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Best Hiking in the Blue Mountains

My first time outside of Sydney, I headed to the world famous Blue Mountains.

Yes they are blue. Well kinda.

The blue haze given off by the mountains isn’t a unique phenomenon to the Blue Mountains but rather all mountain ranges worldwide.

distant dark mountains reflect little light to our eyes. Our eyes receive much more light from sunlight scattered by tiny molecules between us and the mountain. That scattered sunlight is blue. So, it isn’t a scattering of light reflected from the mountain that makes the mountain appear blue, but rather a scattering of light between us and the mountain. (WeatherQuesting Web Site)

I really just needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life and this was my first venture outside the city since I got to Australia, believe it or not.

It made me feel like a real traveller again.

Now, I’m not in Sydney because I love it, rather because it’s the best place to find some meaningful and good paying office work doing what I did back home.

In the meantime, while I have a 9-5, it gives me time to focus on my other goals, mainly improving this blog and my writing, and my goals to make enough money to fund my travels outside of a 9-5.

One can only hope that I completely ditch the 9-5 someday, but not for now unfortunately.

But enough about me.

I spent three days hiking in the Blue Mountains doing a different tramp each time.

Recommended from other travellers in my hostel, The Flying Fox (which I highly recommend), the three tracks that I did were:

  • Federal Pass
  • Prince Henry Cliff Walk
  • Grand Canyon Walk

Read more about the 8 Best Walking Tracks in the Blue Mountains

Here’s my breakdown of all three.

1. Federal Pass

I didn’t do the entire trail. I skipped the most western half. I took the bus to Sky World where everyday hundreds of tourists ride a cable car across the canyon for some break-taking views; but I left the hoards of tourists at the top and headed down into the canyon where few tourists go.

The Federal Pass crosses the trail from Katoomba Falls where I started. Even for just a day-hike this area is beautiful with a magnificent view of the famous Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls within a few sections of each other.


The next section consisted of the Three Sisters lookout where I posed for a rather excellent selfie with the ladies.

Three Sisters Selfie

Three Sisters Selfie

After this part the hike got tough.

Down the cliff-side Furber Steps where it crosses the Federal Pass, there isn’t much to say about the trail itself. Just a standard bush walk under the canopy of eucalyptus trees keeping me shady from the brutal Aussie sun.

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, except one should beware that the steps at the end in the Leura forest are brutal.

You really should experience this hike for yourself.

A downloadable PDF of the hike is available at this link.

2. Prince Henry Cliff walk

This walk is OK, not amazing. The entire walking track goes along the upper portion of the cliff that I did the day before on the Federal Pass, but with no stairs (thank God). A very easy walk but still with some amazing views along the way. Worth it if you just want an effortless stroll.

Prince Henry Cliff Walk

Prince Henry Cliff Walk

A breakdown of the walk is provided here

3. Grand Canyon Walk

Rated as one of the best walks in the Blue Mountains, I tend to agree.

This hike basically takes all day but it doesn’t have to. There’s a bus that takes you to the start but it’s only every hour so we decided to take the train which added on another 3km before starting the track.

It’s a circuit so you can start at either side.

What a beauty this walk is.

It starts with stairs (a common theme here) and goes down into the rain forest then before you know it, you’re along a winding canyon going deeper and deeper into the forest wondering where the stairs to the top are.

Along the way, we took a detour called Rodriguez pass for a swim under a waterfall before we got to the end of the track. Highly recommended.

But at the end you’re rewarded with a magnificent view from Evans Lookout… which I don’t have a picture of because it wouldn’t have done it justice.

Grand Canyon Walk

Grand Canyon Walk

Here’s a good breakdown of the entire walk

If you go to the Blue Mountains I’d recommend all three of these walks.

Have you been here before?

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