Local Escapes

This Must-Do Winter Getaway Is Less Than Two Hours From Sydney

By Ellen Seah
4th Jun 2018

If you haven’t had a chance to pop over to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains just 90 minutes out of the city, you’ve officially run out of excuses. Besides the extremely (extremely) short commute, the region is chock full of dramatic scenery, rugged caves and cosy as-a-onesie restaurants.

Sure, it’s a little chillier at this time of the year, but with great bubble jackets comes great reward (in the form of crowd-free tranquillity).

Crack out the diary and grab a pen, here are all the things you should do on your dream winter weekend getaway.

#1 Find The Best Lookout Spots 

If you’re looking for the best scenery in the Blue Mountains, Scenic World has a whirlwind of attractions. The Scenic Skyway is suspended 270 metres above ground and features a glass cabin floor, giving visitors a panoramic, 360-degree view of the Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, and the Jamison Valley.

The Scenic Cableway is the steepest and largest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere. Descending to the Jamison Valley before returning to the point of departure, you can also access the Scenic Walkway which covers over two kilometres of Jurassic rainforest. Don’t worry if there’s (a wee bit of) drizzle—the walkway has a microclimate (nerd talk time) quite different from the top of the escarpment, and raindrops will change the colours in the rainforest.

The Scenic Railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world with up to 52-degrees in incline. The journey takes you to an ancient rainforest floor (Jumanji anyone?) through a cliff-side tunnel.

You can check out every experience and book your unlimited rides (allllll day) here.

#2 Eat The Most Scenic High Tea Ever

Overlooking the rugged Blue Mountains, you’ll be torn between snapping pictures of the view or Fairmont’s high tea. Expect miniature sandwiches (I feel fancy), tiny tarts and fruits. Other high tea spots in the area include The Carrington Hotel and Lilianfels.

If you’re after a heartier meal—head to Embers Restaurant who have a wine list to fight over and complimentary marshmallow toasting (um, yes?), or Palette Dining in Katoomba for a seasonal menu.

#3 Curl Up With A Cosy Cocktail

Sublime Lounge plays home to a roaring wood fire and a flaming cocktail menu (not…literally). Back up those espresso martinis with strawberry daiquiris and chilli hot chocolates (don’t judge us).

#4 Go Cave Diving in The Jenolan Caves

Located just west of the Blue Mountains, squeeze every last minute out of your weekend and drive that bubble car to the Jenolan Caves. A National Treasure-esque maze of limestone caves, stalagmites, stalactites and crystal formations have been formed over millions of years. Guides are required to explore this underground wonderland (and really, we’d be way too chicken to go it alone, anyway).

#5 Catch A Flick At A Public Hall

Originally built in the 1930s as a Public Hall, Mt Vic Flicks in Mt Victoria is delightfully timeless and an incredible piece of historical architecture. Kick back, relax and get your fill of arthouse films or Hollywood blockbusters, along with a selection of choc tops, local scones with jam and cream or sweet slices.

Image credit: Provided

Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Scenic World and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy. 

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