The WeekenderTravel

The Weekender: Travel Guide to Blue Mountains, New South Wales

The Weekender Travel Guide to Blue Mountains, New South Wales. Photographed by structuresxx. Image via Shutterstock.

Boasting some of the most spectacular views in New South Wales, a weekend visit to the Blue Mountains is always a good idea.

While it is a vibrant and picturesque part of the world at any time of the year, winter in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains feels like a wonderland. The beauty of the region is its close proximity to Sydney’s CBD, its bewitching weather and, all-in-all, a perfect weekend getaway destination in New South Wales.

How far is the Blue Mountains from Sydney?

The Blue Mountains is approximately a two-and-a-half hour drive west from Sydney’s CBD.

The Best Places to Eat in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales:

Echoes Restaurant and Bar

If your desire is to be perched cliffside while devouring quality food and spectacular drinks, Echoes Restaurant and Bar is your next stop. Featuring a luxurious menu, a jaw-dropping view and an all-round beautiful venue make this restaurant one of the best places to eat at on your visit. Echoes is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is renowned for its modern Australian cuisine with a slight Asian influence. They use fresh, local produce and are proud of their fine dining reputation.


Echoes Restaurant and Bar | 3 Lilianfels Ave, Katoomba, NSW 2780


Leura Garage

Community is at the heart of the Leura Garage, and it works for them. This boutique restaurant is famed throughout Leura for its wine enthusiasm, variety of menu and overall fun atmosphere. The funky decor is reminiscent of your garage at home with a few major upgrades. The inspiring textures and strict “local-only produce” policy creates the ultimate fun dining journey. The food quality is top notch and the service impeccable – what’s to miss?


Leura Garage | 84 Railway Parade, Leura, NSW 2780


The Gingerbread House

The Gingerbread House in Katoomba is set in a beautifully restored 100-year-old former church which opened in 2013 as a new concept in casual food, drink and sweetness. Parties are welcome as well as casual visitors to enjoy breakfast, lunch and, of course, the sweets! The Gingerbread House offers a range of delectable pastries, lollies, gingerbread house kits, ice-cream, chocolates, cakes and more. The unique setting features a magical interior and is perfect for an indulgent coffee and an accompanying sweet.


The Gingerbread House | 56 Waratah St, Katoomba, NSW 2780


The Best Places to Drink in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales:

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa

There is nothing that says winter in the Blue Mountains quite like a high tea at Lilianfels. With the fire going and the tea flowing, the venue is just as beautiful in summer, providing the most English of grand traditions of afternoon high tea whilst being surrounded by plush Victorian armchairs, lounges and charming artworks. The famous high teas are served on a triple-tiered plate and include fluffy scones, petit pastries and finger sandwiches. Offering delectable food, an array of tea and even sparkling wine, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa is a must-visit for any visit to Katoomba.


Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa | 5/19 Lilianfels Ave, Katoomba, NSW 2780


Champagne Charlies

Champagne Charlies is one of the best cocktail bars in Katoomba, offering traditional and contemporary concoctions alongside boutique beers and an extensive wine list. Founded housed inside The Carrington – which originally opened in 1883 but was renamed in 1886 after the Governor of New South Wales, Lord Carrington – today, this bar offers food, accomodation and tippled drinks all in a 19th century setting with 21st century service.


Champagne Charlies | 15-47 Katoomba St, Katoomba, NSW 2780


The Best Things to Do in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales:

Bush Walking

The valleys of the Blue Mountains National Park offer a world-class view that so many travel to see, but why stop at merely admiring? The Blue Mountains is home to an array of tracks and trails, especially around the Three Sisters, that are free to visit, fun and picturesque. If you are after a more curated view, Katoomba Scenic World offers views from skyways, railways, cableways and walkways. On top of this, Wentworth Falls, The Grand Canyon Walk and the Ruined Castle Walk  is well worth a visit too.


Horse Riding

Sometimes it can be more fun to explore from a new perspective, and something that ultimately says ‘a weekend away in the country’ is horse riding. Seeing nature through a different lens and opening up to a new, or familiar, experiences can be an amazing way to spend a holiday. There are a number of farms with over 200 acres of space to ride and investigate in tours ranging from one hour to all day.


Horse Riding | Blue Mountains, NSW


The Candy Store

The Candy Store in Leura is famed to locals and visitors alike. With rows upon rows of delicious lollies, you’ll find it hard to leave! The Candy Store boasts the ‘old, hard to get favourites,’ and worldwide imported candies and chocolate. The Candy Store is a fun and cosy place to stop and shop for your sweet tooth.


The Candy Store | Shop 6/178 Leura Mall, Leura, NSW 2780


The Best Places to Stay in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales:

The Hydro Majestic Hotel

The Hydro Majestic opened in 1904 and has been a must-stay ever since. With five different architectural styles, The Hydro Majestic Hotel is an iconic building in itself and today has become an internationally-recognised accommodation option in the region. The Hydro Majestic is a beautiful, unique hotel with great access to other Blue Mountains destinations. With so much on offer, you’ll never want to leave. Rooms are to suit multiple budgets, visitors can opt for a decadent and modern offering. As well as that, here at the Hydro Majestic you’ll also find high tea, restaurants, cafes, a bar and even a day spa to enjoy.


The Hydro Majestic Hotel | 52-88 Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, NSW 2780


Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley

The Wolgan Valley luxury villas are situated on a 7000-acre nature reserve in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. And when we say luxury, we mean it. The villas are out of this world, quite literally, as they sit in the middle of what appears to be nowhere creating the most ‘getaway’ example of a weekend getaway. There are three different types of villas, all with their own pools and opulent amenities, while the resort also offers wildlife safaris, horse riding adventures and heritage tours. There is onsite dining and a day spa which uses Australia’s exclusive Sodashi skincare line. You may be in the outback, but it will certainly be in style.


Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley | 2600 Wolgan Rd, Wolgan Valley, NSW 2790


Ready to explore more of what Australia has to offer? Start by visiting these Top 10 Unique Getaway Gems to Discover around New South Wales. Love winter? Then you’ll love these Mushroom and Truffle Picking Tours around Australia.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the Dharug Nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

This article was first published on June 26 2018. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on May 20 2021.
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