cascades picnic area and walking track.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. The Town of Leura
One of the best spots to refuel with a good lunch and coffee is Leura, a lovely little town 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. We recommended trying authentic Devonshire tea, a local’s favourite.
But 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.
12. 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.
13. The Giant Stairway
Once you’ve arrived at the Three Sisters, you can choose to head down into the valley via the historic Giant Stairway, an impressive structure with more than 800 steel and stone steps.
It’s a fantastic 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, you have the option to continue hiking to Leura Forest or to the Furber Steps at Scenic World.
Read more about the Giant Stairway to Furber Steps walking track.
14. 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.
15. Katoomba Falls
Katoomba Falls is a beautiful segmented waterfall peacefully situated between Echo Point and Scenic World.
A pleasant walking track starting from Scenic World through lush rainforest brings visitors 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.
16. Scenic World Rides
Open every day of the year from 9 am until 5 pm, 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 rainforests.
The most exciting ride 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.
17. Cahill’s Lookout
While most tourists visit nearby Echo Point, Cahill’s Lookout is almost just as impressive but doesn’t attract large tourist crowds.
Quietly tucked away at 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.
18. 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.
19. Minnehaha Falls
The walking track to Minnehaha Falls has been around for more than a century and leads to a natural swimming pool at the waterfall’s base.
It’s a short but exciting and also steep walking track, with various steps and ladders to conquer along the way.
But the destination makes the effort worthwhile, especially on a warm summer’s day when you can go for a quick swim in the cold water.
Read more about the walking track to Minnehaha Falls.
20. The Town of Katoomba
Home to many famous tourist attractions, Katoomba is 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 a 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 the town of Katoomba.
21. 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 and beyond.
If you 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.
22. Grand Canyon Walk
If we had to make a call on what is the best hike in the Blue Mountains, then that would undoubtedly 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. There is a lot to love about this hike; lush rainforest, creek crossings, waterfalls, sandstone walls, and rock overhangs.
While it has some very steep sections, the track can be completed by anyone with a reasonable fitness level. The cooler temperatures in the valley make this walk a pleasant adventure during the warmer summer months too.
Read more about the Grand Canyon Walk.
23. Govetts Leap Lookout
Another impressive and popular lookout point is the Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath, which offers spectacular waterfall and valley views.
This lookout is also the starting point of several walking tracks, one 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 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.
24. 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 in and around the beautiful Grose Valley.
Read more about the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre.
25. Mount Blackheath
The Blackheath area of the Blue Mountains is home to many scenic lookout points, but Mount Blackheath is still a bit of a hidden gem.
Mount Blackheath is a fantastic spot, with several lookouts, a parking area, toilet facilities, a picnic area, and a launch ramp for hang gliders.
The valley views from the main lookout are amazing and quite different from the more popular lookouts on the other side of the highway.
Read more about Mount Blackheath.
26. Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock in the Blackheath area is one of the most iconic (and 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.
27. 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 also has a lot to offer and is certainly worth 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 the town of Blackheath.
28. Mount York
The Mount York area is located just outside the township of Mount Victoria, the westernmost village in the City of Blue Mountains.
The summit of Mount York is home to various monuments related to the first crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813 and subsequent attempts to build roads to the plains west of the mountains.
Not only can you learn more about the history of the mountains, but there are also various lookouts and walking tracks to explore in the area.
Read more about Mount York.
29. Glow Worm Tunnel
One of the most popular Blue Mountains attractions in the Lithgow area is the Glow Worm Tunnel in Wollemi National Park.
The tunnel is an abandoned 400 metres long former railway tunnel constructed in the early 1900s. 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.
30. Zig Zag Railway
The Great Zig Zag Railway in the town of Bell was built in the 1860s to transport people and goods from the western plains of New South Wales to Sydney.
It is now an exciting tourist attraction, a ride on a classic steam locomotive travelling through beautiful scenery with great views of old sandstone viaducts.
The Zig Zag Railway was closed for a long time due to restoration works following bushfires and landslides but was reopened for business in 2023.
Read more about the Zig Zag Railway.
31. Dargan Arch
The Dargan Arch near Lithgow is a unique sandstone rock formation that is shaped like an actual arch.
A short bushwalking trail leads to this somewhat hidden spot, where visitors can walk across the top of the arch and also venture down to the bottom for the best views.
To find the start of the trail to this rock formation, turn into Sandham Road near the Bells Line of Road and Darling Causeway junction. After a few kilometres into this road, you will see a clearing on your right, which is where you can park your car.
Read more about the Dargan Arch.
32. Walls Lookout
The Walls Lookout in the Bells Line of Road area of the Blue Mountains is an unspoiled 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.
33. Summit of Mount Banks
Also located in the Bells Line of Road area, 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 pretty steep. But the unique scenery and the panoramic views make this hike a delightful adventure.
Read more about the Mount Banks summit walk.
34. 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.
35. 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 homemade 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.
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