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The Blue Mountains wilderness area is a must-visit while you’re in Sydney. As beautiful as Sydney is, nothing beats getting out of the city and exploring the rugged beauty that New South Wales has to offer.
The Blue Mountains is one of the best day trip destinations from Sydney. Since we frequently visit the city, we’ve spent a fair amount of time exploring this beautiful area. There’s a ton to do here, from seeing wildlife parks and incredible viewpoints to scenic walks and cableway rides. However, if you take a tour, you can cover it all in one day.
We love taking tours in Sydney because they take all the stress out of planning. Instead of worrying about logistics or driving, you can sit back and enjoy the gorgeous mountain scenery. However, not all tours are created equal, which is why we’ve rounded up the best Blue Mountains tours from Sydney. Keep reading to learn about each one and find the right option for you!
Don’t have time to read the full article? A tour is a great way to explore the Blue Mountains from Sydney. Our top choice is this all-inclusive small-group tour that visits all the best attractions, including Scenic World and Featherdale Wildlife Park, and includes a chef-prepared lunch and boat cruise back to Sydney!
Best Tours to the Blue Mountains from Sydney
1. Blue Mountains Day Trip from Sydney including Scenic World
This top-rated tour ensures you get the complete Blue Mountains experience, with epic views, wildlife, and some scenic rides.
You’ll be picked up from your Sydney hotel around 7 am and then head to Featherdale Wildlife Park. Here, you can get up close and personal with native Australian animals, including kangaroos and stunning birds. Don’t forget to snap a selfie with a koala, too!
Then, you’ll head to Echo Point for an amazing view of the Three Sisters before enjoying a visit to Scenic World. You’ll get insane aerial views of the Jamison Valley and Katoomba Falls from the rides – we honestly felt like we were flying! Then, the day ends with a boat cruise back to Sydney.
We think that this is a great tour because it allows you to experience all of the Blue Mountains highlights without having to worry about a single thing! You can experience the sights from land, up high on rides, and on the water. It’s also a great tour for families because kids especially love Featherdale Wildlife Park.
The tour costs $190 AUD for adults and $160 AUD for kids (ages 3-12), which includes transportation and admission fees. However, it doesn’t include hotel drop-off, and you’ll end the tour at the Circular Quay at 6:30 pm. The only extra cost is lunch, which you can either buy in the Blue Mountains or bring a packed lunch if you’re visiting Sydney on a budget.
2. All Inclusive Small-Group Blue Mountains Day Trip from Sydney
We think that this all-inclusive tour is the ultimate way to enjoy a Blue Mountains day trip from Sydney! The combination of being all-inclusive, comprehensive, and a small group makes it extra enjoyable. This is why it’s actually our top choice on this list!
There is a maximum of 20 people, so it doesn’t feel crowded or impersonal. Instead, you get to enjoy a relaxing Blue Mountains day trip from Sydney which includes lunch. And not just any old lunch – a chef-prepared lunch in a local restaurant! They also cater to dietary needs; just let your guides know when you book your tour.
Being in a small group also means you get to visit some secret viewpoints that overlook the Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley. Some of them are pretty hidden and narrow, meaning that the bigger tours can’t really visit. We think that this is a big advantage of doing this tour!
As you visit these more exclusive spots, your guide will lead you along a boardwalk through the rainforest. When we went, we saw lots of unique vantage points and loads of interesting wildlife along the way.
This tour also includes entry to Scenic World, where you can ride a cable car up for aerial views of the valleys below. Then, you’ll either visit Featherdale Wildlife Park or Sydney Zoo. Your guide will decide which is the best option for that particular day, but we assure you that both are definitely worth visiting!
You’ll return to Sydney on a scenic cruise along the Parramatta River. This is such a nice, relaxing way to end your day in the Blue Mountains, and it sure beats traveling by bus! You’ll get amazing views of the natural landscape as you cruise past, as well as of Sydney’s skyline as you approach the city.
This tour costs $285 AUD for adults or $220 AUD for kids (ages 2-12). It covers pickup from three meeting points/hotels: Parkroyal Darling Harbour Hotel, the Sheraton Grand Hotel, and the Four Seasons. Pickup starts at 6:45 am, and the whole tour lasts about 11 hours, ending at the Barangaroo ferry terminal.
