The Blue Mountains is a must see place for anybody who is in Sydney for more than a day or two. Starting at about 60km west of the centre of the city, the Blue Mountains is a section of The Great Dividing Range – a huge mountain range that stretches almost the whole length of eastern Australia from north to south (over 3500km).
As a Sydneysider (person from Sydney), I’ve been “up the mountains” as we say, many times – but I usually take them for granted. Last Saturday, I was a bit bored and also thought I should get some exercise, so randomly decided to go for a drive up the mountains and go hiking.
Although it was only a short trip, it really opened my eyes to the amazing things we have here. When I’m home in Sydney, I often get so caught up in work and everyday life and don’t really explore – I miss travelling, but the truth is (if I can find the time and energy), I do live in an amazing place that I should explore more.
There is a lot to do in the Blue Mountains – a lot of the major attractions are quite accessible for people who might have mobility concerns. For example, The Three Sisters is one of the most famous landmarks and you can drive right up to it (if you’re willing to pay for parking and fight your way through all the tourists!).
There are also a lot of activities and possibilities for the more fit and adventurous – from light and easy bushwalks to hard, long hikes, mountain biking… The list goes on and on.
Interested in visiting the Blue Mountains?
Here is some information about my daytrip last week.
Where did I go?
I went to Glenbrook, the first town you’ll come across when you enter the Blue Mountains. From
there, I drove into the Blue Mountains National Park and parked my car just before the entry gates. Parking is $8 for the whole day, and I believe that also includes car access to the park if you wish to drive in.
I then walked to Jelly Bean Pool – it was only about 15 minute walk from the carpark and well signposted. It was a beautiful place, however as it was a weekend and nice weather there was quite a few people there – teenagers with music and alcohol as well as families. Although beautiful, not my thing so I only stayed a few minutes.
I walked back up towards the carpark – a fairly easy climb, but certainly made me realise how out of shape I’ve become since being back in an office job!
I then turned right and followed signs to Glenbrook Gorge – this is a harder and longer walk, but well worth it for the amazing scenery and much fewer people. I walked until I got to the small river flowing through the gorge and followed it for a while – eventually the clear path disappears and I was just walking along rocks in the dry riverbed. I walked, climbing over large rocks and being totally blown away by the scenery of the gorge, until it got to a part that I just could not pass. There I sat and had lunch before climbing back up. That was hard work – just due to my fitness levels!
How to get there?
From Sydney, you can get to Glenbrook by driving about an hour west – see the Google map below.
Don’t have a car? That’s fine! You can get a train from Central Sydney to Glenbrook Station as well. More information is available on Sydney’s Transport Info Website it’s then only about a 15 minute walk from the station to where I parked.
Whenever you go bushwalking / hiking – always remember safety first!
Many people get lost in the Blue Mountains, sparking huge search parties and potentially life threatening situations. It can get extremely hot during the day, and very cold at night meaning you can get heat stroke and hypothermia within hours of each other. While this is not likely for a quick day trip and a few quick walks in the main tourist areas, there is always a risk of getting lost.
Tell somebody where you’re going and when to expect you back
Somebody needs to be able to raise the alarm if you don’t return, and if they have no idea where you went then they can’t help start a search. Tell a friend or relative or if you’re visiting then tell your hostel/hotel front desk. Don’t expect to have mobile phone reception – you won’t be able to phone for help if you get lost.
Take plenty of food & water
Especially water! Don’t underestimate how much water you will drink while hiking. It was not a particularly hot day while I was up there and I was only there for around 2 hours or so – including breaks. I drank over 1L of water while I was there, plus another 750mL bottle during the drive home.
Also take some food, as you can work up an appetite! Doesn’t need to be a huge picnic to feed an army – just something to keep you going. I had a banana, some nuts and a protein shake when I stopped for lunch by the creek.
There are shops in the towns, however once you start walking down the bush track, don’t expect any kiosks or anything in the bush! And most importantly take all rubbish with you!
Where can I get more information?
There are many websites that can provide you with more information about a visit to The Blue Mountains – some of which I’ve already linked in this article. Many more you’ll e able to find with a quick Google search. Below is a few websites I used to plan my trip:
- Sydney Transport Info
- Blue Mountains National Park
- Visit Blue Mountains
- Find accommodation in Sydney through Booking.com
View all the photos I took during the hike on my Facebook Page