Scenic World Blue Mountains

nsw scenic world skyway blue

Scenic World is located in the the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. It is rated a top “things to do” while staying in Sydney. When planning your trip, make sure to get there early. This is a popular destination for tour companies out of Sydney and progressively becomes more crowded as the day goes on.  It should take about 1.5 hours to get to Scenic World from downtown Sydney, but make sure someone didn’t accidentally change your Google Maps settings to “avoid freeways”. Doing that will take you on a 2.5 hour route. Yes, that’s what happened to us. Avoiding the crowds wasn’t something we were able to take advantage of. The train is another option from Sydney to Scenic World.

Planning Your Day at Scenic World

When you arrive at Scenic World, there are two lines: ticket purchases and pre-purchased tickets. Unless you like waiting in lines, it is wise to pre-purchase your tickets online to wait in the shorter queue. At the counter, a friendly employee will talk you through options for your self-guided tour and help you map out your day. Itinerary suggestions are as follows; family fun, nature lover, great round walk, photography fiend, waterfall walk, couples escape, or adventure.

nsw scenic world map
Map of Scenic World given to us with recommendations for exploring the “adventure” itinerary.

You can take the trams as often as you want, but the crowds can add hours to the queues, so plan accordingly.

Scenic Skyway

Opening in 1958, the Scenic Skyway glides between two cliffs of the Blue Mountains, over Jamison Valley. You will get spectacular views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, and Mount Solitary. Journey for about a half mile, 886 feet above the valley floor. It is the largest aerial cable car in the southern hemisphere.

nsw scenic world skyway station
The Skyway cables stretch across two peaks of The Blue Mountains.

If heights are a thrill, there is an electro-glass floor in the center of the cable car. The rainforest canopy is revealed under your feet once the car is in motion. You will get dramatic glimpses from every direction while taking this journey.

nsw scenic world skyway inside
Inside the Skyway cable car, there is a platform down the center to stand on. Once the cable car is in motion, the glass clears, showing breathtaking views below.
nsw scenic world skyway below
Clear platform for viewing below the Skyway cable car.

This Swiss made, 2017 Skyway cable car, carries around 84 passengers every 10 minutes.

nsw scenic world skyway view
Views from inside the Skyway cable car.

Once you cross over on the Skyway, you can take a path down to view two portions of Katoomba Falls

nsw scenic world waterfall walk
While exploring at the Skyway’s East Station, you can take stairs down the the top portion of Katoomba Falls.
nsw scenic world waterfall top
The top portion of Katoomba Falls is a perfect spot to take pictures and explore.

Take a walk on the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. These paths take you from Skyway’s East Station to Echo Point and the Three Sisters. Enjoy sounds of the nearby trickling freshwater streams and birds singing their songs from the trees. This walk stretches between Katoomba Cascades all the way to Gordon Falls and is considered one of the best scenic walks in NSW. Taking 3-4 hours to complete this walk, stick to the lookouts close to Scenic World.

nsw scenic world waterfall boardwalk
The boardwalk paths are garnished with lush trees and plants. Walk along this path for stunning views of the Blue Mountains after viewing Katoomba Falls.

Scenic Railway

Originally built to serve the Katoomba coal mines, this railway has been operating for tourists since 1945.

Plunge over 1000 feet, with a 128% incline, all while taking in the views through a cliff tunnel from the Scenic Railway. This is the steepest passenger railway in the world.

Choose your level of adventure by adjusting your seated position up to 20°. Choose the “original” at 52°, cliffhanger’s” 64° incline, or “laidback” for a more relaxed journey.

nsw scenic world train station
The world record holder for steepest passenger train rail is located at Scenic World for all to enjoy. Once boarding, you customize the position of your seats for the experience.
nsw scenic world steep train
Take a ride on the Guinness Book of World Records ‘steepest passenger railway’ while visiting Scenic World. With the train’s adjustable seating, the standard 52° incline becomes 64° for a more adventurous journey to the Jamison Valley floor.