We think that this would be a great option for solo travelers, as it’s much easier to make friends on a small group tour. However, it’s also a fantastic choice for couples or groups of friends!
This tour is popular and does sell out, so reserve your spot well in advance!
Related Read: Also visiting Perth? Check out the best tours from Perth, Australia – from a local!
3. Blue Mountains: Three Sisters, Scenic World, and Wildlife Park
One thing we love about this tour is that you get to start with breakfast in one of the Blue Mountains’ cute little villages! It’s such a nice way to kick off a fun-filled day.
Then, you’ll head to Featherdale Wildlife Park to check out some of Australia’s most famous wildlife, including koalas, crocs, and kangaroos. You can even find smiley quokkas here, which are always wonderful to see – especially if you don’t have time to go to Perth and see them in the wild at Rottnest Island.
You’ll also get to enjoy the rides at Scenic World, which come with awesome vantage points. Plus, you’ll visit plenty of lookouts to admire the dramatic canyons, waterfalls, and of course, the Three Sisters rock formation that the Blue Mountains is famous for.
We like that this is a small group tour, and it’s also super informative. We learned so much about the history of the Blue Mountains! The guides really know their stuff and can teach you a lot about the area, from its natural history to its Aboriginal heritage.
This tour begins around 7 am, lasting 10 hours. It costs $325 AUD for adults and $275 AUD for kids (ages 1-12), which includes breakfast, lunch, and all admission fees. Everything is covered – the only thing you’ll have to pay extra for is any alcoholic drinks with lunch. It’s definitely one of the most generous Blue Mountains tours from Sydney in terms of inclusions.
Do you like the sound of a super comprehensive tour – starting with breakfast?! Book this tour online right here!
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
4. Blue Mountains Day Trip including Parramatta River Cruise
Do you want to take a Blue Mountains day trip from Sydney but are traveling on a budget? Then this full-day tour is a great choice! You get to see stunning sights and ancient Aboriginal rock carvings and cruise down the Parramatta River.
While it doesn’t include tickets to Sydney Zoo or Scenic World, you can still visit them on the day. However, you can also skip them to save money. We love having that flexibility, especially if we’re on a tight budget or have already visited these places.
Overall, the tour still has a great itinerary, and you’ll still be able to soak in the Blue Mountains’ amazing scenery. You’ll visit the impressive Kings Tableland Lookout, where you’ll get sweeping views of the entire area, and you can also enjoy a guided walk to a waterfall. Of course, your guide will also take you to snap a photo of the iconic Three Sisters.
On this tour, you’ll check out lots of ancient Aboriginal rock carvings, which were super cool! They really paint a picture of the region’s rich history. When we went, our guides shared all about the area’s significance to the Indigenous people of Australia. We learned a ton!
Plus, despite its low price, the tour still includes a scenic Parramatta River cruise back to Sydney. We absolutely love taking Sydney Harbour cruises so this was a huge bonus! Plus, some of the more expensive tours don’t include this, so we’re pretty impressed that it’s included with this one.
The tour will stop at the Sydney Zoo on the way to the mountains. You can either chill on your own and explore the area, or pay for entry to see the wildlife. At the gate, a day ticket costs $55 AUD for adults and $28 AUD for kids (ages 3 -15). If you purchase online in advance, it’s $45 AUD for adults and $20 AUD for kids.
Midway through the tour, you’ll also stop at Scenic World. This amusement park is all about giving you the best views, with elevated boardwalks and the world’s steepest railway. Again, you can do your own thing or choose to enter, with prices starting at around $50 AUD.
All in all, we think that this tour is a fantastic budget option in Sydney. Even without the optional extras, you still get a comprehensive overview of the area. You’ll visit plenty of stunning vantage points without spending a ton of money.
The tour costs $107 AUD for adults and $65 AUD for children (ages 3-13). It includes transportation, your friendly guides, and the harbor cruise. Pickup starts around 6:45 am, with ten centrally located pickup points. The whole thing lasts for around 10 hours, and you’ll end by docking at the Circular Quay.
Want to save money and still see all the top sites? Book this Blue Mountains tour right here!
Related Read: For more gorgeous wildlife and stunning waterfalls, visit Litchfield National Park in Australia!
