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The Blue Mountains' Best Bushwalks

A self-guided Hop-on Hop-off Itinerary

If you’re the kind of traveller who likes exploring on your own two feet, you’ve come to the right place! The Blue Mountains has the best selection of short bushwalks in Australia, and with the Explorer Bus you can spend a whole day hopping from one great walk to the next without having to cover the same ground twice.

We've designed this itinerary to give you several action-packed days of walking in the wonderful Blue Mountains National Park, with plenty of options to choose more or less challenging walks. And if you are staying overnight, we've got an incredible walk for you to try on your second day.

Time:

Highlights:

Best pass:

1 - 3 Days

Wildlife, waterfalls, hidden wonders, casual walkers

Explorer Pass (valid for up to 3 days)

Stops:

DAY 1
Katoomba Street

The wilds are waiting! But before you head out, stock up on supplies in Katoomba. Grab some ready-made sandwiches, or pick up some supplies for a bush picnic. Make your way to Stop 2 at the bottom of Katoomba Street, and jump on the first Explorer Bus of the day at 9:45am.

Cliff Tops and Valleys Tour

Whet your appetite for your Blue Mountains adventure by riding the Explorer Bus around our unique Cliff Tops and Valleys Tour. Hop off for a photo stop at Narrow Neck Lookout and feast your eyes on a fantastic view that packs in massive sandstone cliffs, rolling granite valleys and range after range of mountain ridges rippling away to the horizon.

Three Sisters, Giant Stairway and Furber Steps

It’s time to stretch your legs (and test out your knees) on the 998 stairs that wind down from the Three Sisters, all the way to the valley below their feet.

Hop off the bus at Echo Point, and after a quick look at the view, take the path that leads to the [Three Sisters and down the Giant Stairway. This is a walk to savour – you finally reach the bottom of the steps turn right on the Federal Pass walking track, which winds around the base of the Three Sisters. Half an hour's walk through tall wet sclerophyll forest brings you to Kedumba Creek, where you can stand on the bridge and gaze up at a fantastic view of Katoomba Falls.

You can bow out here and ride up on the Scenic Railway, but if you can manage the climb the walk up the Furber Steps is a much more rewarding option. Investigate as many of the side trips as you can manage – the one to Katoomba Falls Lookout is an absolute must – and return to the road via the signed "Round Walk" to take in the great view from Juliet's Balcony.

TIP: You can make this walk longer, and experience the stunning mossy boulder world of Leura Forest, by turning left at the bottom of the Giant Stairway and looping back around on the Dardanelles Pass-Federal Pass track.

Lunchtime

If you brought a picnic, the world is your oyster – pick the closest comfortable boulder or mossy log, plonk your bag down beside it, dig out your sandwiches and relax for a while.

If not, give your legs a well-earned rest as the Explorer Bus whisks you in comfort round to Solitary restaurant. This is a great lunch option for many reasons: the food is fantastic (and reasonably priced), you get a great view over the trees to Mount Solitary – and your next walk begins right across the road.

Kiah Lookout, Bridal Veil Falls and Leura Cascades Bushwalk

Cross the road to Kiah Lookout and turn left to join a quiet track that takes you gently downhill, through deep fern-filled caves that are normally dripping with water, towards the base of [beautiful Leura Cascades].

As you get closer to the roar of the waterfalls, look out for the signed track pointing down to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. This is a great side trip into a steep rainforest gully that's full of trickling waterfalls, and it ends with a magnificent view of water spouting down Bridal Veil's unusual wedding-cake terraces. Metal ladders help you get up and down, so the only challenges are to your legs and lungs.

Back on the main track, turn right and head down to the lookout right on the lip of Bridal Veil Falls. Pause for a second to watch the water tumbling off the edge into a thick green canopy of rainforest, then head up on the very popular track that climbs up beside Leura Cascades. When you get to the car park, walk to your right to pick up the next Explorer Bus.

Gordon Falls Lookout to Pool of Siloam and Lyrebird Dell

Hop on the Explorer Bus again, and take a brief detour away from the bush as we drive through part of Leura village.

Hop off at Stop 18 and stroll out to Gordon Falls Lookout for an astonishing view across the Blue Mountains wilderness, the long ridge of Sublime Point, and the backs of the Three Sisters.

Your last walk of the day is down to the enchanting Pool of Siloam. This enchanting jungle pool comes with a 7-metre waterfall that you can stand under, and the dense forest and sandy beach makes this a perfect spot to cool off at the end of a hot day.

Head upstream through lovely Lyrebird Dell, and meet the next Explorer Bus at Stop 20.

Leura village - and a well-earned rest!

Congratulations, you’ve earned your dinner! Take a short ride into Leura Mall for a meal in one of the many cafes, or stay on the bus a couple of extra stops and hop off at the Alexandra Hotel – a great place to sit with a cool drink.

DAY 2
Wentworth Falls Bushwalks

Get up early and catch the 9:00am Explorer Bus. This does a truncated service to Scenic World, picks up bushwalkers from the YHA Katoomba and takes them out to the Fairmont Resort. This is your gateway to one of Australia's most exciting half-day bushwalks.

Ask the driver to point you towards the start of the track, then head down into Lilian’s Glen and cross the narrow bridge over Empress Canyon (the canyoning trip down here is great fun if you're into water jumps and abseiling off waterfalls). Then descend through the stunning waterfalls of the Valley of the Waters, snake your way across the cliffs on the National Pass, and emerge at the foot of Wentworth Falls to climb up the incredibly hand-carved rock stairs of the Grand Stairway.

Explorer Bus Stop 30 is located in the Jamison Carpark. Check your Guidebook timetable for times. You will want to meet the midday service to get you back into the Katoomba or Leura Villages. A shuttle service runs during the afternoon from 3:00pm.

The other option is to take the Charles Darwin Track to Wentworth Falls Village and the train service back to Katoomba or Leura. NOTE - All trains from Sydney stop at Wentworth Falls.

DAY 3 and beyond

There’s so much more to discover in the stunning Blue Mountains. Tackle the challenging walk to the Ruined Castle and Mount Solitary, or catch the train to Blackheath and hike the stunning Grand Canyon. Or if you’ve got the legs for it, trek down into the Grose Valley to visit the legendary Blue Gum Forest – the birthplace of Australia’s National Parks.

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