The Blue Mountains might be only 90-minutes drive from Sydney but thanks to its mysterious blue eucalypt-hazed mists and mesmerising escarpment views it feels like a total world away from the rush of the city.
For this reason, it’s long been a haven for world-weary city-slickers, each looking to indulge in the region’s unique blend of quaint-country-meets-quirky-artistic mood.
So in the spirit of you getting you the most out of your precious weekend days, here’s a guide on a few of the best places to see and do while enjoying a relaxing Blue Mountains break.
Pack a jumper and set your brain to ultimate chill because things are about to get maximum cozy.
Drive down Megalong Valley Road
It might sound pretty simple but that’s kind of the beauty of it. This is a super accessible but oh-so-breathtaking drive that you’ll become addicted to doing every time you visit.
The road starts just on the outskirts of Blackheath, one of the highest mountain towns in the region, and as you wind your way into the valley you’re treated to a constantly evolving green scenery that ranges from dry Eucalyptus forests to lush cool-weather rainforests.
Roll your windows down, let the wind whip in your hair and listen out for waterfalls and bird songs.
Once you reach the bottom the thick canopy opens up into clear skies and the road is flanked by flat farmland juxtaposed by the most awe-inspiring mountain ranges.
Continue on and look for the sign for the Megalong Valley Tea Rooms, who have been serving up breakfast, lunch, and scones here since 1956.
Absolutely the best way to wake up on a cool winters morning and no matter how many times we’ve driven this road it never looks the same. 10/10.
Wine taste at Dryridge Estate
If you time your Megalong Valley drive just right then you’ll arrive at the stunning Dryridge Estate cellar door in time for a picnic lunch or afternoon snack (the restaurant and bar closes at 5 pm on Saturdays and 4 pm on Sundays).
The journey here is arguably as beautiful as the destination, running off Megalong Valley road and forking the entry point of the famed Six Foot Track trail, where you’ll no doubt spot the old cluster of intrepid hikers as you make a B-line for the vineyard.
Visit Lost Bear Gallery in Katoomba
But we love The Lost Bear for its ultra-diverse collection of contemporary works by the region’s most exciting talents. Here you could easily lose an hour or so just enjoying the sculpture, paintings, ceramics, and hand-blown glass on display.
Have a spare $38,000? You could walk away with our favourite painting.
Shop the antiques at The Victory Theatre in Blackheath
This must-visit antique store is hard to miss along the main drag of Blackheath, approximately 10-minutes drive from Katoomba. There’s generally always a crowd mingling in the afternoon sun on the footpath outside and once you walk through the cafe you’re treated to a veritable Aladdin’s cave of old-world treasures, second-hand furniture, and books.
Indulge at This Little Piggy Deli in Blackheath
Cool-weather weekends in the mountains are definitely not made for dieters. The Blue Mountains is a place to unwind and indulge to the max and This Little Piggy Deli in Blackheath has everything you need to get you started.
Drop by and ask for a jar of truffle honey to pour over their best soft cheese, then stock up on one of their homemade lasagne for dinner and you can thank us later.
Pick up new read at GleeBooks in Blackheath (& then read by the fire)
I know that having a Kindle on your phone might be a convenient option but there’s something about the distinct analog feel in the mountains that begs for a real book. Y’know, the kind made out of paper.
The windows of Gleebooks in Blackheath, with their curated selection of quirky coffee table books, just can’t help but draw us in every time we visit.
Grab a great read, grab your deli snacks and bottle of red and head straight for an afternoon reading by the fire. Bliss.
Visit the Rhododendron Garden (best enjoyed during October/November)
If you’ve had enough indoor reveling then take a turn though The Campbell Rhododendron Gardens off Bacchante Street in Blackheath. In winter you’ll find a well-kept collection of native Acacia and Grevillea flowers but early Spring is the picture-perfect time to catch the flourish of fresh Rhododendron bulbs.
From October to mid-November the Rhodo Tea Rooms are open, just in case you’ve left some room from the days snacking. Or even if there’s no room, squeeze it in, you can do it.
Watch the sunset from Evans Lookout, just off the Great Western Highway
High-quality views with a low-key buzz, we love Evans Lookout because it feels like a ‘locals’ spot to enjoy the mountains as not many tourists make the trek (most preferring to head straight to the famed Three Sisters in Katoomba). No hiking boots needed, just take Evans Lookout Road off the Great Western Highway and you’re at a relatively private viewing spot.
Have a hit on Blackheath Golf Course (or just enjoy a hearty meal at Birdie’s Bistro in the clubhouse)
Even if you’re not much of a golfer, we love the clubhouse here for its distinctly local vibe and delish hearty meals at Birdies Bistro. Grab a table outside and watch the wild cockatoos swoop over the greens at sundown.
Enjoy craft beer and pizza at Station Bar & Woodfired Pizza in Katoomba
Heralded by many as one of Australia’s best pizzerias (Trip Advisor) this cozy little eatery just beside Katoomba Station also boasts the area’s most eclectic collection of craft beer, and awesome live music to enjoy it with.
Shop our favourite winter in the Blue Mountains-inspired looks