Blue Mountains National Park

Overview

Explore the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. Home of the famous Three Sisters, take a day trip from Sydney to the Blue Mountains area, near Katoomba. You'll discover Aboriginal culture, walking tracks, camping, canyoning, climbing and mountain biking activities.

Read more about Blue Mountains National Park

Blue Mountains National Park, one of the most well known parks in Australia, is part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. It's known for its remarkable geographic, botanic and cultural values, including protecting sites of Aboriginal cultural significance. 

The views from the park’s lookouts are magnificent; you’ll look out over hazy blue forests, waterfalls and rock formations. Echo Point at Katoomba is a popular spot, offering full views of the iconic Three Sisters. Take a picnic lunch or thermos to Wentworth Falls so you can stop for a while to admire the view.

This certified Ecotourism Destination boasts more than 140km of trails and walking tracks and there are great places to go camping. Try Euroka, Perrys Lookdown, or remote Acacia Flat campgrounds where you can pitch your tent beneath the shade of a majestic eucalypt. 

Explore the park’s heritage tracks and lookouts, many of which were created for Victorian-era honeymooners and day-trippers. Visit historic National Pass or take the clifftop bushwalk at Govetts Leap; a great walk for getting a sense of the land and spectacular views all the way down the Grose Valley. There are also great opportunities for adventure sports - challenging rock climbing spots, great canyons and mountain biking.

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/blue-mountains-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Blue Mountains National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Sydney to the Upper Blue Mountains area: 

    • Take the City West Link to Parramatta Road and veer right onto the Western Motorway (M4)
    • Travel along the Western Motorway (M4) for about 45km, which changes to the Great Western Highway after Nepean River.
    • Continue along the Great Western Highway and look for signs to Blue Mountains National Park

    Park entry points

    Parking Show more

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information

    By public transport

    Depending on which area you're visiting, Blue Mountains National Park is accessible from a number of stations, including Blackheath, Glenbrook, Katoomba, Leura, and Wentworth Falls. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website.

    Best times to visit

    There are so many great tracks and trails waiting for you in Blue Mountains National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    The park's waterfalls should be impressive after summer rain so it's a good time to walk the waterfall tracks. Try Victoria Falls for a challenging walk or take the Furber Steps beside Katoomba Falls.

    Spring

    Walk the quiet sandy trail surrounded by flannel flowers, native irises and boronias to the impressive lookout at Lockleys Pylon off Mount Hay Road.

    Summer

    On a hot day Jellybean Pool is a great place for a dip or walk along the shaded depths of the Grand Canyon at Blackheath.

    Winter

    Walk the historic National Pass, one of the Blue Mountain's classic walks. When you're finished, head to Conservation Hut for a hot chocolate or cuppa – you will have earned it.

    Facilities

    Toilets Show more

    Picnic tables Show more

    Barbecue facilities Show more

    Cafe/kiosk

    Drinking water Show more

    Wireless internet

    Electric power

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day applies only at attractions in the Glenbrook area.

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi-Park Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)
    • Country Parks Pass - For all parks in Country NSW (except Kosciuszko) $45 (1 year) / $75 (2 years)
    • Single Country Park Pass - For entry to a single park in country NSW (except Kosciuszko). $22 (1 year) / $40 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Camping safety

    Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

    Fire safety

    During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    River and lake safety

    The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Katoomba (3 km)

    Katoomba is at the heart of most of the stunning natural attractions that make up the Blue Mountains National Park. You can admire deep valleys, sandstone plateaus, waterfalls and native animals from the many walking trails and lookouts near Katoomba.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Wentworth Falls (7 km)

    Wentworth Falls is a historic town in the Blue Mountains. It's a good base to explore this World Heritage-listed area on foot.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Lithgow (24 km)

    Hassans Walls Lookout, near Lithgow, is the highest in the Blue Mountains. Admire Mt Wilson, Mt York, Mt Tarana and Mt Blaxland as well as the pretty Hartley Valley below. To the south are the Kanimbla and Megalong valley and Mt Bindo. While there, go for a walk or ride around the lookout.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Blue Mountains National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area

     Narrow Neck trail, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Steve Alton

    It is truly amazing to think that a city the size of Sydney has the extraordinary one million hectare Blue Mountains just a couple of hours away. It is part of a World Heritage - listed area of amazing values - geographic, botanic and cultural with six Aboriginal groups having connection to the country of the area. 

