Ultimate Blue Mountains day trip

Govett's Leap Blackheath

The view from Govett’s Leap

You have one day to check out the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney. What are you going to do?

There are plenty of options at your disposal but here’s some of the best stuff you may not have heard about.

Regardless of whether you drive (it takes about 2 hours to get to Katoomba – a very straight forward process of driving up the Great Western Highway) or catch a CityRail train which drops off at Leura, Katoomba and Medlow Bath, a day trip to the Blue Mountains is loads of fun.

Hydro Majestic High Tea

Western to the left, Eastern to the right

Stop 1: The Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath
Arrive by 11am and you can take the historical tour of the hotel with concierge Patrick Verity (meet at the concierge desk in the Wintergarden lobby). This tour is $10pp and worth every cent as you explore the colourful history of this heritage property. After your tour, retire to the Wintergarden for High Tea. Choose from the Western high tea (all the hits, including particularly lovely scones) or an Eastern high tea, complete with dumplings.

Stop 2: Katoomba
Pop into Carrington Cellars to pick up some locally made wine and snacks for later (make sure you take the time to snoop around the Carrington Hotel – it’s a glorious example of a beautifully restored heritage property). Continue on down Katoomba St, explore the antique shops and then keep on walking for about 20 minutes (or drive) until you get to the Three Sisters lookout (you will need to turn into Lurline St and walk past Echoes Boutique Hotel). This is a top spot to open that bottle and have a little picnic overlooking one of the most iconic views in Australia. There is also a short bushwalk you can take that goes off to the left of the lookout.

Everglades gardens Leura

One of the terraces at Everglades

Stop 3: Everglades Historic House and Gardens, Leura
This Art Deco house and garden, designed by Danish landscaper Paul Sorenson, is really worth a look. The former home of the son of a Belgian diplomat has all the hallmarks of eccentricity. From the especially high shower head (Mr van de Velde was 6.4m tall), to the indoor squash court and steam room, it’s fun to see how people with money indulge their whims. There is a tearoom in the house that serves light lunches and morning and afternoon teas, but the garden is the real hero here. With terraces devoted to specific species, mass plantings of bulbs and a curious man-made stream, waterfall and grotto, it’s a wonderful place to lose yourself for an hour or two. Entry is $13pp and you will need to catch a cab from the Leura train station if you are not driving as it’s a bit of a hike.

Stop 4: Leura Garage, Leura
After a stroll along Leura’s main street (think candles, craft, homewares and an English lolly shop), head to the main attraction: Leura Garage (you may want to make a reservation – it gets crazy in there). The menu is designed to be shared and is decidedly excellent (it’s at this point you may wish you hadn’t driven).

Other things to consider:
This guide has been designed as a day trip. If you have more time, stick around and check these out:

Govett’s Leap lookout and bushwalks, Blackheath
Darley’s Restaurant at Lilianfels, Katoomba
Palette Dining, Katoomba
– The Brahma Kumari retreat, Leura

 

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