If you want to plan a Blue Mountains itinerary for a fantastic day trip or better still, a Blue Mountains itinerary for 2 days to possibly enjoy over a weekend, you’ve come to the right place.
Visiting the Blue Mountains is easily one of the best day trips from Sydney.
So it is worth putting in the time and effort to create a fantastic itinerary when visiting the majestic Blue Mountains.
There are so many places to visit in the Blue Mountains like charming towns including Katoomba and Leura.
The most famous tourist attraction in the Blue Mountains has to be the Three Sisters within the Blue Mountains National Park in Katoomba.
Yep, you definitely need to visit the Three Sisters, especially if it is your first visit to the Blue Mountains.
Then there are other places of interest in the Blue Mountains, including Olympian Rock Lookout, Elysian Rock Lookout, the Giant stairway, Water Nymphs Dell, and Scenic World.
The main question you need to ask yourself when visiting the Blue Mountains is this: Do you want to organize a Blue Mountains one-day itinerary or a fantastic Blue Mountains itinerary for 2 days?
You could stay in the Blue Mountains even longer than that and enjoy yourself. Anywhere from 3 to 5 days is ideal.
But let’s assume you only have a relatively small amount of time to play with.
So here I offer you a great Blue Mountains itinerary for a 1-day trip, plus ideas to create an awesome Blue Mountains itinerary for 2 days.
Once you’re aware of what can be done and the best things to do in the Blue Mountains, all you have to do then is choose or mix and match to create the best Blue Mountains itinerary to your liking.
Blue Mountains Itinerary
I visited the Blue Mountains on a day trip by catching the train from Sydney.
It made things super easy and relaxing, but I suppose going by car does have some advantages, especially if you want to visit the Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum in Faulconbridge since it is quite a walk to get there.
Even so, my experience of catching the train to a few of the different towns in the Blue Mountains turned out great.
So my recommendation would be to catch the train to the Blue Mountains. That is if you don’t mind walking long distances on occasion.
If you do decide to go for a day trip to the Blue Mountains from Sydney, I’m confident you will love it.
The great thing about going on a Blue Mountains day trip is that you’ll still get to visit many fabulous places.
I’ll show you what I did on my fantastic Blue Mountains day trip. Then you’ll have a good idea of what is doable in 1 day.
Having a Blue Mountains itinerary for only one day will probably have you wishing afterward that you should have stayed the night in the Blue Mountains.
That’s why having a Blue Mountains 2-day itinerary is a much better idea.
Staying the night in the Blue Mountains will give you an extra day to go sightseeing.
It will also allow you to go for one or two bush walks in the Blue Mountains.
You could also easily use the extra time in Katoomba, the main town in the Blue Mountains, where there are many things to do.
That’s only for starters. The truth is that are at least twenty great things to do in the Blue Mountains, which means that they can’t all be done in one day.
In this post, I’ll mainly discuss the places I visited in the Blue Mountains in one day.
It will give you a good feel for what could be included in a Blue Mountains 1-day itinerary.
The Blue Mountains in New South Wales possess beautiful waterfalls, numerous hiking trails, stunning views, spectacular rock formations, impressive art galleries, and so much more.
It’s also good to know that the Greater Blue Mountains Area is a World Heritage Site.
So you need to plan things properly if you’re going to visit the Blue Mountains for one day.
Let’s begin by looking at the seven best things to do in the Blue Mountains in one day when you visit by train — all of which I did during my one-day trip to the Blue Mountains.
1. Olympian Lookout in Leura – Blue Mountains
The very first place I went to in the Blue Mountains was the small charming town of Leura.
After I stopped at the railway station in Leura (the stop before Katoomba), I walked down Leura’s charming main street.
Leura has a quaint village feel about it and is one of the suburbs of the Blue Mountains.
The main street is lined with shops and places to eat just like many country towns in Australia. I immediately knew that I wanted to have lunch in Leura.
The main reason why I started my adventure in the Blue Mountains in Leura was because of the town’s strong associations with Greek Gods and Greek mythology.
Olympian Lookout was where I was headed. The lookout is situated on Olympian Rock and offers fantastic views over a section of the Blue Mountains.
The twelve Olympians, aka the Greek Gods, would love this scenic lookout.
Olympian Lookout gave me incredible views straight across the Jamison Valley and out to Mount Solitary.
