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Greater Blue Mountains

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The Greater Blue Mountains Area is a vast landscape of eucalypt trees, waterfalls, sandstone valleys and jaw-dropping scenery. World Heritage Listed in 2000, the untamed bushland which spans over 1 million hectares is one of the best places to visit in Australia. Grab a campervan, depart Sydney, and experience a world away from the city.

Travel

5 days


Route

Sydney to Sydney

km


Best Time of the Year

All year round

Highlights

  • Blue Mountains
  • Kings Tablelands
  • Katoomba
  • Kurrajong

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4 5

Day 1
Sydney to Kings Tablelands

Distance 95km - Driving Time 1 hour 30 mins

The Britz depot at Sydney is conveniently located a few kilometers from the airport at 1/1801 Botany Rd, Banksmeadow. As soon as you’re out the door, head west towards the Blue Mountains. You can’t miss them, they are the bluish hazed mountain range on the horizon (hence the name).

Make your way along Parramatta Road to the M4 Motorway and after about an hour’s drive, you will reach the city at the foot of the Blue Mountains, Penrith. From here, the M4 Motorway become the Great Western Hwy and begins to wind up the mountains towards Glenbrook. A great place to take a break, pull in at Café 2773 in Glenbrook and sample the latest creations from famed local chef, Shane Simpson - also try their signature wood fired pizzas.

After a hearty lunch, continue the drive along the Great Western Highway past Hazelbrook, and head towards the Kings Tablelands, one of the little-known gems of the Blue Mountains. Turn off the Great Western Highway at Tableland Road, continue for 3km then turn left at King Tablelands Road. Follow the road for 11km. The Kings Tablelands is a flat, rocky outcrop that drops dramatically into hidden valleys below. You can park your campervan overnight five minutes from here at Ingar Campground. (When you reach tablelands road, turn right at Queen Elizabeth drive, follow it for 9.5km on unsealed road).

Credit: Destination NSW

Day 2
Kings Tableland to Katoomba

Distance 30km - Driving Time 1 hour 30 mins

After getting back onto the Great Western Highway, stop off at Wentworth Falls Lake off Sinclair Crescent. This small body of water has a group of sandstone sculptures and landscaped gardens perfect for photographs.

After that, pull into the pretty town of Leura for a spot of shopping at the kitsch row of boutique stores before heading up to Katoomba to experience the famous Three Sisters at Echo Point.

Considered to be the main town of the Blue Mountains, Katoomba offers a wide range of activities for the backpacking traveller including historic buildings and art galleries to dramatic scenery and challenging bush walks. For thrill seekers, visit Scenic World where you can ride the steepest railway in the world. A ticket for all four attractions will cost $39 for an adult.

From here, drive up to Katoomba Falls – Blue Mountains Tourist Park where you can set up camp for the evening. A short walk from the pubs and restaurants, Katoomba Falls is an ideal resting point. An unpowered site will cost $39 for two adults in peak season.

Image credit - Destination NSW

Credit: Destination NSW

Day 3
Katoomba to Lithgow

Distance 41km - Driving Time 40 min

About twenty minutes from Katoomba, you will find the town of Blackheath. Here you can visit Govetts Leap, a stunning lookout complete with a waterfall as well as a number of breathtaking short walks into the Grose Valley. Alternatively, book a horse ride at Centennial Glen Stables off Kanimbla Valley Drive. A three hour ride will cost $150 and will take you through Kanimbla Valley for unparalleled views of the region.

Continue along the Great Western Highway as it descends the Blue Mountains into the coal mining town of Lithgow. Check out the train station of the famed Zig Zag Railway or marvel at the glow worms in the Glow Worm Tunnel.

If you have time, squeeze in a visit to the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum (69 Methven Street, Lithgow) for a display of machine guns, rifles, pistols, and an interesting, informative lesson in military history. Admission is $10 per adult. Or stop in at Jannei Goat Dairy Farm (View Street, Lithgow) where you can sample some of the fresh, locally made goat’s cheese, yoghurt or raw goat’s milk.

That night, park your campervan at the magnificent Lake Lyell. The lake has a concrete boat ramp perfect for fishing, and has hot showers and free BBQ access. 

Image credit - Destination NSW

Credit: Destination NSW

Day 4
Lithgow to Bilpin

Distance 51km - Driving Time 45 mins

After a quiet night in Lithgow, head back into the Blue Mountains along Bells Line of Road stopping in at Mt Tomahs Botanical Gardens. Known as Australia’s highest botanic garden, the entry is free and is home to an array of native wildlife in addition to the flora and fauna. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of a diamond python or eastern tiger snake.

When you’ve finished up at the gardens, it is only a ten minute drive to Bilpin. Bilpin is a charming town that boasts some of the best apples in Sydney region, which is why you must try the apple pie at the Pie in the Sky Roadhouse. A gourmet bakery providing homemade pies and pastries, visitors come from all over Sydney to eat here. Located at 1858 Bells Line of Road, you wont miss it.

Likewise, Bilpin is a bushwalkers paradise and the majority of the area is still unexplored. Bushwalk through an array of valleys, gorges, high cliffs and lookouts, Aboriginal art sites, caves and canyons. 

Image credit - Destination NSW

Day 5
Bilpin to Kurrajong

Distance 20km - Driving Time 20 mins

Continue your holiday through to Kurrajong, a town steeped in history. Visit the village which has specialty homewares, antique and gift shops, and of course Goodie Goodie Gum Drops, the lolly shop. Visit the radio museum, or local art galleries and taste the produce from farms participating in the Farm Gate Trail. After a day relaxing and enjoying the panoramic views of the mountains, head back east on the M4 motorway to return your campervan back to the Britz depot.