Blue Mountains 1-Day Itinerary: the complete guide

The Blue Mountains is a lush green mountain range, only 1.5-hour drive west of SydneyOpens in a new tab.. With abundant walking trails, spectacular waterfalls, and adorable native wildlife, the Blue Mountains makes an excellent spot for a 1-day city escape from Sydney.

In this article, based on my recent visit, I have put together a detailed 1-Day itinerary for visiting the Blue Mountains. If your schedule permits, you can also expand this itinerary into a multi-day holiday with additional walking trails and attractions around the Blue Mountains (as mentioned in the itinerary below).

Tips: The Blue Mountains is one of Sydney’s most popular weekend destinations. To avoid the crowd, try to plan your visit on weekdays and outside of school holidays.

How to Get to the Blue Mountains

Since the Blue Mountains National Park is only a 90-minute drive from Sydney, many visitors visit the Blue Mountains by car for convenience. With that said, public transport is also a great option when visiting the Blue Mountains from Sydney.

Visit the Blue Mountains By Car

Katoomba is a major town in the Blue Mountains, and it is also the first stop for many visitors visiting the Blue Mountains National Park. Located 100 kilometres west of Sydney, Katoomba is a 90-minute drive from Sydney CBD via toll roads. If you are trying to avoid using toll roads, it will usually add around 30 minutes in a one-way commute.

If you are planning on using the toll roads but still need an E-tag or toll account, you can visit the Linkt websiteOpens in a new tab. to organise one for your travels. A toll calculatorOpens in a new tab. is also available to determine how much each trip will cost.

Once you have driven past Woodford, the drive tends to get very scenic, with lush green mountain tops and picturesque villages. You may also wish to check out the charming little town of Leura before arriving at the buzzing Katoomba. From Katoomba, most walking tracks and lookouts are typically only a short drive away.

There are many car rental companies in and around Sydney if you need to hire a car. From my experience, East Coast Car RentalsOpens in a new tab. and JucyOpens in a new tab. have the best pricing; BudgetOpens in a new tab. and HertzOpens in a new tab. tend to have a lot more pick-up locations and vehicles to choose from.

Visit the Blue Mountains by Public Transport

If driving is out of your consideration, you can still easily visit the Blue Mountains from Sydney via public transport.

Blue Mountains Line is a train service between Sydney and the Blue Mountains. It only takes 2 hours for a one-way ride between Sydney Central Station and Katoomba & stops at popular attractions, such as Wentworth Falls, Leura, and Blackheath. With regular departures and extended operating hours, the train service between Sydney and Katoomba is undoubtedly very convenient for people visiting the Blue Mountains.

You can pay for the train rides using an Opal Card or a credit/debit card (contactless payment option required). A train ride between Sydney and Katoomba is currently AUD 9.31 during peak hours & AUD 6.51 off-peak (February 2023). This makes it very affordable to visit the Blue Mountains instead of car hire.

Once you have arrived at Katoomba (or Leura, if preferred), you can take a local bus to popular attractions, such as Echo Point Lookout, Katoomba Falls, and Scenic World.

If interested, a double-decker Blue Mountains Explorer BusOpens in a new tab. is also available to take visitors directly to over 30 popular attractions around Katoomba, Leura, and the Blue Mountains National Park. This hop-on & hop-off bus tour is currently AUD 49 per adult (February 2023) & valid for an entire day. It can be a fantastic way to get acquainted with the Blue Mountains.

Where to Park in the Blue Mountains

Since Echo Point Lookout is undoubtedly the most famous and popular attraction in the Blue Mountains, parking at Echo Point Lookout comes at a cost. I remember it was around AUD 4 per hour to park at Echo Point Lookout when I visited. Free off-street parking was available on nearby side streets, but most have a time limit. If you are only planning to visit the lookout, it should be fine, but if you are considering a hike from Echo Point, you may need to find an alternative parking option.

From my experience, the best parking option was at Scenic World, where I found plenty of suitable free parking spots. The only thing to note is this car park closes at 7 pm daily, so you will need to make sure your car is out of the gate before 7 pm.