5. PRIVATE Blue Mountains and Scenic World Tour in a Luxury Car
When it comes to private tours of the Blue Mountains, this luxury tour is our top choice!
What’s great about private tours is that you can tailor them to your interests. If you want to check out a particular waterfall or canyon in the Blue Mountains, then your guide can make it happen.
You’ll visit all of the area’s top attractions, and your guide will teach you all about what makes this region so special. Plus, since your party has your guide’s undivided attention, you’ll be able to ask all of your burning questions. I loved this because I got to enjoy more in-depth discussions about the Blue Mountains.
Some of the places you’ll get to visit include Wentworth Falls and Leura, where you’ll see dramatic rock formations and beautiful waterfalls. You’ll also go to Sublime Point Lookout – which we can assure you definitely lives up to its name. Here, we heard peaceful birdsong, which is a really special experience.
This tour’s itinerary also includes several viewpoints, including Eagle Hawk Lookout, Hildass Lookout, and Cahil’s Lookout. You can rest assured you’ll have a ton of chances to enjoy panoramic views of the New South Wales wilderness!
This experience also includes entry to Scenic World, where you can enjoy yet more stunning views from its rides and walkway. This spot also boasts the world’s steepest railway. We felt like we were flying down the side of the mountain!
Taking a private tour means you get to see much more because traveling in a small group saves a lot of time. Plus, you never feel rushed. It really elevates the whole experience, so we definitely think it’s worth it if you’ve got the budget!
This tour costs $400 AUD each (for a group of 4 people), or $690 AUD per person for two. This includes all transportation in a luxury vehicle, entry fees, and snacks, but expect to pay extra for meals. It’s not the cheapest way to see the Blue Mountains, but it does ensure that you’ll have a super comprehensive experience that’s tailored to your interests.
For the ultimate luxury, pick a date and book your private tour online!
About Blue Mountains National Park
Blue Mountains National Park is a protected wilderness area located 78 kilometers (48 miles) from Sydney. The name comes from the distinctive blue haze that surrounds the region, which is caused by eucalyptus oil from the forest. When you look at the Blue Mountains from Sydney, you’ll see exactly what we mean!
In the Blue Mountains, you’ll find sandstone ridges, native bush, countless canyons, beautiful hiking tracks, and crazy rock formations. The most famous of these is the Three Sisters. It’s said that these three towering rocks were once three beautiful sisters who had fallen in love with three brothers from a rival tribe, sparking a war. To protect them from the conflict, a witch doctor turned them to stone, but he died before the spell could be reserved, and so they were preserved forever in stone.
You can also see lots of ancient Aboriginal rock art in the Blue Mountains. After all, the area was known to Indigenous people long before European colonists arrived in Australia.
There are lots of scenic viewpoints in the Blue Mountains where you can admire the rugged and dramatic landscape. You can also visit Scenic World, which is home to a scenic railway, cableway, walkway, and skyway. The rides at Scenic World provide unique vantage points over the Blue Mountains, and the views are truly mind-blowing. Plus, the scenic railway is actually the steepest railway in the world!
You can also visit Featherdale Wildlife Park in the Blue Mountains, which is a great opportunity to see lots of native Australian wildlife up close. We’re talking about quokkas, blue penguins, koalas, kangaroos, and more.
Basically, we love visiting the Blue Mountains whenever we want a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Sydney. It’s one of the most visited national parks in Australia, attracting around 4 million visitors per year, so we’re definitely not alone in this! The Blue Mountains’ dramatic scenery makes it the perfect place for a fun and outdoorsy day out, and there are a ton of fun things to do here.
Why do a tour to the Blue Mountains from Sydney?
A tour is a fantastic way to explore the Blue Mountains because it allows you to see so much of the area in just a single day. You don’t need to worry about driving yourself or trying to navigate this wilderness region, which can definitely be an intimidating experience for first-timers! It’s so much easier and more convenient.
You’ll also learn so much more about the area when you go with a guide. They’ll teach you all about the area’s unique geology and wildlife, as well as its Aboriginal heritage. Plus, an experienced guide will also be able to take you to secret spots and viewpoints that you probably wouldn’t be able to find on your own.