    Read more

    The forests of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area have been described as a natural laboratory for the evolution of eucalypts; more than 90 different eucalypt species are found here, some 13 per cent of all eucalypt species in the world. They grow in a great variety of communities, from tall closed forests, through open forests and woodlands, to the stunted mallee shrublands on the plateaus. Try the overnight hike to Blue Gum Forest where you can camp beneath the stately tall trees with their smooth white-blue-grey bark.

    • Blue Mountains National Park part of a World Heritage site Blue Mountains National Park part of a World Heritage site, is a school excursion for Stage 5 (Years 9-10) students with a focus on science. The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is Australia's 14th World Heritage Site and comprises 1 million hectares of protected bushland on Sydney's doorstep.
    • Blue Mountains National Park part of a World Heritage site Blue Mountains National Park part of a World Heritage site, is a school excursion for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) students with a focus on geography. The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is Australia's 14th World Heritage Site and comprises 1 million hectares of protected bushland on Sydney's doorstep.
    • Echo Point lookout (Three Sisters) Take a day trip to Echo Point lookout in Katoomba for stunning views of the valley and the iconic Three Sisters.
    • Greater Blue Mountains drive Greater Blue Mountains Drive takes in the iconic scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Explore Glenbrook, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba and beyond.
    • International student tour: Blue Mountains Immerse yourself in the majestic environment of Blue Mountains National Park, a special World Heritage-listed site on the doorstep of Sydney.
    • International student tour: National Pass Descend heritage hand-carved stone steps of the Grand Stairway and pass a mighty waterfall on this tour. Experience the beautiful rainforest environment and sweeping views of Blue Mountains National Park.
    Show more

    Ancient connections

    Red Hands Cave, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Blue Mountains National Park is part of the traditional land of the Gundungurra, Darkinjung, Darug and Wiradjuri peoples, who have been here since time began, living off the sea and the land. The Aboriginal sites in Blue Mountains National Park are important to Aboriginal people today; they are the physical evidence of a link to their ancestors. As you walk through this area, take some time to think about Aboriginal people and their strong attachment to this ancient landscape and all it contains. Some sites within the park, such as Red Hands Cave, are marked and other sites are not, so please take care when you're exploring the park.

    • International student tour: Living country, living culture Come and explore the rich, innovative and sustainable culture of Australia’s First People. Watch a hands-on presentation to learn about traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture.
    • Living country, living culture - Aboriginal discovery Living country, living culture is a Stage 2 (Years 3-4) school excursion in Blue Mountains National Park, focusing on HSIE. Understand and appreciate traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture with Aboriginal Discovery rangers.
    • Living Country, Living Culture: Aboriginal Discovery Living Country, Living Culture is a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) school excursion in Blue Mountains National Park, focusing on HSIE. Students will explore and appreciate traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture with Aboriginal Discovery rangers.
    • Red Hands Cave Red Hands Cave in Blue Mountains National Park is one of the best showcases of Aboriginal rock art in the area. The walk starts at Euroka campground or Glenbrook carpark.
    • Red Hands Cave walking track - Blue Mountains National Park Red Hands Cave walking track, in Blue Mountains National Park, offers impressive Aboriginal stencil art with picnicking and birdwatching, near Glenbrook.
    • Three Sisters Walk Three Sisters Walk, in Katoomba, offers some of the most iconic views in Blue Mountains National Park, and takes you up close to the famous Three Sisters.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 students, focusing on science and technology. Investigate the living world in Blue Mountains National Park, home to the world famous Blue Gum Forest and towering waterfalls.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Blue Mountains National Park.
    Show more

    A walker's paradise

    National Pass Walk, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Craig Marshall Copyright:NSW Government

    The Blue Mountains boasts one of the most complex track systems of any national park in Australia. Dating from as early as 1825, many of the constructed tracks have national, state and regional significance and several are named to commemorate significant periods or events in Australia's history. The National Pass is one of the Blue Mountains iconic walking tracks. Constructed in 1906-1907, the track was built with shovels, crowbars and dynamite. In 2002 the track underwent major restoration works that included helicopters depositing sandstone blocks along the trail and heritage stonemasons perching on cliff faces to set sandstone inserts into steps eroded over the years by weather and walkers. It's an inspiring walk, with fantastic views of the Jamison Valley and beautiful waterfalls at either end.

    • Conservation Hut Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls is a great spot for a bite to eat. Enjoy a view of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park from the café’s balcony.
    • Echo Point lookout (Three Sisters) Take a day trip to Echo Point lookout in Katoomba for stunning views of the valley and the iconic Three Sisters.
    • Greater Blue Mountains drive Greater Blue Mountains Drive takes in the iconic scenery of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Explore Glenbrook, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba and beyond.

