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The Blue Mountains, Sydney's Weekend Retreat

The Blue Mountains is where Sydneysiders go when they want to get away from the rat race. Named for the bluish hue the mountains take on when seen from a distance, the area has long been a refuge for artists, writers, nature lovers and those looking to escape the hectic pace of the world.

Board a train from Sydney’s Central Station and you’ll be at the village of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains in less than an hour. There’s lots to see, including the Katoomba Scenic Railway (The Guinness Book of Records calls it the steepest railway in the world), the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum and the ‘Three Sisters’ rock formation.

Be warned though: the Blue Mountains are no undiscovered secret and you may be trampled on by hordes of Sydneysiders rushing up there for the weekend before they rush back down to work in Sydney again. There are many day spas, galleries, caf├ęs and retreats. Camping in winter probably isn’t a good idea: being over 1000 metres above sea level, it gets rather cold.

Jamie McGraw