What more can be said about the world famous Blue Mountains, with it's
escarpments and breathtaking scenery. Named after the blue haze created by the
eucalyptus oil in the air above the mountain gum forests, it is an easy sixty
minute drive west of the heart of Sydney to the foothills of the Blue Mountains.
The Blue Mountains has long been renowned as one of the finest bushwalking
areas of the world with the cascading waterfalls, breath-taking panoramas,
rainforests, fern-filled gullies and the abundance of flora and fauna. The Blue
Mountains National Park includes more than 240,000 hectares of dissected
sandstone plateau, forested river valleys and deep gorges. The Park adjoins
Wollemi National Park to the north
and Kanangra Boyd National Park
to the south west, making it one of the largest natural areas in NSW.
How did the Blue
Mountains get the name?
The first inhabitants in the region were the Aborigines that
included the Daruk tribe, as can be seen through the rock art and
In 1788, Governor Phillip named the mountains
Carmarthen Hills and Landsdowne Hills, but it wasnt long before
the distinctive blue haze surrounding the region, saw the name
change to the Blue Mountains. The air above the terrain is filled
with finely dispersed droplets of oil from the Eucalyptus that
predominates in the region. In combination with dust particles and
water vapour, it scatters the predominantly blue short-wave rays of
light, producing the famed blue hue of the mountains.
Spring (September-November) Summer (December-February) Autumn
(March-May) Winter (June-August)
The climate in the Blue Mountains region tends to be more temperate
than that in the lower Sydney region. An rough guide is for every
300 metres rise in altitude, there is about a 2ฐC drop in
temperature. The lower parts of the Blue Mountains region being much
warmer than that higher up.
The Blue Mountains also receives a
higher rainfall than Sydney due to the air masses coming into
contact with the Mountains ranges, with the upper Blue Mountains
receiving more than that in the lower parts of the Blue Mountains.
The snow period also attracts many visitors, when the Blue Mountains
celebrates the yearly Yulefest festivities, with the cold winter
climate making for enticing cosy log fires found in many of the
establishments. Although there is generally only snow in about 5
days in a year and that is mainly in the upper mountains, it is not
unusual to see a white blanket of frost covering the ground in the
early hours of the morning, with sleet also being common at this
time of year.
Spring in the Blue Mountains is something to
experience with its blaze of colours and spectacular scenery that
attract visitors and photographers from around the world. Choose
from any of the 36 towns, villages and hamlets or just to marvel at
the Three Sisters and the valley below.
Towns and Villages
For the purpose of geographic location the towns and villages of the Blue
Mountains can be divided into three regions that tend to follow the main route
across the mountains:
- Lower Blue Mountains Lapstone Glenbrook Blaxland Warrimoo Sun
Valley Valley Heights Winmalee Springwood
- Mid Blue Mountains Faulconbridge Linden
Woodford Hazelbrook Lawson Bullaburra
- Upper Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Kings
Tableland Leura Katoomba North Katoomba Yosemite Medlow Bath
Blackheath Mount Victoria
Beyond Mount Victoria, descending into inland New South Wales is Hartley
and Lithgow. Other towns south of the route are Shipley and Megalong. On the
north side of the main route across the mountains are Yellow Rock,
Hawkesbury Heights, Kurrajong, Bilpin, Mount Tomah, Mount Wilson, Mount
Irvine, Harley Vale and Clarence.
Check out our listing of Blue
Mountains accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide
information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for
more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.