The Blue Mountains offer a variety of hiking trails and are a World Heritage Listed National Park. The park boasts the famous Three Sisters, waterfalls, mountain biking, and camping. With over 100 tracks, there are options for all types of walkers, including those with dogs. For those looking for the most iconic tracks, here are 5 must-see hikes to explore. So, grab your sunscreen, water bottle, and sense of adventure and head to the Blue Mountains for these unforgettable walks.
- The Charles Darwin Walk - 1 hr, Easy, 5kms
- Cliff Top Walking Track - 3 hrs, Easy/Moderate, 3kms
- Katoomba Falls Round Walk - 2 hrs, Easy/Moderate, 4kms
- Ruined Castle Walking Track - 4 hrs, Moderate/Hard, 8kms
- Grand Canyon Walk - 3 ½ hrs, Difficult, 6kms
Note: Downloading the NSW National Parks Guide App is a great idea to find the best tracks and also before heading out on any of these walk, it is highly recommended to check the latest updates on any closed areas within the Blue Mountains region on the National Parks website.
The Charles Darwin Walk
Retrace the footsteps of the famous naturalist, Charles Darwin on his inland journey through the Blue Mountains to Bathurst in 1836.
The Charles Darwin Walk is a popular Blue Mountain walk well set up for those who prefer a stroll compared to a hike. The path is made up of both boardwalks across creeks and around ancient trees as well as bush tracks through open forest and shrubbery. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some local wildlife such as a crackle of boisterous black cockatoos.
This route is scattered with plenty of watering holes for you to cool off in. Don’t miss Wentworth Falls (which also has a lovely picnic area) on your way to Weeping Rock or Jamison Creek's rock pools. And Fletchers Lookout provides stunning views of the Jamison Valley below.
Level of difficulty: Easy
Ruined Castle Walking Track
This mysterious-sounding Blue Mountains walking track leads to an iconic natural rock formation that, you guessed it, resembles that of a ruined castle.
You’ll start your walk at the famous Golden Stairs as you slowly descend into the vast Jamison Valley. Be sure to stop off along the way down to admire the view, and take a cheeky Insta. Once you reach the bottom, you’ll be surrounded by a shady rainforest of native flora and fauna. From here you’ll start your climb up the Ruined Castle. This climb can be quite steep at times but you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views across the valley and beyond. If you’re not too afraid of heights, the top of Ruined Castle makes for a pretty stand-out picnic spot. The Ruined Castle Walking Track can easily fit into a multi-day hike whilst hiking most of the Blue Mountains.
Duration: 4 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate/hard
Grand Canyon Walk
This wouldn’t be a proper hiking guide unless we included a more difficult trail for those who are looking for a challenge. One of the oldest and most-loved walking trails in the Blue Mountains, Grand Canyon Walk is the grandfather of NSW bush tracks.
You will pass through lush rainforest with Jurassic-style ferns which prove a well-shaded track, throughout. With abundant native flora and fauna to admire, there are plenty of reasons to take a pit stop.
The impressive scenery is sure to leave you in awe as you meander over creek crossings, around waterfalls and through sandstone canyons. It serves you with everything one would imagine hiking in Australia to be like. If you’re coming to the end of the route of this Australian great walk, and don’t feel like you’ve got your blood pumping yet, don’t worry, this track saves the thigh-burning staircase ‘till the end.
Duration: 3 ½ hours
Level of difficulty: Difficult
Cliff Top Walking Track
This heart-racing walking track takes you, as the name suggests, along the cliffs of the Blue Mountains - be warned this is not one for those with a fear of heights. Running between two of the most impressive lookouts in the Blue Mountains, this Australian walking track is one of the region’s most popular.
Starting at the Govetts Leap Lookout and running all the way to Evan’s lookout, this track is jam-packed full of breathtaking views over the Grose Valley. More exposed than the region’s rainforest walks, this hike is perfect for a chilly winter day. Barrow Lookout is a great spot to take a drink break and admire the sheer drop of the waterfall below.
Duration: 3 hours
Level of difficulty: Easy/moderate
Katoomba Falls Round Walk
There really is no sight more iconic to the Blue Mountains than the Three Sisters. These natural rock formations have become one of the most photographed spots in this region - and it’s easy to see why.
Often overlooked by tourists, the Katoomba Falls Round Walk offers constantly changing views of the landmark, as the famous Blue Mountain walk progresses. An easy walking track that is suitable for little legs, this trail is the perfect outdoor family adventure. Plus, this walk brings you right up close to one of Blue Mountain’s most impressive waterfalls, Katoomba Falls, which makes a 150-metre descent to the valley floor.
The Katoomba Falls Round Walk starts right at Scenic World which offers cable cars, a Skyway and scenic walkway and even the world’s steepest passenger railway, making it the perfect addition to the Blue Mountains adventure.
Level of difficulty: easy/moderate
Only an hour from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is the perfect day trip, and more so for multi-day hiking experiences. If you’re planning to use Sydney as your base, Accor has a range of accommodations to suit your next trip.
If you’re looking to stay for the weekend and indulge in multiday hikes, the Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains is tucked away in Jamison Valley with sublime mountain views. Hang out by the pool, play a round of golf or simply chill out in your room. This really is the perfect adventure-weekend escape.
Lead Image credit: David Ireland/Tourism Australia
Want to know more?