In the Blue Mountains, you can find plenty of fun and exciting things to do with your family. With a vast array of outdoor and indoor sites to visit, there’s sure to be something to appeal to every member of the family. You can experience several scenic hiking trails, cool off under a beautiful waterfall, visit gardens or indoor museums or have a nice lunch on a balcony overlooking the mountains. The Blue Mountains make for a great spot to visit for a family holiday.
Check out the scenic sites with your family
Be in awe at the Three Sisters
The Three Sisters are an unusual rock formation that’s definitely worth a visit when you come to the Blue Mountains. Sitting 900 metres above sea level, the Three Sisters are thought to have been standing for over 200 million years and are believed to have been formed by land erosion during the Triassic period. The unique name of this rock formation comes from an Aboriginal Dreamtime story that details the story of three sisters named Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo, who lived in the Katoomba tribe and were turned to stone by a witch doctor. You’ll be able to see the Three Sisters in all their glory by following the trail and crossing the Honeymoon Bridge. The rock formation even has floodlights that allow for light until 11 pm every night.
Enjoy the thrill of Scenic World
Scenic World is another must-see attraction when you’re on a family holiday in blue mountains. Located around the corner of the Three Sisters in Katoomba, this site should definitely be on your list as it’s one of the best family-friendly attractions in the Blue Mountains. You’ll be able to ride one of the steepest passenger railways in the world. This 52-degree incline lowers passengers down to the forest floor inside a glass-roofed tram. Once you’ve touched down, you’ll then be able to go for a walk along the Scenic Walkway, which is a 500-metre boardwalk. Additionally, you can also choose to use the Scenic Cableway, which will allow you to descend into the Jamison Valley on a 545-metre cable and explore the rainforest.
Discover Jenolan Caves, the largest cave system in Australia
Jenolan Caves is the largest cave system in Australia, but there’s plenty of other reasons why you should discover this historic site! In addition to being the largest, it’s also the oldest going back many centuries and has been called Binoomea by the local Aboriginal population, which loosely translates into “dark places.” Naturally, it should be no surprise that when European explorers discovered the caves, they were forced to navigate by candlelight. Today you’ll be able to take a guided tour on built, stable walkways and walk over deep holes and stare in awe at bubbling streams and hanging stalagmites and stalactites. There are five caves that you can choose from, and while The Temple of Baal Cave has a minimum age limit of 10, the other four caves are open to any age.
See colourful sites at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is the perfect place to go if you want a tiny break from the extensive trekking some of the other sites offer. The garden covers 250-hectares of land, with 30 being open to the public. With around 13 feature gardens within the park that ranges from North American Woodlands to the Rhododendron Garden and open every day of the year excluding Christmas, this is the perfect spot to take your family for a laid-back picnic. Your young ones are sure to have a time of their lives exploring all the colourful flowers and towering trees. With more than 40,000 native, exotic and rare plants, the Botanic Gardens have a lot to offer and are a much-needed venture when you visit the Blue Mountains.
Hang out at Trees Adventure
Trees Adventure is another great spot to visit and is located on the foothills at the Blue Mountains, near the Grose and Nepean rivers in Yarramundi. The area is named after a local chief and doctor of the Boorooberongal tribe of the Darug people, Yarramundi. After he and his father met with Governor Phillip, their family was the first Indigenous people to achieve land grants, sanction mixed marriage, and other amazing achievements. Today, it’s a great spot for kids to have fun and explore. After being secured in a harness, both kids and adults will be able to soar through multitudes of treetops utilizing flying foxes, tight ropes, and tunnels with over 10 courses to choose from, including 80 plus challenges and over 15 flying foxes. With each session typically lasting two and a half hours, you and your family will have a blast exploring and seeing the many treetops of Yarramundi, which is only a 25-minute drive from the Blue Mountains.
