When I first settled in Sydney, one of my first day trips was to the Blue Mountains. Less than two hours drive away from Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a mountain range famous for their blue hues, high cliffs and deep valleys. Waterfalls dot the landscape and hiking trails meander through the forest. The Blue Mountains are testimony to an early tourism trade in New South Wales and are well worth a day trip, or even a weekend. After passing through many times on my way to Mudgee, I decided to explore again and search for sweeping views away from the tourist trail. Here is a list of 10 stunning lookouts in Australia’s Blue Mountains.
Echo Point Lookout
Echo Point is in Katoomba, and is where all the tourist buses will go first. It is quite touristy, but for a reason: it offers sweeping views of the Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters, an unusual rock formation that towers over the northern escarpment of the valley.
The Lookout Restaurant and Milk Bar also have beautiful views over the valley.
There is a pathway to take out to the Queen Elizabeth Lookout underneath the main platform. The walk is an easy grade but you’ll have to fight the selfie-taking crowds for the iconic shot.
There is a very comprehensive Tourist Information Centre nearby and I recommend picking up one of their free maps.
Three Sisters Bridge
You can get very close to the Three Sisters, just take a left turn before the information office. There is a reasonably large lookout and it’s an easy walk.
A little further on, you can go down to the Three Sisters Bridge but there are some very steep steps. This is also the beginning to the Giant Stairway: 900 steps to the bottom of the valley !
Some fantastic views but maybe not for those scared of heights !
Eagle Hawk Lookout
After the touristy stuff, I decided to explore further. If you travel by car, there are more lookouts available than the ones on the bus loop. Eaglehawk is a small lookout, with not much parking space but you get beautiful views over the Three Sisters and Echo Point. It’s easily accessible.
Narrow Neck Lookout
Again, this lookout is not on the bus loop. It’s easily accessible and you get a good view of the Narrow Neck Peninsula, a large plateau that separates the Megalong Valley from the Jamison Valley.
This lookout is not on the bus loop, so you’ll need a vehicle. When I was there, it was a bit obstructed by trees, however it is easily accessible.
This lookout is just off the road and easily accessible. This is a great place to witness a cloud phenomenon specific to the Blue Mountains. The clouds roll over the Narrow Neck Peninsula, going from a valley to another. Some very specific weather conditions are required for this to happen so I suggest you ask the locals or the Tourist Information Centre and get there early in the morning.
This fantastic lookout is not on the bus loop and has been recently redesigned, so it feels quite luxurious ! It’s easily accessible and it offers beautiful views over the Megalong Valley, on the other side of the Narrow Neck Plateau.
Cahills Lookout is an ideal place to watch the sunset. This lookout is a great find in the Blue Mountains, the view is amazing and there is hardly anyone there.
Heading back towards Leura, the Honeymoon Lookout offers views over the Jamison Valley. The Honeymoon Lookout is serviced by the bus loop.
Gordon Falls Lookout
Gordon Falls Lookout is serviced by the bus loop. The grade is medium.
The views over the Jamison Valley are outstanding and you get to see the other side of the Three Sisters.
Sublime Point Lookout
Sublime Point Lookout is not of the bus loop and is a little more difficult to find. The access is medium, with some steep stairs. However, the views from there are spectacular, over the Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters.
Other Sights and Experiences
Leura Cascade is a 10-minute walk down a gorge. In my view, the cascade is not too spectacular but you get a nice view over the Jamison Valley at the end.
The Blue Mountains are becoming known as an adventure destination. Check out the various attractions offered by Scenic World here.
How to Get to the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are less than two hours from Sydney and you have a range of transport options.
The Blue Mountains are a great day trip out of Sydney and you can easily get away from the tourist hustle and bustle to discover breathtaking yet secluded viewpoints. The Blue Mountains fully deserve their name. Their magic lies in the different blue hues spread across the horizon. The air is crisp, clear and overlooking an ocean of green forest, you get a sense of calm infinity. Therefore, a day trip or a weekend in the Blue Mountains is an ideal opportunity to disconnect and relax. If you are looking for other day trip ideas from Sydney, I can recommend The Basin in Sydney’s North. Also, if you are taking a southbound trip, don’t miss the villages of Berry, Berrima and Kangaroo Valley.
Have you been to the Blue Mountains? And how was your experience? Please tell me in the comments below.