You can even make out the back of the Three Sisters when looking out from this spot.
Apart from the awesome views, you can also relax on a bench seat within the fenced-off lookout area to ponder over the Greek Gods and the Blue Mountains.
Standing on Olympian Rock almost felt like being initiated into the Blue Mountains club.
Some of you may be wondering:
How the Blue Mountains got their name
The Blue Mountains were called this name due to a blue haze that could be seen over their peaks when viewed from a distance.
The unusual phenomenon occurs because of an extremely dense population of Eucalyptus trees in the Blue Mountains area, which can be seen in some of the photos.
Leaves from the Eucalyptus trees end up secreting oil in the air, which combines with dust particles and water vapor.
Then when sunlight hits, it creates an optical illusion of a blue haze.
I should have taken more notice of it at the time.
How to get to Olympian Lookout
Getting to Olympian Lookout is an easy walk down Leura’s main street (Mall Street).
As you approach the end of the main street, turn left onto Olympian Parade.
Here’s a helpful map of Leura I found on one of the town’s street corners. You can see the location of Olympian Rock at the bottom.
When walking along Olympian Parade, you’ll come across a sign directing you toward Olympian Rock on the right.
You can’t miss it. It only takes a minute to reach the lookout from the street sign.
It’s not like hiking Mount Olympus to get to this lookout. It’s all very flat, so anyone who can walk should be able to visit Olympian Lookout in Leura, no problem.
It takes about 20 minutes to walk to Olympian Rock from the train station.
2. Elysian Rock Lookout
Elysian Rock Lookout is situated to the left side of Olympian Rock and is situated about 100 meters away.
It’s a very quick walk from Olympian Rock to Elysian Rock.
On the way over, you’ll need to walk over a metal footbridge known as Buttenshaw Bridge to get to Elysian Rock from Olympian Rock.
Elysian was considered to be a paradise in Greek mythology.
So technically, once you’ve stepped foot on Elysian Rock, you would have ticked off two major Greek myth attractions in the Blue Mountains in the space of no time at all.
Those two big attractions are Olympian Rock Lookout and Elysian Rock Lookout.
It’s a fantastic way to start a day trip to the Blue Mountains in my opinion.
Meeting the Photography Guy
While I was standing on Elysian Rock, another guy came over to enjoy the stunning views from the lookout.
We started talking, and he told me that he was planning to take some photos there. He was sussing out the place, as he was part of a photography group.
If you’re into photography, the Blue Mountains have so many amazing opportunities to take incredible photos.
I asked him whether he knew anything about Olympus cameras.
The reason why is because the evening before I had taken photos of the Sydney Opera House when it had been lit up in the blue colors of the Greek flag to mark 200 years of Greek independence celebrations.
Actually, now that I think about it, it seems kind of weird.
Here I was in the Blue Mountains asking a guy about my Olympus camera because of concerns I had about my blue Sydney Opera House images.
You can read all about it in my one-day guide to Sydney.
In that post, I show some of the pictures I took of the Sydney Opera House blanketed in bluish Greek flag lighting.
While we were talking, the keen photographer mentioned that the path to the Leura Cascades was closed due to recent landslides.
These cascades are relatively close by (about 700m away), but I didn’t go there after that. I don’t think I would have had the time to visit anyway.
He also asked me whether I planned on visiting Wentworth Falls, another major attraction in the Blue Mountains. I wasn’t sure about that either due to time constraints.
There are many desirable things to do in the Blue Mountains, and you can only do so much in one day.
It was at that precise moment when I realized that I should have stayed for another day in the Blue Mountains. Unfortunately, I couldn’t because I had other plans locked in.
3. Leura Attractions
Olympian Rock Lookout and Elysian Rock Lookout were the main attractions that fuelled my imagination when I visited Leura.
However, I should have also added at least one of the following attractions in Leura to my itinerary.
Gordon Falls Lookout
Gordon Falls Lookout is very close to Elysian Rock. After you leave Elysian Rock, all you need to do is follow the Prince Henry Cliff Walk path towards Gordon Falls Lookout.
I never realized it was so close. It is only 200m away, so it’s definitely well worth a visit.
Leuralla Public Gardens Amphitheatre
One of the best things to do in Leura for romantics would have to include a visit to the Leuralla Public Gardens Amphitheatre.