Alternatively, you can also find free parking spots at Katoomba Falls Reserve. It is also within walking distance of Echo Point Lookout, Katoomba Falls, Scenic World, and various walking tracks.

Where to Stay in the Blue Mountains

Since the Blue MountainsOpens in a new tab. is a popular getaway for Sydneysiders and visitors alike, you can typically find a good selection of accommodation options, from affordable dorm roomsOpens in a new tab. to luxury retreatsOpens in a new tab.. There is something to suit everyone.

Among the popular towns within the Blue Mountains, I highly suggest you stay in either KatoombaOpens in a new tab. or LeuraOpens in a new tab. during your visit to the Blue Mountains. This way, you will be close to a range of famous Blue Mountains lookouts and walking tracks, with the convenience of local shops and restaurants.

Scenic World Discovery Pass

Scenic World Discovery Pass is an unlimited one-day passOpens in a new tab. for visitors to obtain a more thrilling experience and capture some unique views of the Blue Mountains. It consists of a Scenic Skyway that glides over the incredible Jamison Valley; the world’s steepest Scenic Railway to take you deep into Jamison Valley; a Scenic Walkway through the beautiful rainforest on the floor of Jamison Valley; a Scenic Cableway for a close-up inspection of the sandstone escarpment of the Blue Mountains.

The cost of a Scenic World Discovery Pass is AUD 49.9 per adult (February 2023). You can take these rides as many times as you wish throughout the day. It is an excellent addition to a scenic trip to the Blue Mountains & can also save you some walking time between certain attractions.

My favourite part of using the Scenic World Discovery Pass is taking the Scenic Skywalk across Jamison Valley. It provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the lush green rainforest and sandstone cliff face of the Blue Mountains. It also offers a full view of the cascading Katoomba Falls, which is only visible via Scenic Skyway or helicopter rides. This view of Katoomba Falls alone is already well worth the cost of a Discovery Pass.

Since I visited the Blue Mountains with a Scenic World Discovery Pass, this Blue Mountains day trip itinerary will include the use of the Scenic Walkway, Railway, and Cableway. If you are not interested in obtaining a Discovery Pass, you can also reach all the attractions on this itinerary by walking or by car.

Blue Mountains 1-Day Itinerary

To get the most out of your Blue Mountains day trip, leave Sydney early in the morning so you can have more time to explore the Blue Mountains. If possible, try to leave Sydney before 7 am. This is especially true if you are driving to the Blue Mountains.


Katoomba is a charming country town located in the heart of the Blue Mountains. It is also only a short drive away from many Blue Mountains landmarks, such as Echo Point Lookout, Katoomba Falls, and Wentworth Falls.

As the largest township in the Blue Mountains and a busy tourist town, you can find a range of shops and restaurants in Katoomba, especially along its buzzing main street, Katoomba Street. There are also a few interesting antique stores along Katoomba Street, which can be great fun to check out.

With many delicious bakeries and cafes along Katoomba Street, make sure you grab a coffee and a bite in Katoomba before heading into Blue Mountain National Park. You can also find Coles, Woolworths, and ALDI here in Katoomba if you need to stock up on water and snacks before the hike.

Scenic World

Scenic World is not an attraction but a vital transiting hub when visiting the Blue Mountains with a Scenic World Discovery Pass. Although a Scenic World Discovery Pass is optional when visiting the Blue Mountains, I highly recommend it to any first-time visitors.

Scenic World makes a great spot to park your car before exploring the surrounding walking tracks. It is also an excellent place to recharge after a long hike with its well-maintained amenity rooms and cafe. Storage lockers are available at Scenic World, which can be handy if you want to offload some baggage before your hike.

Within Scenic World, visitors can find a couple of lookout platforms overlooking the beautiful Jamison Valley. Make sure you check them out as well when in Scenic World.

Cliff View Lookout

From Scenic World, you will board Australia’s highest cable car, Scenic Skyway, to glide over the stunning Jamison Valley to reach Cliff View Lookout, on the opposite side of Jamison Valley.

