Last updated: August 19, 2020
The Three Sisters is an iconic rock formation near Katoomba, overlooking the immense Jamison Valley. It is the most famous tourist spot in the Blue Mountains, attracting thousands of visitors every day.
Echo Point Lookout is a large viewing platform that offers panoramic views of the Three Sisters, the Jamison Valley, Mount Solitary and other landmarks.
A short walking track starting at the visitor centre at Echo Point gives visitors the opportunity to see the Three Sisters from close by, with several scenic lookout points along the way.
How to Get to Echo Point
As both Echo Point and the Three Sisters are major tourists attractions, they are very easy to get to. [map]
From the Great Western Highway, take the Katoomba exit via Parks Street. Turn right into Lurline Street and continue onto Echo Point Road. Alternatively, turn into Cliff Drive from Leura Mall and continue until you arrive at Echo Point.
There is a very small parking area which is almost always full during weekends. Street parking in the area around Echo Point is mostly paid.
2. Public Transport:
The Blue Mountains Train line offers regular services from Sydney Central Station to the Blue Mountains, stopping at Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba and beyond. Local bus services depart from the Katoomba town centre to Echo Point.
Alternatively, you can jump on the hop-on hop-off Blue Mountains Explorer Bus which stops at the major sights in the Katoomba and Leura area, including the Three Sisters.
3. Organised Tour:
If you don’t have access to a car and don’t want to travel by public transport, an organised day tour to the Blue Mountains is a good solution. All tours visit Echo Point Lookout, and most will allow for enough time to be spent there to do the Three Sisters Walk.
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 see in the Blue Mountains. They form an unusual rock formation on the north escarpment of the Jamison Valley, close to Katoomba.
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 lookout, but it’s much more exciting to meet the Three Sisters in person by following the Three Sisters walking track (see further below).
The Legend Behind the Three Sisters
Various Aboriginal legends exist about why this unique rock formation is called the Three Sisters. Perhaps the most widely known version is that three sisters named Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo were turned into stone as a result of a tribal conflict.
The three ladies lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe, and had fallen in love with three brothers from the neighbouring Nepean Tribe.
Sadly, tribal law blocked marriage between the brothers and sisters, which prompted the brothers to capture the sisters.
To protect the sisters from any harm during the tribal battle that followed, an elder turned them into stone.
As the elder didn’t survive the battle, and no one else was able to reverse the spell, the Three Sisters remained to be the unique rock formation that it still is today.
Echo Point Lookout
With stunning views of not only the Three Sisters, but also the Jamison Valley, Ruined Castle and Mount Solitary, Echo Point is by far the most popular lookout point in the greater Blue Mountains region.
Managed by the Blue Mountains City Council, Echo Point welcomes thousands of visitors each day, and for good reason. Echo Point is essentially a large square, with lots of activity during peak season. There are multiple viewing platforms at different levels to enjoy.
Housed in a modern building in the Echo Point precinct, the Blue Mountains Visitor Information Centre is open daily from 9am to 5pm and is a great source of information about the Blue Mountains in general and the Three Sisters more specifically.
Echo Point is also the starting point of various walking tracks in the Blue Mountains, some very short and easy (like the Three Sisters walk), while others much longer and more challenging.
Three Sisters Walk
The Three Sisters walking track is an easy and comfortable path from the Visitor Information Centre to the Honeymoon Bridge at the Three Sisters.
The last section, from the Lady Game Lookout to the Honeymoon Bridge, is part of the famous Giant Stairway and is very steep.
|Three Sisters Walk|
|Distance:||1 km (return)|
|Grade:||Easy (steep section at the end)|
The start of the Three Sisters walk cannot be missed, as it’s marked by a huge stone archway, located next to the Visitor Information Centre.
The path is very well maintained, with several sandstone seats and little animal sculptures along the way.
The first major lookout point is the Oreades Lookout, a large fenced viewing platform with scenic valley views.
The next viewpoint is the Lady Game Lookout, a narrow, fenced lookout very close to the Three Sisters. From here, the path continues via the Giant Stairway.
Starting at the archway next to the Lady Game Lookout, the Giant Stairway is an impressive structure that consists of more than 800 steel and stone steps heading down into Jamison Valley.
Luckily though, to visit the first of the Three Sisters, you only need to conquer a small section of the Giant Stairway.
The very last part of the Three Sisters Walk is the so-called Honeymoon Bridge, which connects with a rock overhang as part of the First Sister.
On your return, it’s a good idea to visit the Spooners Lookout via a clearly signposted, short sidetrack. It’s an extra 5 minutes, and the views of the valley and the Three Sisters are very much worth it.
This Lookout was named after an Australian politician, Eric S. Spooner, who opened part of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk back in October 1934.
Also note that the Spooners Lookout is located only 200m away from the Visitor’s Information Centre at Echo Point, and it is wheelchair accessible.
And that marks the end of the Three Sisters Walk, an easy but scenic walking trail, suitable for visitors of all ages and fitness levels!
As mentioned, Echo Point is not only great for sightseeing, it’s also the starting point for, and a major stop along, various walking tracks.
1. Prince Henry Cliff Walk
The famous Prince Henry Cliff Walk is an adventurous 7km walking trail between Scenic World in Katoomba and Gordon Falls Lookout in Leura.
It follows the cliff edge overlooking Jamison Valley with lots of beautiful lookout points along the way to enjoy some of the best views in the Blue Mountains. The track passes Echo Point and the Three Sisters around the halfway mark.
2. Echo Point to Katoomba Cascades
Starting at Echo Point and finishing at Katoomba Cascades, this 3km return walk is essentially part of the longer Prince Henry Cliff walk. The walk is relatively easy and takes in several scenic lookout points.
Katoomba Cascades is another popular tourist destination, with stepping stones and a path along Kedumba River, which drops into the valley via Katoomba Falls.
3. Echo Point to Leura Cascades
Also part of the same Prince Henry Cliff Walk, this track goes into the opposite direction, towards Leura Cascades, and passes several lookouts with scenic views of the other side of Jamison Valley.
Leura Cascades is a picturesque area, with great facilities such as tables, seating, toilets and plenty of shaded sections. It’s the perfect spot to have lunch in beautiful surroundings.
4. Dardanelles Pass
The challenging Dardanelles Pass is a 5km circuit track that heads down into the rainforest of the Jamison Valley via the Giant Stairway.
The track returns to Echo Point via the cliff edge, just before Leura Cascades.
5. Scenic World via Federal Pass
This walk is a section of the historic Federal Pass walking track. It also descends into the valley via the Giant Stairway, but goes into the opposite direction, towards Scenic World.
Once you get to the Scenic World valley station, you can either go back up via a walking track, or you can catch a ride on the Scenic Railway which is of course a great experience.
Keep in mind that it can take up to 3 hours to reach the valley station from Echo Point, with the last Scenic World rides leaving just before 5pm.
The Echo Point and Three Sisters precinct is very easy to get to, either via Lurline Street from Katoomba or via Cliff Drive from Leura.
Parking in the area is mostly paid, with some free street parking available further away from the sights.