Sydney is without doubt, the most famous city in New South Wales. Home to the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the city welcomes millions of visitors every year.
BY Arturo Pardavila III
Rightfully so, because as far as tourist attractions, festivals and dining experiences go, Sydney never disappoints. However, New South Wales has more to offer the self-drive enthusiast. After spending time immersing yourself in the city’s sights and sounds, an easy drive to the Blue Mountains is a great way to cap off the last few days of your holiday.
Katoomba is by far the most popular town in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains region. Famous for the Scenic Railway and Scenic Skyway, you are definitely in for some of the most breathtaking sights of your life. So take a break from the noise, heat and crowds of the city and marvel at the natural beauty that Katoomba and the rest of Blue Mountains has to offer. Rent a campervan now and let’s start this 2-day self-drive holiday from Sydney to Katoomba and back!
DAY 1 – Sydney, NSW to Katoomba, NSW
From Sydney, drive westward for one hour to Glenbrook, NSW the first town at the base of the Blue Mountains, via the M4 motorway. Make sure you research toll rates, though so you can avoid hassles during the drive.
Stop by the Glenbrook Visitor Information Centre if you want to book guided tours or ask for any local events you may be interested to participate in. Next, head south and drive for 14 minutes via Bruce Road to Euroka Campground.
Park your campervan and relax amidst lush greenery. Take photos of the birds, kangaroos and other wildlife running free in the area.
Red Hands Cave is your next stop because you should never leave New South Wales without seeing the best showcase of Aboriginal rock art in the country. Drive north west for 20 minutes via The Oaks Fire Trail.
From Red Hands Cave, turn back and follow Oaks Fire Trail heading back to Bruce Road where you will turn left to the Great Western Highway or A32. Drive for half an hour, heading to Wentworth Falls.
Here, you will find the most awe inspiring views of the region’s valleys, ,waterfalls and escarpments. Stop by Wentworth Lake for a picnic and spend a few hours swimming. There are also plenty of walking trails if you’re feeling a little more adventurous.
After swimming or hiking, it is back to your campervan for a quick five-minute drive to Leura. Head south onto the Great Western Highway again and take the Leura Mall exit after 4 kilometres.
With its beautiful gardens, Leura is appropriately called the Garden Village in the region. Apart from its chic boutiques and art galleries, the town is also home to the largest teapot collection in the world. Stop by and shop for souvenirs in Leura mall or take a leisurely stroll along Everglades Gardens.
The last leg of the day’s adventures will take you to Cliff Drive, which is the scenic route up to Katoomba.
Continue driving to Echo Point and stop to marvel at the breathtaking sights of Three Sisters, Jamison Valley and Mount Solitary. Book a guided tour to Scenic World where you can descent to one of the world’s steepest incline railways and “float” above the Jamison Valley on board the Skyway.
Spend the night at Katoomba Falls Caravan Park, which is one of the most popular in the area. The caravan park has facilities such as coin-operated laundry machines, electric barbecues and even toilets and showers. So park your campervan for the night, and rest up for the following day’s drive.
DAY 2 – Katoomba, NSW and Back to Sydney
From Katoomba Falls Caravan Park, it’s an 11-minute drive via the Great Western Highway, to Medlow Bath and the famous Hydro Majestic Hotel. Learn about the rich background of the Hydro Majestic by taking part in their history tour and explore the Hydro Majestic Pavillion’s vibrant displays of unique, local food and wine selections.
The next part of your self-drive tour takes you west for 20 minutes to the magnificent views of Blackheath then on towards the quaint village of Mount Victoria. From Mount Victoria, drive south west via the Great Western Highway for 11 minutes and make a slight left to Old Bathurst Road.
Your next destination, Hartley Historic Site, is home to exquisitely preserved 19th century courthouses and buildings.
Stop for lunch at one of the cafes in Hartley Valley and shop for local produce and crafts. After dining and shopping, it is back to the campervan for a 15-minute drive to Lithgow, a town famous for its industrial heritage. While you’re in town, don’t forget to make the 5-minute drive to Hassans Walls, the highest and most scenic lookout in the region.
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is your next stop so drive along Botanist’s Way Drive that stretches from Lithgwo to Mount Tomah. The 33-minute drive features breathtaking views of the Gnose Valley cliff walls. Stop to rest and admire the sights from Mount Tomah while enjoying a cup of local tea.
Time to head back. From Mount Tomah, it is an hour’s drive through the fruit orchards of Bilpin. Stop to take snapshots if you wish. Afterwards, take the M7 motorway straight back to Sydney.
Clearly, two days is more than enough time to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of towns just an hour’s drive away from the big city. So what are you waiting for? Book a Cheapa campervan and start your 2-day self-drive holiday right now!