Our family loves to experience unique and original adventures. As soon as we found out this is the “steepest” track, we were game to take a ride. Inside the car, we had to adjust our long legs and head height by crunching down. Be prepared. Once the railway is in motion, it starts descending quickly. There is a padded bar in front of your knees. Make sure you place your knees against this bar in order to stabilize yourself so you don’t fall forward.

nsw scenic world train space
Inside the train car, space is limited. So whether you squeeze in or slide around, hang on for an unexpected adventure.
nsw scenic world train view
Views from inside the train, through the cliff tunnel, while descending down to the valley floor.

Speakers projecting the theme song from Indiana Jones added an extra touch to our thrilling ride. Once properly positioned with my knees against the padded bar, I was able to greatly enjoy the experience. If you are tall, make sure you pick a seat that has a clear window above and behind your head. Once descending and the incline changes, so does your view. Our sons had a metal beam right in front of their faces and had to lean over even more to catch a glimpse.

nsw scenic world train three sisters
You can see the “three sisters” rock formation as you descend to the Jamison valley rain forest
nsw scenic world train tracks
The Scenic Railway was originally built to service the Katoomba mines. Here is a view of the tracks from the boardwalk.

Scenic Walkway

Adventure through this boardwalk under the canopies of a lush rainforest. This 1.5 mile, planked walkway is elevated along the cliffs to the Jamison Valley floor. Expect different pathways and stairs to climb up and down. Wear good walking shoes. Signs are posted to direct your adventure. If you choose to skip the Scenic Walkway, it is a short 10 minute walk between the Railway and Cableway Stations.

nsw scenic world expolore mines
Along the boardwalk near the valley floor, you will explore and learn about the early history of Katoomba and it’s working mines.
nsw scenic world mines
Preserved coal mines located at Scenic World.
nsw scenic world boardwalk mines
Get a history lesson while enjoying the Scenic Walkway. Or hop on to the scale bronze horse and miner statue.

Picnic tables are located along the route if you need to rest or eat a snack.

nsw scenic world steep paths
The Scenic Walkway is built on the side of the mountain near the valley floor. Be prepared and plan to navigate the steep paths as you venture down or up.
nsw scenic world view from below
Rich and vibrant colors embedded in nature surround you while strolling through the valley floor.

The native birdlife can be heard chirping all throughout the rainforest walkway. These colorful birds add beauty to the natural surroundings.

nsw scenic world bird
Enjoy the songs and calls of wildlife as they soar above or hop on branches near by.

Scenic Cableway

From the bottom of the valley floor you can take the Scenic Cableway back up to the Top Station. This 1/3 of a mile cable ride is pretty smooth until you crossed over a tower with a slight bump. We had the best views of Orphan Rock from the car.

nsw scenic world cableway station
View of the Scenic Cableway cable path. This journey from bottom to top is less extreme than the Railway.
nsw scenic world cableway interior space
Inside the cableway car are floor to ceiling windows. With so much to view, the boys helped point things out.
scenic world cableway car
Enclosed cableway car at Scenic World.
nsw scenic world cableway view
More views from Scenic World Cableway car.

The Cableway ride was our least favorite at Scenic World. Next time, we will take the Railway back up to top. At the Top Station, you can enjoy restaurants, shopping, or use refreshment rooms. Free parking is located near the Scenic World Top Station. Public access vehicles are also available there.

nsw scenic world sign
Scenic World, located in NSW’s Blue Mountains, takes viewing nature to a new level of adventurous ways.

Tips:

  • Purchase tickets in advance online.
  • Arrive early to get ahead of the large bus tours.
  • Bring sunblock, wear good walking shoes and be prepared for walking boardwalks and climbing stairs.
  • Bring a high quality digital camera to capture breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains.
  • If you are nervous about heights, ask the employees questions to calm your worries. They were willing to help me and were very patient.

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