    A diversity of rare or threatened species

    Black cockatoos. Photo: K Stepnell

    The diversity of environments across Blue Mountains National Park create habitats for wide range of native plants and animals, including many rare or threatened species. There are rare and ancient plants in its forests, and isolated animal populations tucked away in its deep gorges. Over 1000 species of flowering plants occur in the park, including the waratah, the floral emblem of NSW. Blue Mountains National Park also protects the habitat of 41 threatened animal species including the sooty owl, glossy black cockatoo, bush stone curlew, superb parrot, yellow-bellied glider and booroolong frog. Some of these threatened species are endemic to the Blue Mountains, including the Blue Mountains water skink.

    • Blue Gum Forest Blue Gum Forest is a fine, historic example of closed forest, situated in Grose Valley in Blue Mountains National Park. Get to it by walking track from Perrys lookdown or Pierces Pass.
    • Blue Mountains adventure and hike Be taken into the heart of the Blue Mountains for a big day of hiking and exploring on this full day tour. Pass impressive lookouts and waterfalls before visiting the iconic Three Sisters near Katoomba.  
    • Grand Canyon track Setting out from Evans lookout near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, be met with a series of waterfalls, creeks and spectacular views along the challenging Grand Canyon track.
    • International student tour: Blue Mountains Immerse yourself in the majestic environment of Blue Mountains National Park, a special World Heritage-listed site on the doorstep of Sydney.
    • International student tour: Grand Canyon Experience this magnificent rainforest environment in the Blue Mountains National Park. Descend into a special slot canyon, past creeks and waterfalls, and learn about local wildlife along the way.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 students, focusing on science and technology. Investigate the living world in Blue Mountains National Park, home to the world famous Blue Gum Forest and towering waterfalls.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Blue Mountains National Park.
    Show more

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

      With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

    • Satin bowerbird. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

      With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

    Plants

    • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

      Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

    • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

      Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

    • Waratah. Photo: Barry Collier

      Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

      The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (16)

    What we're doing

    Blue Mountains National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Understanding landscapes and geology

    Blue Mountains National Park values the protection and conservation of biodiversity, land and native vegetation. Ongoing initiatives are carried out within this park, and are designed to deliver important landscape connectivity conservation outcomes.

    Find out more

    Conservation program

    Jenolan environmental monitoring program

    The Jenolan environmental monitoring program, created in 2008, uses special sensory equipment to measure tiny variations in air and water quality at different sites around the karst environment of Jenolan Caves. While still allowing visitors to explore the caves, this allows scientists to protect geodiversity, ensuring conditions stay stable for future generations.

    Preserving biodiversity

    NPWS works to protect biodiversity in all its parks, and Blue Mountains National Park is no exception. Issues that may have potential impacts on biodiversity, such as climate change and weed invasion, are regularly observed and tracked within this park. Weed control and species monitoring, including assessment of competition from native vegetation and fire, also frequently occur.

    Conservation program

    BioNet

    Uniting technology with the vast collection of information on biodiversity in NSW, BioNet is a valuable database open to any user. From individual plant sightings to detailed scientific surveys, it offers a wealth of knowledge about ecology and threatened species in NSW. 

    Historic heritage in our parks and reserves

    Preserving the abundant historic heritage of the Yerranderie precinct is a priority in Blue Mountains National Park. Regular building maintenance is carried out to protect the fabric of the Yerranderie heritage and to ensure visitor safety and important asset conservation.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    Blue Mountains National Park is committed to providing first-class visitor facilities. The park is located in the Greater Blue Mountains area, a heritage-listed site, and heritage maintenance is ongoing. Early scoping studies are carried out to ensure heritage assets are conserved. Enhancements to the park’s roads, car parks, tracks, trails, campgrounds and information signage are also a continuing priority.

    Blue Mountains National Park has achieved Ecotourism Destination Certification, through Ecotourism Australia, recognising best practice sustainable tourism and visitation in protected areas.

    Conserving our Aboriginal culture

    Blue Mountains National Park is dedicated to preserving its strong Aboriginal culture. There are several significant sites around the park, which are maintained as part of efforts to conserve this culture. Aboriginal site conditions are regularly assessed and recorded, and members of local Aboriginal communities are engaged wherever possible.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Hazard reduction program

    Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

    Hanging rock, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: David Finnegan