Enjoy the night sky with Blue Mountains Star-Gazing
Blue Mountains Star-Gazing is another attraction you’ll want to jot down on your list. If you’re planning to stay overnight or are okay with a late-night drive home, this event is perfect for you. The stargazing events are lead by a French-born Astronomy & Astrophysics PhD graduate Dr Dimitri Douchin. He will take you on an awe-inspiring tour where you’ll be able to see the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, Mars, Venus, shooting star, and other cosmic sites, viewed through a professional-grade telescope. The most popular tour is the Sunset Stargazing Tour, which lasts about 90 minutes and takes place at Wentworth Falls Lookout on Sir H Burrell Drive. In addition to stargazing, Dimitri will also teach you about the region's history, more specifically of Australia’s Aboriginal people and the connection they share with the land.
Places to cool off
Chilling off at Minnehaha Falls
Minnehaha Falls in Katoomba is the first place on our list when it comes to places to swim. Let’s face it, especially after trekking for a while, you’ll definitely want to visit one of these falls to cool off! Minnehaha Falls is on the northern side of Katoomba, giving you a more uninterrupted experience versus some of the more tourist areas. Whether you want to take a quick dive or are thinking about visiting to set up camp for the day, the pool has a secluded feel to it and is surrounded by large rock formations covered in foliage which further adds to its calming feel. With plenty of spots to set up camp for the day, it’s the perfect swimming hole to visit on a family trip with its deep blue water and beautiful waterfalls.
Kayak the Yarramundi Reserve
Yaramundi Reserve in Hawkesbury is the second swimming hole on our list, and in addition to being a great spot to cool off at, you can also go fishing and kayaking as well. Surrounded by luscious pine trees, a beautiful mountainous backdrop, and the Grose River that runs through, you’ll feel enchanted as you experience this place’s beauty. Located just a little distance outside the historical town of Richmond and with plenty of spots to set up picnics that are also pet friendly, you and your family will have a thrill coming to visit here. There are even beaches you can visit, and during low tide, the sandbanks create tiny islands which are sure to have your kids wanting to explore.
Swim at Jellybean Pool
Jellybean Pool in Glenbrook is another excellent water hole that you should visit. It’s located on the outskirts of Glenbrook in the lower Blue Mountains. Aftera venturing on a scenic mountain shrub trail, Jelly Bean track, you’ll venture down to this large semi-circle sandbank which can hold many people before becoming too crowded. Surrounded by large rock formations that make great platforms to jump into the freshwater below, there’s plenty of fun to be had and is a great way to cool off on a summer’s hot day. Additionally, when you make your way up the riverbank, you’ll also find plenty of more scenic spots to observe as well as dipping your feet in.
The secret beauty of Silver Cascades
Silver Cascades in Mt. Victoria is a bit of a more secretive spot, meaning there will be fewer crowds when you come to visit. One of the main reasons why it’s such a secretive spot is because it’s a bit of a steep trek, meaning it’s not for the faint of heart. However, if you and your family are adventurous spirits ready to take on a steep, 400-metre descent, then you’ll be awarded the beauty of Mt. Victoria, a suburb of the Blue Mountains. Silver Cascade’s upper pool is enclosed by a rock wall that mirrors a long and gradual staircase down into the majestic swimming hole. Additionally, the waterfall at the upper pool is calm enough for you and your family to sit in while you enjoy the scenic view this place has to offer. You’ll be treated to fresh mountain water at the lower pool cascading off a 20-metre overhang into the shallow pool. You’ll be able to stand upon the overhang or watch it below as you cool in the cold water.
Have a BBQ at Upper Colo River
Upper Colo River is the last swimming hole that you should visit at or near Blue Mountains. Winding through winds through 86-kilometres of dense Australian bushland that starts at Wolgan and Capertee rivers in Australia’s Great Dividing Range, Upper Colo River is a source of beautiful and cold freshwater. In addition to being able to swim when you come to visit, there’s also the Upper Colo Camp Reserve that’ll allow you and your family access to public toilets and communal BBQ areas. There are many beach-like shores as well as rocky cliffs and small caves to visit. Some other natural amenities include plunge pools carved into the sand by the river’s gentle but constant current.