Related Read: For incredible views of Sydney and possibly even the Blue Mountains, visit the Tower Eye. To learn more, read our guide to visiting the Sydney Tower Eye (+our honest review!).
Is visiting the Blue Mountains from Sydney worth it?
Yes, definitely! As one of the top attractions in Sydney, it’s a total must-visit and a great way to soak up nature. Plus, Blue Mountain tours from Sydney make it so easy to explore this beautiful area. All you need to do is turn up and enjoy your day out!
Other Things to do While You’re in Sydney
Sydney is a city full of exciting things to do and see, so you’re going to want to fill your schedule while visiting this iconic city. Below are a few of our favorite activities that you should consider adding to your Sydney itinerary:
- Helicopter Ride – Sydney is a beautiful city; there is just no doubt about it! And one way to take in all the sites is on a helicopter tour! We did this helicopter ride the last time we were in the city, and it was incredible! We got the most amazing views of the bridge and Opera House, not to mention the beautiful coastline. And to top it off, we even saw whales!
- Visit Manly Beach and/or Bondi Beach – There are some pretty amazing beaches right in Sydney, so you should definitely plan for a beach day (or three!). Manly Beach is one of our favorites, and you can easily get there via the public ferry. Or, head to the famous Bondi Beach! Once there, you can do the walk to Bronte or Coogee Beaches – they are both also stunning!
- Take a Sydney Harbour Cruise – In the city, you absolutely must take a Sydney Harbour Cruise! It’s a great way to take in the sights while leisurely sailing down the water. They have both lunch cruises and dinner cruise options. On this dinner cruise, we had a fabulous time watching the skyline and enjoying a gourmet meal with bubbly in hand.
- Explore Darling Harbour – One of our favorite areas in Sydney is Darling Harbour, which features more restaurants, bars, and cafes than I can count! Plus, almost everything is waterfront! Here, you can enjoy the Chinese Garden of Friendship or walk across the Pyrmont Bridge. You can also visit popular attractions like Madame Tussauds, the Sea Life Aquarium, and Wild Life Sydney Zoo (which are all included on this Sydney Attractions Pass!).
- Tour the Sydney Opera House – Did you even visit Sydney if you didn’t go to the Opera House?! You can walk around for free, but if you want to see the inside, then you’ll have to join a guided tour of the Opera House or buy tickets to a show. We did this guided tour and found it super interesting! They took us to all of the different theatres, and we learned all about the history of the building – all for only $42 AUD!
Where to Stay in Sydney
Sydney makes a great base for exploring the Blue Mountains. So if you’re planning on staying here, you’ll need to book a place in advance. If you’re overwhelmed with where to start, check out our top picks for accommodations, from luxury rooms to budget-friendly hostels. We’ve got you covered!
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – $$$
For stunning views of Sydney Harbour and the iconic Opera House, book a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. You’ll have unobstructed views of the city from the comfort of your room. The hotel is located in the city center within the historic Rocks neighborhood – nice and close to lots of activities and restaurants.
Rooms here start at $400-$500 AUD per night and can be reserved with Booking.com.
Meriton Suites Kent Street Sydney – $$
Stay right in the heart of Sydney in a modern luxury apartment at Meriton Suites Kent Street. The suites are air-conditioned and have laundry facilities, and either a kitchenette or full kitchen to make longer stays more comfortable. You’ll also have access to an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and hot tub.
These full apartments are $230 AUD nightly when booked in advance with Booking.com.
Sydney Harbour YHA – $
For a hostel with a view, head to the rooftop terrace at the Sydney Harbour YHA. Located in the historic Rocks district, you’ll have amazing views of the harbor and be within walking distance of all the major sights. You can opt for a shared dorm room or a private room here. There’s a communal kitchen, TV lounge, billiards, and a 24/7 reception desk.
Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!
We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.
They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!
Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)
Thanks for reading!
When in Sydney, I highly recommend visiting the Blue Mountains. It’s one of my favorite national parks and has stunning vistas and such unique rock formations. Plus, with so many tour options, it makes for the perfect day trip from the city. We hope this guide has helped you find a tour so you can enjoy this gorgeous area just as much as we did!
Want to learn more about Australia? This is my home country, and Bailey and I have written loads of blogs about our travels here. We’ve also written about many other destinations worldwide. To check out some of our articles, just click on one of the links below!