Just an hour and a half outside of Sydney are the spectacular Blue Mountains. Listed as a World Heritage Area by UNESCO, the Greater Blue Mountains Area ranges 10,000 square kilometers, which basically means that there are dozens of scenic spots to explore. The most famous observations points are centered around the Three Sisters, but what about the rest? There is much more to the Blue Mountains besides the Three Sisters! I wanted to explore deeper into the mountains and get off the beaten path, where many vehicles cannot drive. Therefore, I decided to skip the bus tour and take a day trip with Blue Mountains Eco Tours. The tour enables you to see the standard observation points that are on every tourists list, but in addition to that you also explore hidden gems of the Blue Mountains in a luxurious Land Rover Discovery! By traveling in a 4WD, you can get to places that are inaccessible by any standard car or tour bus, which in this terrain opens up a whole new experience. Simply put, by doing this tour, I got to visit locations that most people don’t get to see.
The day started off with a fun ride into a secluded part of the Blue Mountains, where we had to drive traditional 4WD style through rocky dirt roads. I never drove in a 4WD before, so I couldn’t believe the type of road conditions we were driving over! It was exhilarating making our way through the insanely bumpy roads, but before we knew it, we were facing a the jaw dropping view of the Jamison Valley. It was just us and nature… along with some snacks, of course! The back of the Land Rover was transformed into a lovely set up filled with beverages and snacks such as tea, coffee, fruit and biscuits. Nothing beats Tim Tams and a view!
We then drove to another part of the mountains, where we took a short hike to a secluded area, which gave us a birds eye view of the famous Three Sisters. I had a great view and didn’t have to deal with hordes of people! Further down the hiking trail was a waterfall, popping out over a beautiful lookout spot. There are so many different hiking trails around the area, so I was extremely glad that I had our guide Paul to lead the way. I never would have been able to figure out the best trails to follow if had I tried to navigate my way through here on my own.
Afterwards, we went to Echo Point, which is one of the most well known observation points in the Blue Mountains. As soon as we pulled into the vicinity, the streets were jam packed with tour buses and people. We went from our small, three person group to being mixed in with literally hundreds of people. Despite the crowds, we still wanted to check it out. After all, there is hype around this lookout for a reason! The view of the mountain range and Three Sisters was definitely worth the stop, but I was happy to return to our petite group after.
It was now time for our lunch break in a cozy nearby town, named Leura. Once we got into town, we had some free time to do whatever we pleased.. grab lunch, walk around the town or do some shopping. Paul had some great restaurant recommendations, including a bakery that had amazing pies. I am a sucker for a good pie, especially in Australia which is known for its pies! There were so many options, I couldn’t decide. Paul had the brilliant idea to get two and split it, we went for the Chicken and Mushroom pie and a Lamb pie. Delicious! After lunch, it was time to walk off those pies, as we headed over to the next trail with another sensational view.
Our final stop of the day was definitely my favorite. The view was out of this world as I was surrounded by some of the most incredible landscape I’ve ever seen. I could have stayed in this spot all day, staring out into the mountain range as I snacked on some treats. One things for sure, you never get hungry on this tour! The area was so peaceful and isolated, you would never know that Sydney was only a short drive away. I might have to escape the city again to do some more exploring!
**Thank you Blue Mountains Eco Tours for hosting me. As always, my opinions are my own.