We’ve visited the Blue Mountains on a number of occasions, but our favourite weekend was one combining three of our favourite things – horse riding in Megalong Valley, hiking the iconic National Pass, and a spot of wine tasting to top it off.
Start your Blue Mountains weekend or day trip adventure by driving out of Sydney via the B59. About 1hr 30 mins in, you’ll soon begin a beautiful ascent into the mountains and enter driving heaven. We headed straight for one of the best hiking tracks in the Blue Mountains – the National Pass. One of our favourite hikes, this one is amazingly built into the side of a cliff and offers spectacular views across the Blue Mountains National Park.
To start your hike, park up at Wentworth Falls picnic area where you’ll immediately be greeted with a breathtaking panoramic view to set you on your way.
Make your way down the track and follow the signs for Wentworth Falls. To get down to this impressive waterfall, you’ll need to make a steep descent down the historic Grand Stairway which dates back all the way to the 1900’s. Amazingly, the zig-zag staircase was built by men using picks and shovels, and has since become one of the most popular hiking trails in Australia. Take in the awesome views here before heading down further to reach the falls.
As you turn the corner, peek to the right through the trees and you’ll get a glimpse of the beautiful Wentworth Falls. Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to be hiking on a lovely sunny day and you’ll be able to watch the sunlight hit the top of the waterfall as it cascades down. This is a lovely spot for a drink and a bite before commencing your way around the cliff.
Continue your way through the valley around the edge of the cliff – the panoramic views are endless and if you’re anything like me it will take you a while to get around without stopping every other minute for a photo. Six kms later you will have walked through the valley, around the cliffs, through more waterfalls and then find yourself at the Conservation Hut for a hot cuppa. Your starting point is not much further from here and you’ll soon find yourself back at Wentworth Falls picnic area.
If you fancy a cafe stop off, we’d recommend Leura – a beautiful quaint little village nearby with boutique shops and plenty of lunch options. If you’re looking for something alternative and quirky, head over to Katoomba and visit the Yellow Deli – a hippy style cafe which feels like you’ve entered into some kind of hobbit woodland. Try the green bars and their gourmet sandwiches – you won’t be disappointed.
Our final top recommendation for the Blue Mountains is horse riding in Megalong Valley at Euroka Homestead. About a 30 min drive from Katoomba, Megalong Valley is primarily a farming community, but offers some of the best horse riding trails in Australia. You can easily fit this in on a day trip to the Blue Mountains – Euroka offers rides in the morning and after lunch so you can easily work it around other hiking plans you might have. Their stable settings are absolutely stunning, and probably worth a visit just for the scenery alone. With trails to suit all levels, you don’t need to worry abut being a beginner here.
We’d highly recommend the Cellar Door ride which involves a beautiful ride through Megalong Creek to the award winning Dryridge Estate vineyard. Here the horses take a break whilst you enjoy a platter of cheese and olives with some lovely wine tasting overlooking spectacular views. After an hour or so you’ll be saddling back up with your free bottle of wine and ride back to Euroka in the beautiful sunset (we’d recommend the afternoon ride to catch this sunset). The experience is about 2.5 hours long and costs $149 per person including wine tastings and a cheese platter lunch – perfect for a special occasion or if you’re after an experience off the beaten Blue Mountains track and to escape the tourists.
There’s so many other areas in the Blue Mountains to explore, but hiking the iconic National Pass and the Cellar Door ride in Megalong Valley has made it to our top two great little spots in the Blue Mountains. Enjoy!