If you’re looking for a way to excite your little ones, or simply exhaust them, the Blue Mountains can provide exactly what you need – regardless of the time of year, writes NSM Heather Woods. Here are five places to visit for the perfect day out.
1. Echo Point and the Three Sisters in Katoomba
Whether you arrive early in the morning for a misty vista or around lunchtime for an undisturbed view to Cedar Valley and Kings Tableland on the horizon, the Echo Point lookout will take your breath away. With the Three Sisters standing prominent and plenty of safety fencing, the kids can roam the platforms and walkways and marvel at the cable car (the Scenic Skyway) running across the valley.
2. The Scenic Railway at Scenic World, Katoomba
Get your family’s blood racing with a trip on the steepest railway in the world, the Scenic Railway. The most daring among you can tilt their seats so it’s more of a ride, however you can choose to have the seat at a more relaxing angle so that you can really take in the incredible views of the Jamison Valley below. Once you reach the bottom you can choose to disembark, and the thrill of the ride you just had will have everyone chatting excitedly as you then navigate the 2.4-kilometre Scenic Walkway. Your kids might even learn a little something about the rainforest, as well as the history of the railway and the area, on cleverly positioned signage along the various paths.
3. The falls at Wentworth Falls
If water is more your thing, take the Wentworth Falls Reserve walking track to Princes lookout for amazing views of the falls themselves. If you’re just looking for a rest spot, go prepared with a picnic and rest up by the lake where there is also a playground to entertain the brood.
4. Mountain High Pies, Wentworth Falls
When it’s time to refuel, I couldn’t recommend Mountain High Pies more. With a menu that will make any decisive person question themselves (including vegetarians and vegans) and plenty of seating options, the whole family will leave with a happy and full belly. There are even delicious sweet treats to nibble if that’s more your thing. Plus it’s only five minutes drive from Leura, with easy parking options. My hot tips: the Chunky Beef pie and the Hot Custard Tart!
5. The famous Candy Store, Leura Mall
Take a little walk up the mall to walk off the pies you’ve just eaten. There are loads of quaint little coffee shops for that afternoon hit, as well as boutique stores where you might just pick up a special antique or a birthday gift you’ve been searching for. Before you hit the road, though, stretch the kids out just a little longer with a visit to The Candy Store. Although small, your children’s eyes will bulge at the sugarcoated wall-to-wall displays of lollies and sweets. A small bag each and it’s safe to say you’ll have a quiet trip home as they munch away.
It goes without saying that the kids will love a Blue Mountains adventure, and long-time Sydney-siders and international visitors alike will also adore the scenery and everything it has to offer. This really is an area to experience and appreciate – and it’s all within 90 minutes drive of Sydney’s North Shore. Well worth the small effort, I say!
When you visit the Blue Mountains, what are your must-sees? List them in the comments section below.