What to do in the Blue Mountains

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THE 3 SISTERS: ECHO POINT

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Looking out at the Three Sisters rock formations from Katoomba’s Echo Point is the Blue Mountains’ most spectacular experiences.They represent three sisters who according to local Aboriginal legend were turned to stone. The Three Sisters’ colours change throughout the day (and seasons) They are also floodlit until around 11pm each evening.
More info: BlueMountainsAustralia.com


WALKS & WATERFALLS

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Popular tourist defaults are Wentworth Falls (and its National Pass Trail) and Scenic World Platform Walk (Katoomba). But there’s also the Leura Cascades (Leura), Waterfall Walk (Mount Wilson), Blue Lake River Walk (Jenolan – scroll down to see ‘Jenolan Caves’), and longer walks like: Grand Canyon (Blackheath) and Kanangra Wall, (Kanangra- Boyd National Park).
More info: BlueMountainsAustralia.com


WARADAH CULTURE

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Witness authentic Aboriginal dance and didgeridoo performances at the Waradah Aboriginal Centre. These fun and interactive performances are 25mins in length, running hourly 10am-4pm. Browse through the original art and crafts at the gallery and store. Found at the World Heritage Plaza Katoomba’s Echo Point Lookout – 9am-5pm, 7 days.
More info: Waradah Aboriginal Centre


JENOLAN CAVES

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In 2006, the CSIRO established that the Jenolan Caves are the world’s oldest known open caves – 340 million years old. Once hidden and remote, more than 400 caves have been discovered at Jenolan since 1830. Their full extent is the subject of ongoing exploration. Daily and nightly tours available – best book ahead. Also has Aboriginal Culture Self Guided Tours.

More info: Jenolan Caves


BOTANIC GARDENS

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The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (Mount Tomah). Sitting at 1,000m above sea level, this 252 hectare garden is Australia’s highest botanic garden in Australia. Home of ‘The Jungle’, an easily accessible 33-hectare patch of ancient Blue Mountains rainforest. The Gardens are 50 minutes NE of Katoomba.
More info: Blue Mountains Botanic Garden


ART GALLERIES & STUDIOS 

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The Blue Mountains serves as inspiration to many creative souls. Tap into the local creative fuel at BM City Art Gallery at the BM Cultural Centre (Katoomba)Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum (Falconbridge), Braemar House & Gallery (Springwood), Wild Valley Art Park (Wentworth Falls), and small private galleries like Lost Bear Gallery (Katoomba) and Adrian Gilbert Art (Leura).


THE STREET ART WALK

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30 artists (international, Sydney and local) with 30 mural sites transformed 3,000 sq metres of Katoomba’s Beverly Place in 2015. The Street Art walk is a dynamic, community-driven cultural treasure, created by Street Art Murals Australia (SAMA) in partnership with the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, University of Western Sydney and relevant stakeholders in the Beverly Place precinct.
More info: Street Art Walk


PAMPERING

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Day spas are plentiful in the Blue Mountains – including: Hamilton Spa (Leura, but also Level 1 of The Carrington Hotel, LYP Retreat); also in Katoomba: Echoes Day Spa, Lilianfels Day Spa, and award-winning Spa Sublime. Blue Mountains Sparadise – bathhouse set in a Japanese garden (South Bowenfels), Ella Bache (Springwood), Parklands Day Spa (Blackheath).


CAFE GROOVE

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Katoomba and Leura are the most popular destinations for casual eating and drinking. Katoomba’s ‘cool’ reputed cafes include: The Elephant Bean Cafe, True To the Bean, and Cassiopeia Specialty Coffee. Katooma’s Paragon Cafe is historic art deco & make their own chocolate! Leura’s spots include: Zest, RubyFruit, Lily’s Pad Cafe, Red Door Cafe, Solitary Cafe & Restaurant.


DINING & BARS

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Best Katoomba dining (based on reviews – mixed $ range): Palette Dining, Thunderbird Blue Mountains (Mexican), Pins On Lurline (spiffy), Basil Nut Asian Kitchen, Station Bar, Wisteria Nights, The Rooster, Avalon Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, Lilianfels, and Clarendon Guesthouse (for live music). In Leura: Flemish Flavours, Silk’s Brasserie, Bon Ton Bistro & Wine Bar, and Leura Garage.

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