Scenic Skyway is a 720 metres journey across Jamison Valley. It provides an unparalleled panoramic view of the lush green Jamison Valley, the sheer cliffs of Mount Solitary, the steep cascading Katoomba Falls, and the Blue Mountains’ most famous landmark, Three Sisters Rock. Hanging at 270 metres in the sky, you can also admire Jamison Valley’s rainforest canopy through Scenic Skyway’s glass cabin floor.

A oneway ride along the Scenic Skyway only takes around 5 minutes, but you can take the ride back and forth as many times throughout the day with your Discovery Pass. The Scenic Skyway is also wheelchair and pram accessible, so it can be an excellent option for everyone to gain a breathtaking view of the Blue Mountains’ best landmarks.

Once you have arrived at Scenic Skyway’s East Station, Cliff View Lookout will be easily located just beneath the station platform. If you are visiting without a Scenic World Discovery Pass, you can walk over to Cliff View Lookout from the Scenic World via Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Along this walk, you can also find some platforms overlooking Jamison Valley (covered later in this article). This walk takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level.

Located just below the Skyway station building, Cliff View Lookout offers another peak of the Jamison Valley and a great lookout platform to watch the Scenic Skyway gliding through Jamison Valley. From Cliff Point Lookout west, you can follow Prince Henry Cliff Walk to visit Katoomba Falls up close and back to Scenic World. From Cliff Point Lookout east, you can follow Prince Henry Cliff Walk to visit Echo Point Lookout and beyond.

For this itinerary, we will head east along Prince Henry Cliff Walk from Cliff Point Lookout to check out the views at Lady Darley’s Lookout before arriving at the famous Echo Point Lookout. This walk will likely take around 20 to 30 minutes, depending on fitness level.

Echo Point Lookout

Echo Point Lookout is the most famous and popular vantage point in the Blue Mountains. It is not hard to tell why.

From Echo Point Lookout, you will have an unobstructed view of the expansive Jamison Valley and beyond, with the iconic Three Sisters Rock nestled on your left. The views from here are simply awe-inspiring and mesmerising. It is undoubtedly a must-visit spot in the Blue Mountains.

Since Echo Point Lookout is often populated with visitors, it can get crowded during peak visiting hours. However, there is another lookout only a few minutes east, Spooner Lookout. It can be accessed from just behind the visitor centre & can be a great alternative if you are after a more private view.

Echo Point Lookout is the starting point of various walking tracks. You can continue along Prince Henry Cliff Walk to check out Leura Cascade or head down the Giant Stairway for a selection of walking trails within Jamison Valley.

For this itinerary, we will head down to the Giant Stairway to admire the Three Sisters up close and explore the Jamison Valley through its beautiful walking trails. Make sure you use the restrooms at Echo Point Lookout before continuing with this itinerary, as it will be the last one you see before arriving at Katoomba Falls Reserve or Scenic World.

Three Sisters

From Echo Point Lookout, there is a short 10-15 minute track, the Three Sisters Walk, for visitors to get an intimate view of the Three Sisters at Honeymoon Bridge. Although not a flat walk and with some stairs towards the end, the Three Sisters Walk is relatively easy and should be suited to most visitors.

The Three Sisters are three adjacent towering sandstone formations standing above 900 metres tall in the beautiful Jamison Valley. Apart from how spectacular they appear, they are also significant to the local Aboriginal culture.

Honeymoon Bridge is a wooden bridge connecting the end of Three Sisters Walk to the first of the Three Sisters for a unique view of these iconic sandstone formations. However, due to natural erosion and overuse, access to the Three Sisters via Honeymoon Bridge was already closed when I visited in October 2022. With that said, the views of the Three Sisters were still quite impressive, even without getting onto the bridge. I highly suggest you check it out as well.

Giant Stairway

From Honeymoon Bridge, we will continue our descent to the floor of Jamison Valley via the Giant Stairway.

