by Meghan Miner Thursday, June 7, 2018
The Blue Mountains National Park is about 100 kilometers west of Sydney. It is accessible by highway via the M4 Motorway and the Great Western Highway to the gateway towns of Leura, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba. Double-decker trains also run from 4 a.m. to midnight daily from Sydney’s Central Railway Station, stopping in the major mountain towns. Sydney’s international airport is connected directly to the train station by a rail line built in 2001. Alternatively, several bus or “coach” companies offer trips or tours of the Blue Mountains region from Sydney; tickets and information can be found in the kiosks along Circular Quay on Sydney’s harbor. Once you’re in the Blue Mountains region, it’s easiest to get around on foot. The trails are a short walk from most of the downtown areas, and, should you feel like switching towns, the rails are the easiest link between them.
In Katoomba, stay at the Flying Fox Backpackers for an affordable and atmospheric experience complete with nightly bonfires, free mulled wine and tales of the trails from visitors who’ve stayed long enough to become locals. If you’ve got more money to spend and crave more private accommodations, try the Blue Mountains Manor House or the Balmoral Guesthouse, the oldest guesthouse in the Blue Mountains, filled with Victorian-era furnishings. In town there are a number of restaurants and shops, including overpriced outdoor gear shops (a pair of boots can run you more than $300, so bring your own from home or buy them in Sydney).
Wollemi National Park and Hunter Valley are accessible by car from the Blue Mountains via the figure-eight-shaped Greater Blue Mountains Drive. There is no easy public transportation that reaches these regions from the Blue Mountains, but it is possible to take a tour or get a bus from Sydney.
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