Scenic World Blue Mountains is an enchanting destination that showcases the natural wonders of Australia’s iconic Blue Mountains region. Nestled in Katoomba, New South Wales, Scenic World is rated a top “things to do” while staying in Sydney and offers visitors an unforgettable experience surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, thrilling attractions, and unparalleled beauty. In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual journey to explore the wonders of Scenic World Blue Mountains and provide essential information for planning your visit.
When planning your trip, make sure to get there early. Scenic World 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, so we arrived much later than we had planned and could not avoid the crowds. 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 stay 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.
You can take the trams as often as you want, but the crowds can add hours to the queues, so plan accordingly.
Opening in 1958, the Scenic Skyway glides between two cliffs of the Blue Mountains, over Jamison Valley. From the Skyway 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.
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.
This Swiss-made, 2017 Skyway cable car carries around 84 passengers every 10 minutes.
Once you cross over on the Skyway, you can take a path down to view two portions of Katoomba Falls.
Prince Henry Cliff Walking 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 to Gordon Falls and is considered one of NSW’s best scenic walks. Taking 3-4 hours to complete this walk, stick to the lookouts close to Scenic World.
The Scenic Railway: A Thrilling Descent into Nature’s Wonderland
At Scenic World, you can embark on an unforgettable adventure aboard the Scenic Railway, the steepest passenger railway in the world. Originally built to serve the Katoomba coal mines, this railway has been operating for tourists since 1945. As you descend into the lush rainforest, hold on tight for an adrenaline-filled journey through breathtaking scenery. Plunge over 1000 feet, with a 128% incline, through a cliff tunnel from the Scenic Railway.
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.
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 to stabilize yourself, so you don’t fall forward.
Speakers projecting the theme song from Indiana Jones added an extra touch to our thrilling ride. Once correctly positioned with my knees against the padded bar, I immensely enjoyed 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 do 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.
This thrilling experience allows you to appreciate the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains from a unique perspective.
The Scenic Walkway: Immerse Yourself in Nature’s Wonderland
This 1.5 miles elevated board walkway along the cliffs to the Jamison Valley floor. Expect different pathways and stairs to climb up and down. Wear good walking shoes. There are signs posted to direct your adventure as you wander under the canopies of a lush rainforest. If you choose to skip the Scenic Walkway, it is a short 10-minute walk between the Railway and Cableway Stations.
Picnic tables are located along the route if you need to rest or eat a snack.
The native birdlife can be heard chirping throughout the rainforest walkway. These colorful birds add beauty to the natural surroundings.
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.
The Cableway ride was our least favorite at Scenic World. Next time, we will take the railway back up to the 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.
- 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.