The Giant Stairway is a set of over 900 metal and stone steps carved into a rocky cliff face, connecting the Three Sisters Walk to the floor of Jamison Valley. Along the sharp descent of Giant Stairway, you can also obtain some spectacular views of the Three Sisters and the impressive Jamison Valley.

Although named the Giant Stairway, the steps along this walk are certainly not giant in width. These steps are very narrow, making them very difficult to climb. Since the Giant Stairway was initially completed almost 100 years ago, some stone steps have gotten quite slippery, especially when wet, making them even harder to climb. So make sure you are wearing the correct attire on this day trip.

With that said, the Giant Stairway is easier to climb than many people might have thought. As long as you don’t have many health issues affecting your mobility or exercise tolerance, most visitors should be ok. Just make sure you take as many breaks as needed to recuperate.

For me, a one-way descending walk only took about 25 minutes, with breaks here and there. I did not head back up from the same route, but it definitely will be harder to climb back up to Echo Point from the base of the Giant Stairway. FYI: I’m female with an average fitness level.

Federal Pass

From the base of the Giant Stairway, you can then join the Federal Pass to head back to Scenic World. For many people, this track is also a great way out of the misery of climbing back up via the Giant Stairway.

Federal Pass is a relatively easy track, tucked at the base of the Three Sisters and the rocky cliffs along Jamison Valley. With winding creeks and beautiful waterfalls along the walk, it is a very scenic break after your sharp descent via the Giant Stairway.

Towards the last 10-15 minutes walk along Federal Pass, you will cross a metal bridge located at the base of Katoomba Falls. Since Katoomba Falls is a multi-tiered waterfall, you will not be able to view the entire fall from this angle, but it is still a beautiful place to take a quick break to admire this nature’s masterpiece.

Not long after you have walked past Katoomba Falls, you will come to an intersection where you can decide if you wish to hike back up to Scenic Skyway East Station by walking up Furber Steps or head over to Scenic World Railway Station at the base of Jamison Valley.

For people opposed to climbing up another set of stairs, taking the short walk to Scenic World Railway Station can be your best bet. From Scenic World Railway Station, you can either take the world’s steepest passenger train back to Scenic World or check out the Scenic Walkway before taking a Scenic Cableway back to Scenic World. The walk along Federal Pass between the base of the Giant Stairway and Scenic World Railway Bottom Station only takes less than 1 hour, in my experience, and it should be well-tolerated by most visitors.

If you still have some energy left, I highly suggest taking Furber Steps to head back to Scenic World instead. Furber Steps is a set of 900-plus steps connecting the floor of Jamison Valley to Round Walk and Prince Henry Cliff Walk along the clifftop. Although it will be a heart-pumping climb, you will find many breathtaking vantage points along the walk to view the mesmerising Katoomba Falls and Jamison Valley.

For this itinerary, we will take the scenic walk along Furber Steps to Katoomba Cascades and Scenic Skyway East Station before taking the Skyway back to Scenic World.

Katoomba Falls

Katoomba Falls is a picturesque cascading waterfall between Echo Point and Scenic World. It starts from the beautiful Katoomba Cascades before plunging deep into Jamison Valley and becoming a majestic waterfall.

During your walk along Furber Steps, there will be various lookouts to view Katoomba Falls from many angles. Along the clifftop, you can also obtain a bird’s eye view of Katoomba Falls via different lookouts along Round Walk and Prince Henry Cliff Walk. However, due to its long drop, it is impossible to get a full view of Katoomba Falls on land, so be sure to check out the spectacular view of Katoomba Falls during your ride along the Scenic Skyway.

With that said, the various lookouts along the clifftop are still worth checking out for a different perspective of the Katoomba Falls and Jamison Valley. Make sure you also check out the beautiful Katoomba Cascades along Prince Henry Cliff Walk.

Scenic Walkway

After returning to Scenic World via Scenic Skyway, we will take full advantage of the Scenic World Discovery Pass to check out the exclusive Scenic Walkway.

