The UNESCO World Heritage–listed Blue Mountains of New South Wales provide a playground of eucalyptus forests, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, caves, and canyons within easy day-tour distance of Sydney. If you’re looking to stretch your legs and breathe the mountain air, these are some of the best outdoor activities.
The Australian Blue Mountains are home to a laundry list of treks and trails passing through rain forests and rocky crags. Day hikers can make the trek to Jellybean Pool for a refreshing swim in the popular watering hole, while more adventurous hikers can tackle the multi-day, 28-mile (45-kilometer) Six-Foot Track.
While it’s possible to take in the views aboard the Katoomba Scenic Railway, the steepest passenger railway in the world, outdoor enthusiasts might prefer to explore the Megalong Valley region on horseback instead.
The Blue Mountain slopes protect a cave system estimated to date back 340 million years. The Jenolan Caves, perhaps the oldest on earth, comprise cathedral-like chambers, tight passages, and illuminated cave formations. Experience the incredible acoustics during an underground concert.
The rugged landscapes of the Blue Mountains are best explored in a 4WD. Leave the driving to a pro on a small-group Blue Mountains tour as you lose yourself in the natural beauty, taking in views of the Three Sisters from the Echo Point Lookout, Wentworth Falls, Prince Regents Glen, and Katoomba Falls.