The Blue Mountains, just a 90-minute drive west of Sydney, or a two-hour train trip from Central Station, is a World Heritage-listed landscape of sandstone plateaus and deep valleys, and the perfect backdrop for a family holiday.
Lookout over the Jameson Valley and the iconic view of the Three Sisters from Echo Point in Katoomba and explore the valley below at Scenic World. Here you can be suspended across the valley on the Skyway or be lowered into it on the Scenic Railway or Cable Car to the boardwalks through the bush.
Bushwalking is a popular activity with many trails and walks of all difficulties and lengths throughout the mountains, connecting to waterfalls and fantastic views and for the adventurous, you can try canyoning, abseiling, mountain bike riding or in Megalong Valley, horse-riding.
At nearby Jenolan Caves, you’ll find an underground wonderland of stalagmites and stalactites where you can enjoy self-guided tours, guide-led tours and adventure caving. Along with the magical limestone caves, you can hike the surrounding bushland on the Jenolan River Walk.
Take a walk in one of the many historic landscaped gardens or visit the sensational cool climate gardens of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah, where you’ll find more than 6,000 different species of plants. The kids will love the garden’s Adventure Quest, a self-guided, hands on tour available daily.
Or simply explore one of the region’s historic towns including Leura, Katoomba, Blackheath, Hartley and Lithgow. You’ll find them filled with cosy cafes and unique shops.
The Blue Mountains is a great destination for families. Here are ten not to be missed things to see and do.
There are plenty of parks and playgrounds to keep little ones busy in the Blue Mountains. Everglades Gardens in Leura have a dedicated program, My Adventure at Everglades, which comes with a workbook, magnifying glass, sculpture trail and garden detective worksheets. The pack was designed by education specialists to help kids aged under six to engage with their surrounds and teach them about heritage conservation.
Wentworth Falls Lake is one of the Mountains most popular and family-friendly parks with its two fantastic playgrounds, loads of green space, picnic and barbecue areas, scooter and bike paths, and plenty of ducks and geese to feed.
The Gingerbread House Cafe is straight out of a fairytale packed with delicious treats, including gingerbread, and there is a huge toddler friendly garden area with a cubby house and a climbing frame to work off all that sugar.
The Blue Mountains is a magical destination for families all year round. A blaze of colour in in autumn, warmed by fireplaces in winter, lush and lovely in spring as its flowers start to bloom, and wonderfully warm in summer, there is something special about each and every season. The warmest weather falls between December to February when temps can get slightly high, and the coolest from June to August when you will need to rug up, especially in the evenings and early mornings.
Thanks in no small part to its popular Yulefest celebrations, which sees the Mountains turned into a Christmassy wonderland, winter is peak tourist season so you will need to book accommodation well ahead to secure family friendly digs. For great weather, stunning colours, more affordable prices and less people, visit between March and May or September and November.
Surrounded by farmland, you can expect good produce and even better food at the Blue Mountains’ many cafes and restaurants that cater for children.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be especially well catered for as there are loads of candy stores, bakeries and chocolate shops. Indulge in a children’s high tea with a view at the historic Hydro Majestic. Enjoy handmade chocolates and steaming mugs of hot chocolate at the Blue Mountains Chocolate Company. Browse the thousands of varieties of sweets, including chocolates, candies and fudges at Hartley’s The Lolly Bug. In Leura, stock up on sweet treats from around the world at The Candy Store. The Gingerbread House, set inside a 100-year-old renovated church in Katoomba, is a haven for families. You’ll find plenty of sweet treats as well as a menu of kid friendly café favourites and a huge outside play area with a cubby house, slide and climbing frame.
March - Blue Mountains Music Festival
A three-day festival of folk, roots and blues music, featuring selected artists from around the world and across Australia.
April - Springwood Foundation Day
You’ll find fun and entertainment for the whole family at this annual celebration.
April - Ironfest
An annual cultural heritage festival in Lithgow celebrating innovation with a metal edge.
April/May – Sculpture at Scenic World
The rainforest of the Blue Mountains will be transformed into a world-class outdoor gallery during this five week art festival.
June - The Winter Magic Festival
The Blue Mountains’ biggest annual event will see musicians, magicians, dancers and performers take over Katoomba.
June, July and August – Yulefest
Enjoy traditional Christmas style celebrations.
October - The Leura Gardens Festival
Enjoy the dazzling spring garden displays.
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