Scenic Walkway is an elevated boardwalk in a moss-covered rainforest on the floor of Jamison Valley, between the bottom station of Scenic Railway and Scenic Cableway. Home to a range of ancient native flora and fauna, this flat boardwalk makes a perfect stroll for all ages to enjoy.

Among the different walking tracks on Scenic Walkway, you can spend as little as 10 minutes or up to 1 hour along the Scenic Walkway. Make sure you have used the restrooms at Scenic World before heading down via either Scenic Railway or Scenic Cableway, as there are no restroom facilities within the valley.

Since both Scenic Railway and Scenic Cableway can take you between Scenic World and Scenic Skywalk, it is up to you to decide how to get to and from the Scenic Walkway. I suggest heading down to Scenic Walkway via the Scenic Railway, for some adrenaline kick, before catching Scenic Cableway to ascend back to Scenic World with a thrilling view of the Orphan Rock.


Leura is one of the most beautiful townships in the Blue Mountains. Located just outside the Blue Mountains National Park and adjacent to Katoomba, Leura is a convenient spot to stop by & grab a bite after a long hike within the national park.

Leura is home to a range of delightful cool-climate gardens, which are even more stunning during the Spring months. Its main street, Leura Mall, is super picturesque, with a middle strip lined with beautiful cherry trees, which come to full blooms around mid-September and early October each year.

Along Leura Mall, you can locate a range of popular eateries offering numerous fabulous food options. There are also a few interesting boutique shops along Leura Mall for visitors to enjoy some retail therapy after a long hike.

Not far from Leura Mall, visitors can enjoy some impressive views of Jamison Valley via various lookouts along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. A range of walking tracks is also available near Leura, such as the Pool of Siloam. These lookouts and walking trails will make an excellent itinerary if you have an additional day to explore the Blue Mountains.

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls is a spectacular 3-tiered waterfall with a drop of 187 metres. It is a short drive from Katoomba & can be easily accessed by bus from Katoomba or Leura.

Right next to the parking lot for Wentworth Falls, visitors can easily find an impressive lookout platform, Jamison Lookout, offering a breathtaking view of the expansive Jamison Valley and Mount Solitary. Just a short 5-minute walk along a flat paved footpath from Jamison Lookout, you will find another superb lookout, Wentworth Falls Lookout, for a magnificent view of Wentworth Falls.

If interested, make sure you follow one of the walking tracks near the car park to check out Wentworth Falls up close.

For the best views, I recommend you check out Fletchers Lookout, a cliff-edge lookout with a good view of Wentworth Falls from above. A return walk between the car park and Fletchers Lookouts takes about 40 minutes on average.

If you prefer a shorter and easier walk, try to check out Princes Rock Lookout instead. With an easy 20-minute return walk from the car park, you can obtain a full view of the spectacular Wentworth Falls at the Princes Rock Lookout.

Longer and more challenging walks are available around Wentworth Falls if you have enough time and are up for the challenge. But you will likely need another day in the Blue Mountains to complete these walks.

Alternative Blue Mountains Day Trip Options

The Blue Mountains is home to many walking tracks and scenic lookouts. Visitors can also find numerous unique restaurants and cafes within the Blue Mountains. Hence, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Blue Mountains.

The 1-day Blue Mountains itinerary I have just provided you is a great way to see the highlights of the Blue Mountains and taste what the Blue Mountains offer. However, there is a fair bit of hiking involved during this itinerary. If you prefer a relatively chilled day without too much walking involved, skip the walking trails mentioned and only check out the lookouts using Scenic World Discovery Pass and the double-decker Blue Mountains Explorer BusOpens in a new tab. instead.

Another alternative is to join a Guided Blue Mountains Tour, so you can pick the trip you prefer and let someone else organise everything for you. Here is a list of these tours, which you may find interesting.

Watch this Blue Mountains Day Trip Itinerary on YouTube

Bec's Travel Itinerary

I'm passionate about travel. I would like to use this platform to share my travel experiences. Please support me by subscribing to this blog. You can also find more travel related contents on my YouTube channel and Instagram. Thank you :)

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