A short break in the Blue Mountains is just the thing to revitalize your soul. Lithgow is home to the world-famous Zig Zag railway – jump on board and step back in time. Whether you’re here midweek or staying the weekend, you can invigorate your mind and body at places like Capertee Valley – the second largest enclosed canyon in the world, and a great place to start a bushwalk. Explore more of this wonderful region …STAY ANOTHER DAY!

The highlight of a stay in Lithgow is a visit to one of the many outstanding natural attractions in the area. Let the seasons walk you through a myriad of change…

Autumn and Spring, the seasons of colour, with fishing a plenty in local lakes at Wallerawang and Lyell, and wild flowers ablaze in bushland. Come again on summer to explore the gullies and waterfalls of Wollemi National Park and in winter to sit by an open fire. The valley of Lithgow offers as much as everywhere else and then more.

If you’ve been here before, then you’re probably excited about coming back. And if it’s your first time, then wonderful experiences await you. You’ll find that the views are challenged only by the choice of fabulous cuisine – with everything from chic cafes to five star dining, every taste is catered for. There’s always something to do or see in Australia’s first City of the Arts – glassblowers, fine art, jazz to folk to classical music, theatre, dance and puppets. More good reasons to …STAY ANOTHER DAY!

A Guide to Blue Mountain

As the sun sets, bird calls float up the sheer wall of rock.  A blue haze hangs over unbroken miles of eucalyptus forest. On the valley floor, the cool streams that you explored earlier today trickle through rainforest groves. Lie back in the spa and raise your glass in a toast to Australia’s most accessible wilderness experience.

In the year 2000 over one million hectares of land was listed as the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. It has been described as a “living laboratory” – a place to study the extraordinary evolutionary processes at work all around us. This unique eco-system has been shaped by tens of millions of years of erosion by fire, water and wildlife – the local lyrebirds each move 63 tonnes of soil every year!

From any of the towns and villages around the Grand Circular Tourist Drive a ten-minute stroll can immerse you in the sounds and scents of the bush; a leisurely twenty-minute walk can lead you to a secluded picnic beside your own private waterfall.

Stay another day… and take the time to explore. Experience the stillness – look down on valleys ringing with the calls of bell birds. Look up…and up from the valley floor to the cliff tops above you. And take the time to wonder whether anything in the wilderness is watching you back…

Self-Drive Tours within Australia

Day 1 – Sydney to Katoomba110 kms, 90 minutes direct drive

Sydney to Glenbrook: 66 km, 50 minutes
Glenbrook Visitor Information Centre (1/2 hour)
Ask for maps, information and assistance in planning your visit,
accommodation bookings, bushwalking advice and souvenirs. Open seven days.
Glenbrook to Leura: 41 km, 35 minutes direct drive
Leura Village (1/2 hour to 2 hours)
A garden village with boutique shops, galleries and restaurants make a leisurely stroll through this charming village worthwhile.
Leura to Katoomba: 3 km, 5 minutes direct drive
Echo Point and Three Sisters Katoomba (1 hour)
The mountains most photographed location. Breathtaking views of the Three Sisters, Mt Solitary and Jamison Valley. Numerous bushwalks including Giant Stairway.Echo Point Visitor Information Centre, open seven days: colourful native birds often seen feeding at the panoramic windows; tour planning and bushwalking advice, accommodation bookings and souvenirs.
Scenic Railway and Skyway complex (1 hour)
An exhilarating ride to the valley floor – a short walk to the base of the Katoomba Falls; also breathtaking views of the Falls and Jamison Valley from the aerial cableway. Admission fees.
The Edge Maxvision Giant Screen Cinema (1 hour)
A magnificent documentary on the Blue Mountains landforms and eco-systems screens throughout the day at regular intervals. The best outdoor adventure you can have indoors. Admission fees.
Day 1 itinerary: allow at least seven hours to complete.
Overnight at Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba,
Blackheath or Mount Victoria.

Day 2 – Katoomba, Jenolan Caves, Lithgow to Sydney

290 kms, 41/2 hours direct drive
To make the most of Day 2, check with the Visitor Centres for Jenolan Caves and Zig Zag Railway tour times.
Katoomba to Blackheath: 20 km, 15 minutes direct drive
Govett’s Leap Lookout (15 minutes to 1 hour)
Visit the NPWS Heritage Centre on your way to the lookout – interpretive displays
on the environment, and interpretive walks; or spend some time doing longer
walks with awesome views of the Grose Valley.
Blackheath to Jenolan Caves: 60 km, 11/4 hours direct drive
Jenolan Caves (2 hours)
World renowned limestone caves – nine show caves with exquisite formations,
guided tours daily, adventure cave tours also available. The shortest tour time is
one hour. Admission fees.
Jenolan Caves to Lithgow: 60 km, 1 hour direct drive
Lithgow – Clarence (1-2 hours)
Ride the Zig Zag railway, a marvel of railway engineering. When opened in 1869
it was the first rail link to western New South Wales, traversing some spectacular
country. The Zig Zag operates every day except Christmas Day. Steam train runs Wednesdays, weekends, NSW school holidays and public holidays; vintage rail motor all
other days. Admission fees.
Lithgow to Sydney: 156 km, 2 hours direct drive
Return to Sydney via the scenic Bell’s Line of Road, through eucalypt
forests and apple orchards.