It is another attraction I could have squeezed into my itinerary, but unfortunately, I missed out on it.
Leura Weddings uses this very scenic spot situated between Elysian Rock and Olympian Rock for marriage ceremonies. I have to say it looks like a winning location.
You should be able to find this special place easyily enough as you head back along Olympian Parade.
When you walk back to Leura’s main street, you’ll come across a road named Elysian Place, which is about halfway between Olympian Rock and Elysian Rock.
Walk down there, and you should be able to find the Greek-style amphitheater.
When I was there, I knew the amphitheater was somewhere in Leura, but I wasn’t sure where to go.
I was happy enough to have stood on Olympian Rock and Elysian Rock, so it didn’t bother me too much.
I really should use my iPhone more to find places, but for some reason, I don’t.
My normal tactic is to hopefully stumble upon places of interest, but that means I often miss out on great stuff. I really don’t understand why I have this poor travel habit.
During this day trip to the Blue Mountains, I missed out on visiting Gordon Falls Lookout and the Amphitheatre in Leura, even though they were very close to my whereabouts.
Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum
As I was making my way back to Leura’s main street (Leura Mall), I noticed a grand historic home at 36 Olympian Parade.
It was the Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum of New South Wales, which also has 12 acres of gardens to enjoy.
I saw a sign out the front indicating a $15 charge for adults and a $5 charge for children to enter.
Everglades House and Gardens
For breathtaking views of the Jameson Valley within beautiful grounds, Everglades House and Gardens is the place to visit.
It would have to be the most beautiful house and garden setting in Leura. Entry fees apply, but I think it would have been worth it.
I think this is a wonderful place to visit in Leura. Everglades House and Gardens also have tea rooms in the 1930s house and courtyard.
You can visit the Leura Cascades on a day trip to the Blue Mountains if you wish, but that will soak up some of your valuable time, which is very precious on a day trip.
Think about it carefully if you do decide to go.
It’s roughly a 700m walk to get to the Leura Cascades Picnic Area from Olympian Rock. You’d then also want to walk around and explore the area.
That’s the problem if you only have one day in the Blue Mountains to play with. It means that you have to miss out on something.
You probably have enough time to squeeze it in, but you may have to rush elsewhere.
Lunch in Leura
When you make your way back into the main street of Leura, grab yourself some lunch.
I went into a bakery and had a tasty pie and a cake.
Get something quick and easy so that you can maximize your time sightseeing in the Blue Mountains.
4. Norman Lindsay Gallery – Blue Mountains
My next point of call was visiting the Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum, where the famous Australian artist lived and worked for over 60 years.
I had wanted to visit for ages mainly because of the movie Sirens. I’m a big fan of the film.
Coming from Leura may not have been the smartest move since the train ride journey went back towards Sydney.
The train took about 40 minutes to get from Leura to Falconbridge, so with waiting times, you could lose 2 hours in the day.
The smarter move is to visit the Norman Lindsay Gallery first.
All up, I probably did lose a couple of hours in the day by visiting Leura first, followed by the Norman Lindsay Gallery.
Lucky for me I didn’t have to wait long when I caught the train at the Leura railway station, as the train came very quickly after my arrival.
When I arrived at Leura, I had one of the train station ladies write down all of the train departure times to help me know when I could catch trains.
I noticed that the trains seemed to depart regularly about an hour apart.
While I was walking along the main street of Leura, I looked at the time and noticed that a train would be leaving in only a few minutes to Faulconbridge, where the Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum is located.
I knew that the next train would leave about an hour later, so I desperately wanted to catch the train coming in the next few minutes.
To make it in time, I had to run frantically for a few hundred meters. I somehow managed to arrive just in the nick of time before it departed.
After arriving at the Faulconbridge railway station, I walked to the Norman Lindsay Gallery.
It was a long walk (about 6.5km), but it didn’t bother me too much. The walk was pleasant enough.
The Norman Lindsay Gallery is a mecca for Greek Goddess lovers. You can read all about it in my Norman Lindsay Gallery Guide.
In my opinion, the Norman Lindsay Gallery is a must-visit destination in the Blue Mountains. The place is in a beautiful location and it is so peaceful there.
Don’t miss visiting the Norman Lindsay Gallery, especially if you enjoy romantic comedy movies with Greek mythology themes. After all, this is where the movie Sirens was filmed.
