The Beau­ti­ful Blue Moun­tains

This World Her­itage-listed area is known for its fresh moun­tain air, de­li­cious food and spec­tac­u­lar scenery, writes Chris­tine Knight.

Where Sydney - - Contents -

THE BEAU­TI­FUL BLUE MOUN­TAINS is just a two-hour drive west of Syd­ney’s CBD. Ex­plore this in­cred­i­ble re­gion and en­joy gal­leries, cafés and nat­u­ral won­ders.

Nor­man Lind­say Gallery and Mu­seum

While driv­ing up through Faulcon­bridge it’s easy to miss a tiny turn off on the main road that leads to the Nor­man Lind­say Gallery. This hid­den gem is the former home and gallery of ac­claimed Aus­tralian artist and writer Nor­man Lind­say, per­haps best known for his tales of the Magic Pud­ding and draw­ings of sump­tu­ous nudes.

Vis­i­tors can ad­mire Lind­say’s paint­ings, etch­ings and draw­ings in­side the sand­stone cot­tage that was bought by his wife, Rose, in 1913 and re­mained his home, stu­dio and gallery un­til Lind­say’s death in 1969. Now run by the Na­tional Trust, a visit to “Spring­wood”, as the property was named, is a whim­si­cal walk through the past. The cot­tage and artist stu­dio give a glimpse into Lind­say’s life on the property, and the 42 acres of land it’s set on is dot­ted with Lind­say’s dis­tinc­tive sculp­tures. 14 Nor­man Lind­say Cre­sent, Faulcon­bridge. 4751 1067. nor­man­lind­say.com.au

The Three Sis­ters

A visit to the Blue Moun­tains isn’t com­plete with­out meet­ing the fa­mous Three Sis­ters at Echo Point. These un­usual rock for­ma­tions tower over the Jami­son Val­ley, rep­re­sent­ing three sis­ters who, ac­cord­ing to Abo­rig­i­nal leg­end, were turned to stone. Fol­low signs at Echo Point to the start of one of the most iconic bush­walks in the Blue Moun­tains Na­tional Park. The path leads down to the val­ley floor via more than 800 steps called “The Gi­ant Stair­way”. The 1.5-hour walk leads to the base of Ka­toomba Falls and the Ka­toomba Scenic Rail­way. End of Echo Point Road, Ka­toomba. bluemts.com.au/info/thingstodo/ three­sisters

Scenic World

Scenic World is a great way to see the majestic Blue Moun­tains, par­tic­u­larly if you have kids or are mo­bil­ity im­paired. It con­sists of four ac­tiv­i­ties: the Scenic Sky­way, the Scenic Rail­way, the Scenic Cable­way and the Scenic Walk­way. The Scenic Sky­way, con­structed in 1958, was Aus­tralia’s first ca­ble car. It glides 270 me­tres over the Jami­son Falls Val­ley be­tween two cliff tops. Or, you can make your way to the Jami­son Val­ley floor via the Scenic Rail­way with its 52-de­gree in­cline, it’s the steep­est pas­sen­ger rail­way in the world. The Rail­way ends on the val­ley floor, at the start of the Scenic Walk­way, a 2.4-kilo­me­tre el­e­vated walk­way through the tow­er­ing rain­for­est. Vi­o­let Street and Cliff Drive, Ka­toomba. 4780 0200. www.scenic­world.com.au

Min­nehaha Falls

Take a stroll through 1.3 kilo­me­tres of bush­land down to the base of the Min­nehaha Falls in North­ern Ka­toomba to find your own pri­vate water­fall. The trail be­gins in the car park at the end of Minni Ha Ha Road and leads through the bush to a stun­ning look out, be­fore de­scend­ing down a rocky in­cline to the 20-me­tre tall water­fall. Take a dip in the pool at the base of the water­fall, but be warned, it can get chilly down there! Minni Ha Ha Road, Ka­toomba. bluemts. com.au/news/how-to-find-min­nehaha-falls

Cafe 2773 Glen­brook

A funky café on the fringe of the Blue Moun­tains, Cafe 2773 Glen­brook is the per­fect place to stop for break­fast. It’s been likened to The Grounds of Alexan­dria in Syd­ney due to its sprawl­ing out­door lay­out, farm an­i­mals to meet, play area for kids and, most im­por­tantly, ex­cel­lent food and in-house roasted cof­fee.

The all-day break­fast menu fea­tures hearty dishes such as the Smashed Avo (chunky av­o­cado with as­para­gus, feta, red pep­per pearls and baby mint on toasted sour­dough for $15) and the Lamb Sausage and Eggs (free range lamb sausage with Hill­billy ba­con jam, scram­bled eggs, baby spinach and toast for $20). 19 Ross Street, Glen­brook. 4739 5908. 2773glen­brook.com.au

The Hy­dro Majestic Ho­tel Blue Moun­tains

An af­ter­noon high tea at the his­toric Hy­dro Majestic Ho­tel is an el­e­gant af­fair. Perched atop an es­carp­ment over­look­ing the Blue Moun­tains Na­tional Park, the iconic ho­tel has had a com­plete re­fur­bish­ment to re­turn it to its former op­u­lent glory.

High tea is served in the el­e­gant Win­ter­gar­den, with panoramic views of Me­ga­long Val­ley be­low. Choose from the tra­di­tional High Tea, East­ern High Tea or Gluten-free High Tea, each served on a three-tiered sil­ver stand. The Tra­di­tional High Tea in­cludes a se­lec­tion of pas­tries, scones, clot­ted cream, jam and your choice of tea or cof­fee ($55 per per­son on week­days and $65 per per­son on Satur­day, Sun­day and public hol­i­days). 52–88 Great West­ern High­way, Med­low Bath. 4782 6885. hy­dro­ma­jes­tic.com.au

The Ginger­bread House Ka­toomba

Sat­isfy your sweet tooth with a visit to the Ginger­bread House café, housed in a beau­ti­fully re­stored 100-year-old church. The Ginger­bread House is all about sweet things—milk­shakes, ice-cream, cakes, cook­ies and ginger­bread, but they also serve light savoury food such as quiche and toasted sand­wiches us­ing lo­cally-made sour­dough. 56 Waratah Street, Ka­toomba. 4782 6958. gb­house­ka­toomba.com

Min­nehaha Falls. Photo: Chris­tine Knight. High tea at the Hy­dro Majestic Ho­tel. Photo: Chris­tine Knight. The Ginger­bread House Ka­toomba. Photo: Chris­tine Knight. Main im­age: Grose Val­ley, The Blue Moutains.

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