NSW Weekender: 48 Hours In The Blue Mountains
It’s no secret that the Blue Mountains is one of Sydney’s most convenient weekend getaway spots. Less than 90 minutes from Sydney’s CBD, the rugged region features sprawling resorts, cosy restaurants and, of course, countless hikes in its World Heritage-listed national park.
Want to make the most of just 48 hours there? Follow our Blue Mountains guide, and you’ll be sorted.
Before you start, some words of advice: bring or rent a car. While the area has a handful of train stops, it’s best experienced with your own set of wheels.
9am: Breakfast at Kickaboom
If you’re driving up from Sydney on Saturday morning, save your breakfast stop for Glenbrook, a town at the base of the Blue Mountains.
Stop by Kickaboom, a sleek space with white tiles and pops of greenery. Order from the all-day breakfast menu featuring all the usual brekkie suspects, or if you’re up for trying something new, go with the miso eggplant toastie from the lunch menu.
10am: Drive to a lookout
The Blue Mountains is known for its bushwalks, hikes, and walking tracks, but if working up a sweat isn’t your thing, simply pull up to a lookout to take in sweeping scenic views and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
From Echo Point to Narrow Neck, Cahills to Lake Burragorang, and Sublime Point to Elysian Rock, the Blue Mountains is loaded with lookouts, so you’re not short on choice.
1pm: Lunch at Leura Garage
For lunch, head to Leura Garage; as its name suggests this gem is housed in a converted warehouse in Leura. The venue is edgy yet inviting with stacked tyres on one wall, a display push-bike overhead, and an always-buzzy weekend atmosphere. Burgers, pizzas and fish are on offer, but if you can’t decide, order the tasting menu.
After lunch, walk outside to nearby Leura Mall for a window shop at some of its boutiques. For a sweet treat, duck into Josophan’s Fine Chocolates to taste beautiful handcrafted chocolates.
3pm: Indulge in a treatment at UBIKA Day Spa
Rejuvenate dry winter skin with a Deep Cell Hydration facial, or quiet the mind with an Australian Sea Kelp and Indigenous Clay Earth Dreaming treatment.
8pm: Dinner at Fumo
Dinner is at Fumo, a no-frills dining affair in the town of Blackheath. The menu is short, the space small. But the simplicity of it all really allow the meals, all made with local produce, to shine.
Portions are big, and Saturday nights are a two-course minimum, so you definitely won’t go hungry. Finish with a bombe ice cream slice.
10pm: Stay at Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, MGallery by Sofitel
By now you’ll be more than ready for a rest. Check-in to Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, MGallery by Sofitel.
The resort is located at the end of Jamison Valley, and though you might not notice them late at night, it boasts spectacular views of the valley.
For a special splurge, book the Dalai Lama Suite (named after His Holiness who visited the resort in 2015). With a comfy lounge area, fireplace, and balcony that looks out onto the valley, it’s exactly where you’d want to unwind after an exhausting day of exploring. Wake up to the sight of the sun skirting the treetops. Bliss.
9am: Breakfast at The Hive Berambing
Time to start the day. Check-out and hop in your car for an hour-long drive to The Hive Berambing in Berambing.
A former 1950s-built apple packing shed, the café on the side of winding Bells Line of Rd serves toasties and strong coffee. Of note is its Bilpin Bush Honey, which you can try in a ‘glanolah’ bowl or at home by buying a jar.
11am: Stroll through The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
When you’ve finished, continue along Bells Line of Rd for just a few minutes before reaching The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.
If you’re tight on time, speed-walk through it. But if you have longer, idle along garden pathways and shaded forest walks, stopping to admire bulbs, Waratahs, daffodils and maples while taking in sweeping views at its many lookouts.
For more detail on the gardens, pre-arrange a tour with wildly-knowledgeable garden curator Greg Bourke.
Afterward, drop by vine-canopied café and restaurant The Potager. Take a seat at a table on its terrace overlooking the gardens below and mountains beyond as you tuck into homemade scones and coffee.
1pm: Lunch at Lochiel House
For lunch, drive to Lochiel House in Kurrajong Heights. Walking into it is like stepping back in time; shipped over from Scotland on a boat, the rustic building was set-up on the land plot in 1825, and today still maintains that UK countryside charm.
Explore the property’s art gallery, inn, and gardens before settling down at the restaurant to feast on melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi, veggies from the garden, and meat mains like sweet and sour pork and crispy skin duck breast. On Sundays, enjoy live music in the courtyard.
3pm: Cider taste at Hillbilly Cider
Wash down lunch with a cider tasting at Hillbilly Cider Shed. Often led by the owners themselves, Tessa and Shane, the tasting will see you sipping delicious pear and apple ciders, and their take on the notoriously strong traditional UK cider, the Scrumpy.
Before heading back to Sydney, grab a growler of your favourite drop to enjoy at home. It’ll be sure to bring back memories of your blissful Blue Mountains break.
The writer travelled to the Blue Mountains courtesy of Destination NSW.
(Lead image: The Potager at The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden / Destination NSW)
Published 26 March, 2019