Sydney to Katoomba
Glenbrook – National Park Sites (1/2 hour to 1/2 day)
A variety of lovely bushwalks, picnic areas, lookouts, abundant wildlife and significant aboriginal sites. Kangaroos are often seen at Euroka Clearing. Some unsealed roads.
Norman Lindsay Gallery (1-2 hours)
This National Trust property in Faulconbridge was the home of renowned Australian artist and author, Norman Lindsay (1879-1969). His stone cottage houses a collection of his oil paintings, watercolours, etchings, drawings, novels, sculpture, ship models and memorabilia, set in a garden where you can enjoy a picnic. Admission fees.
Selwood Science and Puzzles (1-2 hours)
Fun for all the family in Hazelbrook, with a range of hands-on display and educational puzzles, science kits, a bookshop, original paintings and refreshments. Free admission.
Wentworth Falls (1/2 hour to 1/2 day)
Visit the Falls Reserve and Valley of the Waters. A spectacular network of lookouts providing dramatic views of cliff top escarpments, waterfalls and endless blue vistas of the Jamison Valley. There are also picnic areas and exhilarating bushwalks.
Sublime Point Lookout Leura (1/2 hour)
Take a short walk to superb lookout with panoramic views of the Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters.
Everglades Gardens (1/2 hour to 1 hour)
Open from 10am daily, this National Trust garden property in Leura was the weekender of Henri Van de Velde, founder of Feltex. Created by Paul Sorenson in the 1930’s, Everglades is a magnificent cold climate arboretum complete with formal terraces, Jamieson Valley views, art and photo galleries, refreshments in the Art Deco heritage residence.
Katoomba to Jenolan

Blackheath Village (1 hour to full day)
Explore the interesting shops, village mural and historic buildings in this charming Upper Mountains town. Visit Evans Lookout, the Bacchante Gardens (admission fees), Pulpit Rock, or escape into the Grose Valley for a full day’s walk. Some unsealed roads.
Megalong Valley (1/2 day to full day)
Just 15 minutes drive from Blackheath is the Megalong Valley, surrounded by the dramatic cliffs of the escarpment. You can enjoy horse riding, refreshments at the Megalong Valley Tea Rooms, enjoy an outback ranch experience at the Megalong Australian Heritage Centre (admission fees), or walk the famous Six Foot Track.
Mount Victoria (1/2 hour)
Mount Victoria Village – many interesting National Trust classified buildings.
Mount York Lookout (1/2 hour to 1/2 day)
This lookout, overlooking Hartley Vale, celebrates the historic exploration of the route over the Blue Mountains in the early part of the nineteenth century. Picnic area and heritage walking trails nearby.
Hartley Historic Site (1 hour)
National Parks and Wildlife Service guided tours or self guided tours of beautifully preserved 19th century buildings and courthouse. Admission fees.
Kanangra Walls (1/2 to full day)
Located some 30kms from Jenolan Caves in the Kanangra-Boyd National Park, where you can enjoy a short walk and a picnic, or a more challenging hike to pools and waterfalls. 26kms unsealed road.

Oberon (1/2 to full day)
Visit this rural township near Jenolan Caves. Lake Oberon is regularly stocked with brown and rainbow trout and can be fished throughout the year from the water’s edge. Most streams contain trout and are stocked periodically. Fishing in streams is only permitted from October to the first of June. Admire daffodils in Spring and fossicking all year.
Lithgow to Sydney

Lithgow (1/2 to full day)
Surrounded by National Parks and State Forests, the wilderness on Lithgow’s doorstep whispers with memories of extinct industry and engineering brilliance. Swim, sail and fish in tranquil lakes; feast on fresh sweet mountain apples, pears and stone fruit; or lunch at a restaurant in the historic town centre.In easy reach of Lithgow are such attractions as the Hassans Walls Lookout, the Mt Piper Power Station and Energy Expo, Blast Furnace Park, Lithgow Pottery, the Small Arms Museum or Lake Lyell. Longer drives will take you to the historic sites of Newnes, Glen Davis and the Capertee Valley. Lithgow is the principal point of entry into the remote Wollemi National Park.
Mount Wilson (1 hour to full day)
Rich Volcanic soils and high rainfall produce lush native vegetation and have allowed the development of superb English-style gardens and tree lined avenues. Spectacular views surround you as you visit some of the nation’s most beautiful private gardens. Lindfield Park and Sefton Cottage are open to the public daily throughout the year while some other gardens are open during Spring and Autumn only.
Mount Tomah Botanic Garden (1/2 to full day)
Boasting one of the world’s finest collections of cool climate plants, including the
Wollemi Pine, Australia’s recently discovered Jurassic tree. There is a visitors centre, restaurant and picnic and BBQ areas.