Hi, and thanks for stopping in to find out a bit more about the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus!
We're here to help you explore the Blue Mountains World Heritage wilderness your own way. Our Hop-on Hop-off service combines the ease and convenience of a tour, the freedom of having your own transport – and the unique personal welcome of having an old friend show you around.
Our satisfaction guarantee
I'm so confident that we provide the best possible way to see the Blue Mountains that I personally guarantee it. If for any reason you don't feel we've given you a fun, convenient, informative and great-value experience, you can write to me and I'll make things right for you. - Jason, Managing Director
Stop touring. Start exploring!
We created the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus to fix everything that’s wrong with the standard Blue Mountains day tours.
Like a tour, we take you to all the most important viewpoints, waterfalls and tourist attractions. But instead of rushing you from one place to the next, we give you complete freedom to explore at your own pace.
With buses running every 30 minutes, the Explorer Bus makes it easy to get to famous landmarks like the Three Sisters, Scenic World and Leura Cascades. We pick up at many of the best hotels and restaurants in Katoomba and Leura, and our big red buses are a welcome sight to weary walkers returning from hikes in the stunning Blue Mountains National Park.
A brief history
The first ever Explorer Bus pulled out of Katoomba Station in April 1986, carrying just two passengers. Since then we’ve grown to become an essential piece of the puzzle for independent travellers like you, who want to see the best of the Blue Mountains in a short time.
In the beginning we only ran on weekends and public holidays. Today, the Explorer Bus runs 15 times a day, 365 days of the year, and gives you easy access to all the most important sights in Katoomba and Leura.
Our drivers are awesome!
Read our reviews on TripAdvisor and you'll see that the same message comes up over and over again: our drivers are the friendliest, most helpful, most knowledgeable team in the Blue Mountains. There's a good reason for that.
We don't hire any old bus driver and then expect them to magically become good tour guides. Instead, we hand-pick genuine local characters – people who know how to tell a story, know the Blue Mountains like the back of their hands, and love to share their knowledge of this fantastic place. Then we train them to be the safest, most reliable, most courteous drivers and guides in the Blue Mountains.
If you're coming to the Blue Mountains for the first time, every one of our drivers will go the extra mile to help you find your way to the best experiences. Whether you want to explore bushwalking tracks, learn about local history and culture, discover our vibrant arts scene or wander through beautiful gardens, our drivers are here to help you make the best of your time.
Local Heart, Global Soul
The Blue Mountains Explorer Bus is part of Fantastic Aussie Tours, a proudly independent, family-owned business which has been based right here in the Blue Mountains since 1974. We run tours and holidays all around Australia and all over the world. Travel is in our blood, and we know what it takes to make our guests feel right at home.
From the people in our Katoomba tour booking office to the drivers who’ll show you around, all of our staff are locals who are passionate about helping you plan a brilliant day in the Blue Mountains. We love what we do, and we can’t wait to welcome you to this beautiful place we call home – the Blue Mountains, Australia’s most accessible wilderness.
Meet our buses
Meet Kanimbla, Kanangra, Kedumba and Kowmung – the four beautiful big red buses that will carry you safely and smoothly on your adventure through the Blue Mountains.
If our drivers are the heart and soul of the Explorer Bus, these four Volvo Olympian Alexander Royale double decker buses are its big, bright red, smiling face. Built at the Walter Alexander coachworks in Falkirk, Scotland, they spent the years from 1997-2011 in service with Lothian Buses in Edinburgh, Scotland.
We specially imported these buses from Scotland because they were the best examples we could find in the world of traditional British bus engineering combined with the reliability of Volvo engines. We hand-picked them to ensure you a comfortable service that always shows up on time.
There's another reason, of course. Storytelling is in our blood, so of course we wanted to use buses that came with a story of their own. These double-deckers have braved icy Scottish winters, carried crowds and comedians and fire-eaters home from the Edinburgh festival, and travelled across the oceans to make their home here in the Blue Mountains wilderness. Their big wide windows have seen it all.
In keeping with the long established tradition of naming each of the company’s Fantastic Aussie Tours coaches, the Blue Mountains Explorer Buses also have a name starting with the letter “K”.
KEDUMBA This is the Aboriginal name originally used for the local area, and it is believed that Katoomba is a corruption of the word Kedumba. Kedumba means tumbling waters, and is a fitting name for the bus that takes you to three waterfalls in the area – Katoomba Falls and Cascades, Leura Cascades and the Bridal Veil Fall, and Gordon Falls. It is also possible to walk to the nearby Wentworth Falls.
KOWMUNG The Kowmung is a wild and largely remote mountains stream which starts at the junction of The Hollanders and Tuglow River’s South of Oberon. The river carves a winding path through the Kanangra Boyd and Blue Mountains National Parks dropping from 900m above sea level to below 200m where it meets Cox’s River, in the restricted area around Lake Burragorang.
KANANGRA The Kanangra-Boyd National Park adjoins the Greater Southern Blue Mountains National Park and is an important wilderness park, forming an integral part of the The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area that embraces over a million hectares of natural bushland extending from the Southern Highlands to the Hunter Valley. From Sydney’s back fence, wild escarpments rise westward to the crest of the Great Dividing Range and the farmlands of the Central Tablelands.
The World Heritage Area is made up of eight individual nature conservation reserves. These are Yengo, Wollemi, Gardens of Stone, Blue Mountains, Nattai, Kanangra-Boyd and Thirlmere Lakes national Parks together with the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve.
KANIMBLAThe Kanimbla Valley is visible from Blackheath and as such is not really part of the Blue Mountains Explorer Circuit, but it forms an integral part of the southern valley systems that have been caused by the erosion of the Cox’s River catchment. It is an Aboriginal word stemming from the meaning of a “big fight” or “a fighting ground”.
They are meticulously maintained by our dedicated team of mechanics headed by Darrell Booth, a partner in the business and the man with the greatest passion for our vehicles.