Escape to the country: 48 hours in the Blue Mountains

Photo credit: Dryridge Estate
Photo credit: Dryridge Estate

The Blue Mountains began to boom as a tourist destination about a century ago. Today, the villages dotted around the monumental mountains remain an idyllic playground. Here’s how to spend 48 hours in the Blue Mountains.

9am Breakfast at Lily’s Pad Café

You don’t want to be in the driver’s seat when travelling to the Blue Mountains. You want to be the passenger with your head out the window, mouth agape, transfixed on those views. Pull off the highway and start the day right with breakfast at Lily’s Pad.

10am Join a chocolate making workshop

From valley to valley, village to village you’ll encounter locals who point you toward Josophan’s Fine Chocolates in Leura. Join Josophan’s founder, Jodie Van Der Velden, for a hands-on workshop learning how to make chocolate truffles. 

Noon 1 pm at Miss Lilian Tea House at Lilianfels

The lovely Miss Lilian Tea House at Lilianfels is your ticket to South East Asia. This casual eatery, with its ceiling installation of empty birdcages, is the perfect addition to the Blue Mountains dining scene. Expect everything from snacks to street food at the eatery, named after Sir Frederick Darley’s favourite daughter.

2 pm Bush walk to Sublime Point

One of the very best things about checking into the Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains is that the bush walks nearby are really accessible and away from the hordes of tourists and thickets of selfie sticks. Head to the aptly named Sublime Point, which boasts views of the purple-hued pinnacles and then book in for a treatment at the brand-new UBIKA Spa.

3 pm Explore the wilderness with Scenic World

Don your hiking boots and follow the boardwalk that snakes through the towering gums and connects the various attractions at Scenic World. You can soar above the Heritage-listed national park via the Skyway and Cableway or descend 310m over the edge of a cliff on the Scenic Railway.

6 pm Dinner at Embers at the Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Most guests staying at the Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains have walked up an appetite by dinnertime and chef John Slaughter has this demographic in mind with the Wellbeing Menu. Order the barramundi and broccolini with prawn, spinach and soy broth: it only has 220 calories.

8.30 pm Evening Glow Worm Tour

When night falls, the glow worms come out to play, throbbing on and off like the lights of a Christmas tree. Get up close to the glittering colony in a hidden canyon near Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens on Blue Mountains Glow Worm Tour.


8 am Watch out for Wollomi wonders
Gardening enthusiasts will love the six kilometre round trip from Bob Turner’s Track to the Colo River: the bushwalk winds through areas of forest containing trees once thought to be extinct. Enjoy a post-prandial breakfast of eggs your way alongside the colourful hippie tribes that congregate at the Blackheath General Store.

10 am Bushwalk to Gordon Falls

Download the NSW National Parks app to check out more walking tracks that criss-cross through the Blue Mountains. Gordon Falls is a family-friendly lookout and picnic area offering scenic views of the valley and an inspired opportunity to stretch the legs.

11 am Sample cider at the farmgate

Taste cider from the source at the Bilpin Cider gate. Offering variations of apple and pear ciders, apples have been grown in the region since the mid-1800s. Grab a four-pack of the Bilpin Archibald, a traditional cloudy apple cider. Oenophiles should also veer toward Dryridge Estate in the Megalong Valley;

12 pm Lunch cruise Nepean Belle Paddlewheeler

Tourists have been coming to the Nepean River since the 1880s. One major reason to hop onboard the Nepean Belle Paddlewheeler is to enjoy lunch on the river as the boat chugs its way to the Nepean Gorge, which is estimated to be about 22 million years old.

3 pm Break up the drive home at Cables Wake Park

Adrenalin junkies have tried in vain to keep Cables Wake Park to themselves. Located at the foot of the Blue Mountains, it’s a top spot to stop on the way to or from Sydney. Find a patch of shade to read the Sunday papers while the kids do laps of the Wake Park and get their wiggles out for the remainder of the road trip.



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