5. Katoomba – Walk down the main street to the Three Sisters
After that, I visited Katoomba to see the Three Sisters.
You can easily catch a bus in Katoomba’s main street to the Three Sisters, but I highly recommend walking there.
All you need to do is walk down the main street of town which is easy since it is a steep walk downhill. The photo you see here is taken in the other direction, looking up the hill.
As you walk down Katoomba’s main street, you’ll pass by the legendary Paragon Cafe, which has a strong Greek heritage.
I was keeping my eye out for this historical establishment on 63-69 Katoomba Street. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go inside at the time due to its closure for renovations.
The Paragon is also a heritage-listed property. One reason why is due to carvings of classical figures in alabaster which were attached to the maple-wood walls in the main cafe.
The same artist also did the winged horse, Pegasus, high on the Amalgamated Wireless Australia building in Sydney.
The Paragon Cafe was started by Zacharias Simos in 1916. He arrived in Australia at the age of fifteen, after migrating from the Greek island of Kythera in 1912.
What is unbelievable about this place is that many consider it to be the first cafe in Australia.
It was initially known as the Paragon Cafe and Oyster Palace. Then in 1921, the establishment was advertised as a Sundae and Candy Shop.
A chocolate shop resided inside these premises for many years.
It then changed locations in Katoomba, but it took the chocolate brand name with it. They even have a Paragon Waratah chocolate bar. I should have eaten one.
The walk from Katoomba railway station to the Three Sisters is pretty much a downhill walk all the way, so it doesn’t take much effort.
There are plenty of signs pointing out how to get to the Three Sisters.
You won’t get lost, trust me. Just walk down the main street and follow a few of the big signs to the Three Sisters.
Interesting fact: Katoomba comes from the Aboriginal word ‘Kedumba,’ meaning ‘shiny falling water.’
I didn’t visit Scenic World in the Blue Mountains, which was probably the biggest disappointment, mainly because it was too late in the day.
This attraction is quite close to the Three Sisters, and there are signs pointing you there.
By this time of the day, I was getting pretty tired from all the walking around.
The beauty of visiting Scenic World is that you see the Jamison Valley from a bird’s eye view from a Skyway cable car.
You can also take a ride down to the forest floor on one of the world’s steepest railways.
If I ever do go back to the Blue Mountains, visiting Scenic World would definitely be high on my agenda.
6. Three Sisters at Echo Point
The first thing you’ll see on arrival is the huge viewing platform at Echo Point.
There are a couple of viewing platforms at different levels, but the views are pretty much the same from every lookout.
Echo Point is the main platform where visitors congregate to get a view of the Three Sisters.
On the left, you’ll be able to see the Three Sisters, an iconic Australian view. It looked exactly like I expected.
Seeing the Three Sisters would be the last tourist attraction in the Blue Mountains for me during my day trip.
It seemed like a great way to end a day trip to the Blue Mountains, a bit like saving the best for last.
Travel Tip: You can walk to the first stack of the Three Sisters. I didn’t bother to go, but if you have the energy, you may want to see one of the Three Sisters up close.
It will take you about half an hour to get there. I should have gone.
When leaving, you catch the bus back to Katoomba’s main street. The bus stop is right next to the viewing platform. Don’t walk back because that would be too exhausting.
Legend of the Three Sisters
The Three Sisters has a fascinating Aboriginal dream-time legend behind it, which first Australians have passed down through the generations.
Three brothers from the Nepean tribe fell in love with three beautiful young women, Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo, who were part of a Katoomba tribe.
Due to tribal law, the brothers weren’t allowed to marry the young women who lived in the Jamison Valley.
As a result, it angered the men so much that they decided to take them anyway.
The hostility caused a bloody conflict between the two tribes.
A witch doctor decided to help protect the sisters from harm by turning them into stone.
He ended up being killed in the fierce battle, so afterward he couldn’t change them back to flesh, which had been the plan after it was all over. No one else had the power to do it.
The beautiful Three Sisters remain in the Blue Mountains to this day as a solid reminder of the tragic battle between the two tribes.
It’s one of Australia’s most treasured wonders for this reason. Sounds like a tragic Greek myth to me.
7. Dinner in Katoomba
This is no lie. I ate the best sushi rolls ever in Katoomba. They were so big and so fresh.
