Blue Mountains National Park

Overview

Explore World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, home of the famous Three Sisters in Katoomba. Discover iconic lookouts and waterfalls, historic walking tracks, mountain biking, Aboriginal culture, adventure sports, and camping - right on Sydney's doorstep.

Read more about Blue Mountains National Park

Blue Mountains Heritage Centre is a good introduction to this popular park, and the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Pack a picnic and enjoy a day trip to marvel at the Three Sisters rock formation from Echo Point, in Katoomba. Take in sweeping views of sheer sandstone cliffs and hazy blue Grose Valley declared wilderness area from Govetts Leap, in Blackheath. At Wentworth Falls you're spoilt for choice with world-clas lookouts, walks and waterfalls.

This certified Ecotourism Destination is a walker's paradise, boasting over 140km of tracks and trails. Why not walk a section of historic Prince Henry Cliff walk, between Katoomba and Leura. Climb Mount Banks' summit or descend into the Grand Canyon. Combine a short walk with Aboriginal rock art or a swim in a natural pool, near Glenbrook.

Mountain bike riders can tackle the famed Woodford-Oaks trail, scenic Narrow Neck, or Faulconbridge Ridge trail. There are also great opportunities for adventure sports tours, including abseiling, rock climbing and canyoning.

Within 2 hours' drive from Sydney, you can be camping by majestic eucalypts at Euroka, or watching a spectacular sunset at Perrys Lookdown. Seek solitude at remote Acacia Flat, or 4WD to Mount Werong or Burralow Creek, for a night of stargazing and wildlife spotting.

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 https://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

    To get to Blue Mountains National Park there:

    From Sydney:

    • Take the M4 and the Great Western Highway for Glenbrook, the southern side of the Lower Grose Valley, Katoomba and Blackheath areas.
    • The Southern Blue Mountains area is accessed via Oberon or Jenolan Caves.

    From Richmond via Bells Line of Road:

    • Take the Bells Line of Road for the northern side of the Lower Grose Valley, and the Mount Wilson area.
    • You can also take Bells Line of Road to Bell, then connect with the Great Western Highway via Darling Causeway.

    From Lithgow:

    • Follow the Great Western Highway east toward Sydney.
    • You can also follow Chifley Road from Lithgow, which becomes Bells Line of Road.
    • Darling Causeway connects the highway and Bells Line of Road between Mount Victoria and Bell.

    Roads into Blue Mountains National Park can be busy, especially on weekends and public holidays during summer. For up-to-date traffic information, we recommend you visit the Live Traffic NSW website.

    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 Glenbrook, Woodford, Faulconbridge, Leura, Wentworth Falls, Katoomba and Blackheath. Visit the Transport NSW website to plan your trip.

    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 Parks 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 (https://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.

    All Blue Mountains National Park visitors planning a long hike, off-track or overnight adventure, or visiting a remote part of the park, are recommended to fill in the trip intention form and carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Find out more about hiring a PLB and completing a trip intention form on the dedicated iPads available at Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, Katoomba Police Station, Springwood Police Station.

    You can pick one up:

    • between 9am - 4pm at the NPWS Office in Blackheath or
    • after hours from the Police Stations at Katoomba and Springwood.

    Keep well back from cliff edges and waterfalls at all times, especially when taking photos. Please stay on tracks and be aware of your surroundings and footing.

    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.

    Cycling safety

    Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these cycling safety tips.

    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

    Lithgow (18 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

    Sydney City Centre (63 km)

    No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.

    www.sydney.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.

    • 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.
    • Mount Solitary walking track Take a challenging, multi-day hike over Mount Solitary in Blue Mountains National Park. Enjoy scenic mountain views, historic heritage, and bush camping, starting out from Katoomba.

    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.

    • Campfire circle for teens Join this campfire circle for teens if you’d like to understand more about Aboriginal culture in Blue Mountains National Park. You’ll get to see and learn about traditional tools and weapons.
    • Cultural art day for teens If you're a creative teen interested in Aboriginal culture, book for this art activity at Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, Blackheath. Led by an Aboriginal Discovery ranger, get ready to be inspired!
    • 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.
    • Junior Rangers: Cultural appreciation Looking for a hands-on experience these school holidays? Come along to this cultural appreciation activity in Blue Mountains National Park. It's one of 5 Junior Ranger activities you can do in 2019.
    • 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. It's reached via Red Hands Cave loop walking track.
    • 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 The easy 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 Aboriginal experience at Walls Cave Come on a WilderQuest adventure to a hidden cave these school holidays. You'll cool down as you journey with an Aboriginal NPWS ranger to magnificent Walls Cave at Blackheath.
    • WilderQuest Circle time: Blue Mountains Don't miss the chance to learn about Aboriginal culture on this fun WilderQuest adventure. Led by an NPWS Aboriginal ranger, we'll create some traditional craft using resources straight from the bush. 
    • WilderQuest Stories around the campfire Join this hands-on WilderQuest activity in Blue Mountains National Park. Around the campfire, you'll learn all about our country's First People.
    • WilderQuest Tree painting and art day Get creative these school holidays. Join in the WilderQuest fun of tree painting at Blackheath in Blue Mountains National Park.
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    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.
    • 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 Billy tea with a bushman Are you keen to roast a marshmallow over a campfire? Join the WilderQuest fun these school holidays and listen to stories in Blue Mountains National Park.
    • WilderQuest Bug hunt adventure Are you keen to learn all about bugs these school holidays? Join in the WilderQuest fun in the Blue Mountains area. Explore the many types of bugs living right under your feet!
    • WilderQuest Dragonfly discovery Do you like dragonflies? Want to find out lots of interesting things about them and get creative too? Come along to this great WilderQuest winter holiday activity at Blackheath.
    • WilderQuest Leaping lizards Do you love lizards? Join in the WilderQuest reptile fun in Blue Mountains National Park. You’ll get to explore their habitat and find out how you can help to protect our reptiles.
    • WilderQuest Spotlight tour Shh! What was that? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Join our national parks ranger, for an exciting expedition under the stars. We'll discover the amazing creatures of the night on this easy 2hr tour.
    • WilderQuest Wondrous waterbugs Did you know that waterbugs are very important to our waterways? Find out more about these wondrous critters these school holidays. Come on a WilderQuest adventure 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.

    • Close up photo of a waratah flower, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

      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 (6)

    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

    Geodiversity gap analysis

    A geodiversity gap analysis surveyed the full range of geodiversity in NSW so the Office of Environment and Heritage could determine whether or not its reserves included an accurate representation of geology, features, soil types, and fossil sites across the state. The findings will help shape future protection choices.

    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.

    The Three Sisters, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: S Alton/OEH.