G’day Travelers! Following on from my things to do in the Blue Mountains post. I thought I’d put together some of my handy tips of things to know before you go to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales for the first time.
Where are the Blue Mountains?
The Blue Mountains, or the greater Blue Mountains area are located about an hours drive west of Sydney. It’s a small part of the Great Dividing Range mountain range that stretches the entire length of Australia’s east coast. Depending on who you ask the Blue Mountains area stretches from Emu Plains in the east out to Lithgow in the west and as far south as Oberon and the Jenolan Caves. However most people would agree the central destination that people refer to as the Blue Mountains is Katoomba.
Where To Stay?
There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation in the area of the Blue Mountains. There are plenty of campgrounds (visit National Parks and Wildlife list of Campgrounds) throughout the region, while those looking for a luxurious hideaway can find 5 star resorts and spas like the One and Only Wolgan Valley.
For regular hotel style accommodation my recommendations would be to look at staying in the towns of Katoomba and Lithgow as they the most easily accessible and centralised locations, with the most variety of accommodation styles and budgets. If you’re planning on spending the bulk of your time in the Jenolan Caves, then I’d recommend looking at the Jenolan Caves House, however you could find some cheaper alternatives in Oberon.
Getting To and From the Blue Mountains?
The Blue Mountains is easily accessible by both Car and Train. However having a car opens up plenty more options exploring the region. To access the Blue Mountains by car there are two main roads that head west from Sydney, the Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road. They both weave their way over the mountain range and join up at Lithgow. However if your main destination is Katoomba, its recommended to take the Great Western Highway.
Katoomba and Lithgow are also linked to Sydney via trains on the conveniently named Blue Mountains. For more information about the rail services through the Blue Mountains visit the Sydney Trains website – http://www.sydneytrains.info/
If you are staying in Sydney, there are several tour companies who offer day trips out to the Blue Mountains. However I’ve not used any of these services so I can’t recommend any of them.
Getting Around the Blue Mountains
As I mentioned in the previous section, having a car is the easiest way to get around and opens up so many more options for exploring. However there are a couple of tourist bus services that provide hop on hop off tours allowing you to explore the key attractions without a car if you do decide to take the train instead.
Check out their websites for more information about their timetables and routes. The Blue Mountains Explorer Bus – http://www.explorerbus.com.au/ and Blue Mountain Trolley Tours – http://www.trolleytours.com.au/.
Where To Find Food/What To Do In The Evenings?
When it comes to nightlife, the Blue Mountains isn’t bustling hub of activity, it’s more known for its variety of boutique cafes, classic pubs and fine restaurant dining options. The greatest concentration and variety of dining options is centralised around Katoomba and a short stroll around the town should leave with something to satisfy.
If you’d like to see some suggestions of things to do while in the Blue Mountains, check out my top 4 things to do in the Blue Mountains.
Have you been to the Blue Mountains before? Got some tips first timers might be able to take advantage of? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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