The Asian food restaurant and takeaway bustled with people lining up for sushi rolls, so I had a good hunch that the food would be tasty.
There are plenty of places to eat and restaurants to choose from in Katoomba.
You even have the option of eating at one of the restaurants close to the Three Sisters.
It is why I would definitely save a trip to Katoomba as the last stop when going on a day trip to the Blue Mountains.
After you finish eating, you can catch the train straight back to Sydney.
The last train to leave Katoomba for Sydney departs at about 9 pm.
It gives you plenty of time to enjoy dinner in Katoomba, so there’s no need to rush.
Blue Mountains Day Trip
The biggest dilemma you’ll probably experience by going on a day trip to the Blue Mountains is knowing that if you spend one day there it probably won’t feel long enough.
Even so, enjoying a Blue Mountains day trip will be a very enjoyable experience.
My day trip adventure to the Blue Mountains turned out fantastic, even though I wish I had stayed for another full day to explore this amazing destination.
It was so good that I’m hoping to go back there one day.
Ideally, staying for 2 days or even 3 days in the Blue Mountains is the way to go.
That said, a one-day itinerary to explore the Blue Mountains is still a fantastic option, so if that’s all the time you have available, go for it.
The information contained here regarding the Blue Mountains should make it much easier for you to plan an awesome day in the Blue Mountains.
It will especially appeal if it is your very first time visiting the Blue Mountains.
Staying in the Blue Mountains for one night
If you’re smart, you may be thinking of staying the night in Katoomba. That is genius!
That way, you can go to Scenic World first thing in the morning, without the maddening crowds. But keep in mind that they will most likely show up soon after.
After visiting Scenic World, you can go and explore another part of the Blue Mountains.
Blue Mountains Itinerary – 2 Days (Weekend)
If you have the luxury of a second day in the Blue Mountains, you may want to visit one or more of the following attractions in the Blue Mountains:
- Govetts Leap Lookout – One of the best lookouts in the Blue Mountains
- Jenolan Caves – go with a tour from Katoomba (otherwise you need a car)
- Red Hands Cave – for Aboriginal rock art
- Katoomba Falls – waterfall circuit track
- Hanging Rock in Blackheath – Popular with Instagrammers
- Hydro Majestic Hotel – for a classic High Tea and spectacular views
Blue Mountains Walks
Here are some more walks you could also do if you have the luxury of a Blue Mountains 2-day itinerary.
This is why a second day in the Blue Mountains is so worth it.
- Wentworth Falls – Water Nymphs Dell (1.8 km trail)
- Jellybean Pool in Glenbrook – if you love the movie Sirens
- Giant stairway walking track – more than 800 steps to the Jamison Valley
- The Grand Canyon Hike – One of the best hikes in the Blue Mountains
Getting to the Blue Mountains by Train
I highly recommend catching the train to the Blue Mountains, which departs from Sydney’s central station.
It will take about 2 hours to get from Sydney to the Blue Mountains by train, whereas if you do decide to go by car, it will only take you about 90 minutes.
Try and catch the train from Sydney Central station to Katoomba by 9 am at the very latest. If you do, then you’ll arrive in the Blue Mountains somewhere around 11 am.
Train stations in the Blue Mountains include Glenbrook, Springwood, Faulconbridge, Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, and Blackheath.
So you can reach all of the main places of interest in the Blue Mountains.
Katoomba Map (Bus Route)
Here is a helpful map of Katoomba and Leura that shows where the buses travel.
Blue Mountains Tips
As you can see there are many things to do in the Blue Mountains in one day.
I hope this helps you out when planning an awesome day trip to the Blue Mountains.
Choosing a 1-day itinerary or a 2-day itinerary when visiting the Blue Mountains is the most important thing to decide on. That second day will make things so much better.
Personally, if I lived in Sydney, I would visit the Blue Mountains at least once or twice a year.
I’d keep on visiting the Blue Mountains on day trips and weekend getaways because there’s so much to see and do in this spectacular area of Australia.
The main places not to miss are the Three Sisters, the Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum, and Olympian Rock in Leura.
You could visit the Blue Mountains on the weekend but visiting during the week, Monday to Friday, may be more peaceful. SO if you do have 2 days to play with you may want to save it for another time and not on the weekend.
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