June 29, 2020 / By Rosie Stevens
Want to spend some quality time together as a family but keen to avoid the cries of “are we there yet?” Well, the Blue Mountains is the perfect choice for a day trip or weekender, located just 90-minutes drive from Sydney.
Whether it’s the great outdoors, family-friendly attractions or simply some fresh air and gorgeous scenery you’re looking to experience, the Blue Mountains has it all. Here are my top picks to check out on your next trip to the Blue Mountains.
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government websites and directly with each business before you travel.
What to do
A must-see in the Blue Mountains for people of all ages is a visit to the Jenolan Caves. A true natural wonder, the caves are one of the most spectacular cave formations in the world; a limestone labyrinth carved by pure underground rivers.
Once you’ve explored the caves, you can then enjoy the stunning surrounds of the area by taking a walk along the ultra-scenic Jenolan River Track. The route takes visitors past the iconic Blue Lake — a waterhole beneath the Grand Arch that is renowned for the vibrancy of its colour and resident platypus. Kids will be mesmerised!
Another icon of the area, no visit to the Blue Mountains is complete without a trip to see the infamous Three Sisters. The walk offers some of the most quintessential views of the region, and is an easy, sub-1km walk that’s perfect for doing with kids.
The Three Sisters are an important part of Aboriginal history, so a visit to see them is also the perfect way to engage your youngsters in important conversations surrounding indigenous history.
An excellent way to experience the Blue Mountains with kids, there are four epic attractions at Scenic World in Katoomba and each one promises gorgeous views of the region and a whole lot of fun while you’re at it!
Discover the thrill of a 52° (128%) incline in open terrain by riding the steepest passenger railway in the world aboard the Scenic Railway, or glide between cliff tops with panoramic views of World Heritage landscapes on the Scenic Skyway. This 720-metre journey provides the best views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, Mount Solitary and Jamison Valley.
Alternatively, experience walking under the canopy of pristine rainforest on the Scenic Walkway— 2.4 kilometres of elevated boardwalk. Walks of varying lengths are clearly signposted – from a 10 minute stroll between the Cableway and Railway stations, to a full hour trip.
Lastly, you can try the Scenic Cableway—where the fully enclosed cabin offers a truly unique vantage point for viewing iconic rock formations. Passing closely by sheer sandstone cliffs, it showcases the unmissable geology and geomorphology of the World Heritage region.
Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
If you’re looking for somewhere for little ones to blow off some steam, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is the perfect spot for kids to roam around! There’s plenty of wildlife, natural areas and garden areas to explore — in fact, the diversity of local fauna includes over 150 species of birds, as well as marsupials, lizards and a variety of colourful insects.
There is wildlife everywhere, which kids will love looking out for! The Garden is also home to hectares of natural woodland and alpine rainforest areas—perfect for little legs to run around in. Entry is free and the paths are mostly pram accessible. There is also a cafe, toilets, gardening shop and BBQ area on site.
If you’re an outdoorsy family looking to fill your lungs with lots of fresh air, there are plenty of family-friendly bush walks to consider in the Blue Mountains.
Birdwood Gully Round Walk at Springwood, Marges and Elizabeth Lookouts at Glenbrook, the Charles Darwin Walk at Wentworth Falls and the Prince Henry Cliff Walk at Katoomba are all well-worth checking out.
Where to eat
The Candy Store, Leura
Ok, ok—not a restaurant but definitely unmissable if you’re in the Blue Mountains with kids! The infamous Candy Store in Leura Mall is full to bursting with everyones favourite sweets, lollies, chocolates and more from around the world. The sugar high might not be pretty, but the joy on their faces will be!
The Gingerbread House, Katoomba
Set in a restored 100-year old church in Katoomba, The Gingerbread House in Katoomba boasts a large outdoor area complete with gingerbread cubby house and slippery dip for kids. The menu offers a plethora of treats like soups, toasties, salads, grazing boards and of course, there’s the sweets. We’re talking cakes, slices, house-baked gingerbread, creaming soda spiders and ultra decadent hot chocolates. Delicious!
A transitional family-friendly Italian with a menu as long as your arm, Papadino in Katoomba is the perfect choice for an easy dinner with kids. There’s pasta, pizza, crepes, steaks, risotto and more, all served up by friendly staff who will make the kids feel extra welcome. Vegan options available.
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