The Blue Mountains, just over an hour away from Sydney, is a popular destination for day trips, weekends away or indeed family holidays. With spectacular scenery and loads to do, a visit to the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains will fill the whole family with a sense of wonder and adventure.
It might be close to Sydney, but the Blue Mountains feels like a different world! Dramatic cliff faces, canyons, gorges and waterfalls, with world famous scenic icons (The Three Sisters, Jenolan Caves) - there is lots to see and do here in a beautiful environment where you will experience 4 distinct seasons - you may see snow on a cold winter's day, but you'll definitely see colourful autumn foliage and pretty spring flowers. In summer, the Mountains provide a refreshing cool relief to the heat of the city.
Family friendly accommodation is easily found in the Blue Mountains. There are a number of quality hotels, but self-catering options are popular with families here with a huge variety of holiday houses and cottages available.
Got the time and energy to venture further afield? Try venturing further West! Jump in a car and drive for a few hours and you'll discover lots of wonderful country towns. Our favourite is Parkes, about 3 hours drive from the Blue Mountains and home to the famous Parkes Observatory with the enormous telescope ("The Dish") that played a crucial role in man's first footsteps on the moon in 1969. Another family favourite, just over 3 hours from the Blue Mountains, is Dubbo, where you can visit the fantastic safari-park style Dubbo Zoo.
Scenic World - a must do for any visitor to the Blue Mountains, but get there early as it can get busy, especially at weekends or during school holidays. Consisting of a whole host of tourist attractions, highlights include the spectacular Scenic Railway, Cable Car, SkyWay and a raised platform walk through the bush.
Jenolan Caves - unspoilt and mystical, these dramatic caves have been a favourite for families for decades. Best for older kids and their parents, there are a variety of activities from self guided tours to guided tours, adventure caving, night and ghost tours. During school holidays, there are cave tours especially for kids (7-12 years old), and for the more adventurous (minimum 10+) there is the Plughole Tour. Best to pre-book on weekends and during school holidays.
Featherdale Wildlife Park - en route to the Blue Mountains from Sydney, this provides an interactive wildlife experience for the whole family. Cuddle a koala and hand feed a kangaroo at any time of the day.
Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum - great for a rainy day, this Museum has a wonderful collection of antique toys and dolls in a 20th century mansion. There are gardens for the kids to run around in once they get bored inside, with a model railway.
Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah - with plenty of space for kids to run around and burn a bit of energy, these majestic Botanic Gardens are Australia's highest botanic gardens at over 1,000 metres above sea level. As well as space to run around, there is lots to look at, free admission, restaurant, and barbecue sites.
Getting out and about - the amazing environment of the Blue Mountains provides the perfect opportunity for the whole family to enjoy the great outdoors. From bush-walking to horse-riding, there are lots of different ways to see it, just make sure that you do! Get walking maps from the Visitors Centre, or try horse-riding at Megalong Horse Riding Centre (offering everything from pony rides for the littlies, to trail rides for older kids)
Shopping in Leura - mum will love the gorgeous boutiques of Leura Mall, but there is plenty for the rest of the family too with lots of toy shops and family friendly cafes.
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