Choosing the best Blue Mountains Tours

So many people who visit Sydney also visit the Blue Mountains. It can be confusing to find the right tour for you. Below is information about what to expect in a day tour to the Blue Mountains which will help in choosing the best tour for you.

Departure information:

Tours depart from the CBD area of Sydney (some tours will also provide a pick up in Parramatta and Homebush) usually before 8am.  Tours usually include a pick up from either your hotel or a location nearby.

All tours are run by very passionate people who love the Blue Mountains, many of whom have lived in the area.


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The Major Sights

The Major Sights:

All tours will take you to the Three Sisters, and some of the other major sights. These can include Echo Point, Wentworth Falls (it takes an hour to walk to the falls, however you can see the cascades from the top), Cahills Lookout, Boars Head, Jamison & Megalong Valleys and the towns of Katoomba & Leura. The drive between these points is called Cliff Drive.


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Wildlife Experience

Wildlife Experience:

The differences between tours are mainly in the inclusions and emphasis on wildlife.  If you have already been to a wildlife park in Australia, we suggest you choose a tour without Featherdale Wildlife Park included. If you are yet to see a kangaroo or koala then this may be an interesting inclusion to look for in a tour.

Featherdale Wildlife Park is approximately 45 minutes west of Sydney on the way to the Blue Mountains. It is a wonderful opportunity to feed, pat and watch Australia’s wildlife. You spend between 1 to 1.5 hours at the park depending on the tour you choose. There is a café and a souvenir shop here. From here it takes 1.5 hours to reach the Blue Mountains.

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Scenic World

Scenic World:

The main optional extra for Blue Mountains day tours is Scenic World, located 3 kilometres from Katoomba. They have 4 attractions, the railway, the skyway, walkway and the cableway.

Many Blue Mountain tours do make time for a stop at Scenic World.  Some tours include the rides in their cost and other tours list it as an optional extra for you to pay on the day. Scenic World tickets are under $50. You are issued with a wrist band and you scan for entrance.  The ticket allows for unlimited rides however if you are on a guided tour you may only have time for one ride on each. Tours usually spend 1.5 hours at Scenic World.

We strongly recommend you go on the rides as the views and the fun you will have are well worth it and certainly makes your tour to the Blue Mountains more memorable.

The 4 different attractions at Scenic World are:

Skyway – You are in a cable car 270 metres above the rain forest, with 360-degree views. From here you will see the Three Sisters, Jamieson Valley and Katoomba Falls. The ride is 720 metres in length. The carriage has an area in the middle with a glass bottom floor, if this is not your scene stay at the sides!

Cableway– Descend 545 metres into Jamison’s Valley. Great views of Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, Orphan Rock & Mt Solitary.Scenic Railway– The world’s steepest railway. There is a viewing platform at the end of the ride where you can see Three Sisters.

Scenic Walkway– This is a 2.4 kilometre walkway through the Jurassic forest. Along the way you will see many things of interest including the coal mining history of the area. There is a mine entrance, a replica miners’ hut and scale bronze sculpture of a miner and his pit pony.

The suggested way for getting around Scenic World is to take the Scenic Railway down, go for a walk, durations of different walks are 10,30, or 50 minutes and then take the Scenic Cable Way back to the top. Skyway is done as a separate ride. At the bottom if you want to visit Echo Point Lookout, it is a 30 minute walk in each direction.  You may also catch a bus there. Tours will take you there so you can save yourself a walk! Whatever you decide to do you will return to the top by Skyway.

If rides aren’t your thing, make your way to the viewing platform and perhaps enjoy a drink or bite to eat at the café or restaurant. There is also a retail shop here to browse through.

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Walks and Hikes

Two tours have hikes (see below). Some of the tracks used are kept a secret! You get closer to nature, the sights, sounds & smells are the bonuses for your effort! It is such a different feel than looking out over the valleys from the lookouts.

The tour with the 45 minute walk takes you to Leura Cascades. You walk through the rainforest to the top where you get to see the waterfalls. There are some steps.


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River Cruise

Some tours will drive back to the Sydney CBD whilst others will go via Parramatta and include a return via cruise.  The cruise home takes between 45-60 minutes. It is such a lovely way to finish the day. You cruise down the Parramatta River and come into the majestic Sydney Harbour. The Sydney Opera House is there in front of you as you cruise under the Sydney Harbour Bridge so don’t put the camera away!  You may disembark at Darling Harbour or Circular Quay.


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All tours except 2 will return you back to Sydney via a cruise along the Parramatta River to Circular Quay. If you don’t like being on a boat check out these 2 tours.

If you want a tour including Scenic World and lunch then these are the tours for you.

Tours that take you to the main sights and you buy your own lunch and tickets for the rides at Scenic World should you choose that option.

Tours which do not go to Featherdale Wildlife Park and do not include lunch and Scenic World.

Tour which includes a hike (40 minutes)

Sunset tour and hike (2.5 hours)

A medium level of fitness is required to be able to walk along undulating trails.


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Jenolan Caves

Want to find out more about The Blue Mountains? Including our favourite tours, latest specials, travel information and plenty more. See our Blue Mountains Things to Do Travel Guide.