Indulging your sweet tooth at Blue Mountains Chocolate Company
Blue Mountains Chocolate Company is the first indoor activity on this list and is perfect for when you want to reward your little ones with a sweet and savoury treat. The cafe is located in a quaint cottage in Katoomba, a five-minute walk from the main part of town. The menu they have is extensive and offers everything from homemade cakes, gooey fudge, delicious ice cream, and sweet drinks made with real chocolate. With 50 different varieties of handmade chocolates, not only can you find some sweet treats to reward your kids with, but you’ll also be able to buy chocolates to take home with you as well. As a bonus treat, there’s also an on-site playground where your kids can have fun playing.
Explore toys at Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum
Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum is home of the largest toy collection in the Southern Hemisphere. Your children will definitely jump for joy as they enter and will be able to see the extensive library of toys available. The wide roster of toys includes Barbies to Tin Tins, with some selections going as far back as the 1920s. You and your family will be able to explore pre and post-war toys, including teddy bears, dolls, comic cooks, aeroplanes, tinplate trains, automobiles and model-railway layouts that are spread over about five different floors. In addition to its robust inventory of toys and railways, there’s also a five-hectare plot of beautiful cool-climate gardens which offers its visitors scenic glimpses at the sandstone cliffs and the blue vistas of the Jamison Valley. You’ll also find a mini-railway system that you’ll be able to walk around and take great family pictures with.
Have a cup of tea at Megalong Valley Tearooms
Megalong Valley Tearooms is a great spot to not only sip on some delicious tea and eat some delicious treats but is also a great place to experience scenic views of the mountains. The only remaining remnant of a once booming Devonshire tea industry in the area, you’ll be treated to authentic apple pie, which uses the same recipe from over half a century ago. While you’re out trekking some of the amazing sites the Blue Mountains has to offer, this place is an excellent detour, and you’ll be able to sit outside and enjoy the calming, fresh air while chowing down on tasty treats and sipping delicious tea. There’s ice cream, a black forest torte, and traditional scones with jam and cream for desserts.
Explore at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre will perhaps be the more educational part of your trip. When you visit, your family will learn more about the comprehensive history and landscapes of the Blue Mountains. The museum’s collection includes information about the geology and flora and fauna of the Blue Mountains. You’ll also have the chance to watch Into The Blue, a multimedia exhibition that further showcases the area’s history and natural beauty. Additionally, the museum also offers temporary exhibitions. You can also venture outside to a viewing platform where you can gaze at Katoomba and the mountains. Lastly, there’s a library located next door, making it a perfect visit for when you have an inquisitive child eager to learn more about the world.
Eat at the Conservation Hut
The Conservation Hut is the perfect spot to eat at for families starting or finishing a bushwalk. The menu offers a wide range of delicious and filling lunches, tasty snacks, and great coffee. In addition to being a great spot to fuel up before or after a bushwalk, it’s also a wonderful place to experience panoramic views of the Blue Mountains from the restaurant’s balcony. The restaurant was rebuilt in mud-brick in 1989 to house two Reinis Zusters paintings which further adds to the peaceful and calming atmosphere. The view alone paired with a warm coffee makes the Conservation Hut a great place for families to grab a bite to eat in between seeing the natural sites of the Blue Mountains.
Stay at the Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains
The Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains is the perfect spot for your family to stay while you’re visiting the Blue Mountains. Since there’s plenty of things to do when you visit this historical site, you’ll probably want to try staying at least a couple of days, so when you need to hunker down for bed at night, you should stay at the Fairmont Resort. In addition to large comfortable rooms that are ideal for big families, you’ll also be treated to beautiful mountain views, a great selection of hotel restaurants, and an accommodating staff. Your young ones will have a blast as there are also two playrooms. The first is Dane’s Room which is designed for kids ages four and under, and the second one is KidZone which is perfect for kids ages five to 13 and features a giant jungle gym and Wii games.