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Input on Itinerary & Questions

Level Contributor
82 posts
2 reviews
Input on Itinerary & Questions

I have a friend visiting me in Sydney and we plan to take the early train to Katoomba Nov 24, staying one night at the Carrington Hotel. We plan to drop off our bags and then head to off to the National Pass hike. The second day I want to do the giant staircase to the lift up to Scenic World(which I've done before) but am not interested in spending time on any other rides. I have been to the Blue Mountains/Three Sisters area before and want to see more - views, waterfalls - and more of the area.


1) What is the best transportation from Carrington Hotel to the starting point for the National Pass?

If we use the HOHO, will we be wasting money since the hike takes so long, don't need all the other stops? Or maybe we do? I've heard that the HOHO takes you exactly where you want to go vs. long walks from train or bus stops to the actually place you want to see.

2) After the National Pass what is the best way to get back to Katoomba? Other posts have said to walk through town or take the Darwin walk to the train station. Is that the consensus or is there other transportation?

3) Leura seems like a nice town. Is there anything other than tea and shopping?

4) Any suggestions on shorter hikes to other waterfalls in the afternoon? I love waterfalls. I have a hard time understanding the hike listing on the links posted on other questions so appreciate input.

5) Any restaurants or hotels with terraces or views to stop for a drink at the end of the day if you are staying in Katoomba?

We'll both have Opal cards. Thank you for your help and input.

Katoomba, Australia
Level Contributor
103 posts
19 reviews
1. Re: Input on Itinerary & Questions

1) I'm fairly sure there's a local bus that goes near the Valley of the Waters in Wentworth Falls. It's not exactly near the starting point of the National Pass, but it'd just mean you'd start the NP at a slightly different spot. I work in tourism in the mountains and I usually just suggest people catch the train and do the Darwin walk to the start of the NP. It's a nice enough walk and not overlly strenuous. Check the blue mountains bus company (www.bmbc.com.au) for bus timetables though. The stop you're looking for is the Valley of the Waters. bus 685 goes there a few times a day. You want the upper mountains timetable.

Hop on hop off bus is alright, but not essential. depends what else you want to hear. The Trolley Tours does a similar service as well that is a bit cheaper than the Blue mountains explorer bus and they both service the same route, more or less. Both bus tickets can be valid for a few days, so I'm sure if you're planning on checking out Leura and some of the spots around katoomba, you'd probably get your money's worth.

2) best way is to go back whichever way you came. If you're catching the bus there, catching the bus home from the same spot you got off the bus. or the darwin walk to the station.

3) leura is pretty, but it's mostly cafes and shopping. Though everglades is there and is a really gorgeous historical garden with amazing views of the Jamieson valley. Worth checking out if you have the time. Nice walks from Leura to Katoomba. Do the Price Henry Cliff walk from Gordon falls via Leura cascades to Echo Point.

4) leura cascades is great if you love waterfalls, but if you've been up here before, you've probably already done it. Getting there is a bit of a pain unless you're using the hop on hop off buses, but it is lovely. Have a look at the waterfall circut at Lawson as well. Wildwalks.com.au has a nice list of bushwalks. Minne ha ha falls in North katoomba is a lovely spot too, though it's a bit tricky to get to. Well worth the walk through town, but there is a local bus that runs a few times a day. Minne ha ha has a lovely swimming spot and the walk in is lovely and very unlikely to be packed with other people. really good spot for a swim if it's hot.

Otherwise you could think about heading up to Blackheath. unfortunately the grand canyon is closed at the moment, but Govet's leap is a lovely view and Evans lookout is great!

5) You can see the mountains from the Avalon, on Katoomba st, but only if you get a table near the windows. The view from the balcony of the Carrington is quite nice, but not as nice as the view from your room will probably be. Champgane Charlies at the Carrington is a pretty little bar/lounge though. There's a really great terrace at the cultural centre/library that has stunning views too, but the cultural centre only has a cafe, not a bar.

Have a fantastic time!

Level Contributor
82 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Input on Itinerary & Questions

Thank you so much for this information! I have not done the Leura Cascades hike. Last trip was just a day trip and we got stuck at scenic world, walked from the train station to three sisters which is actually a long walk, did giant staircase. Looking to see more this time with two days and avoid the rides. Sounds like the HOHO might be worth it since they go over to Wentworth Falls now and can take us to Leura Cascades. I'll have a think on it.

Level Contributor
82 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Input on Itinerary & Questions

...after reading the other post on taxi question, maybe I'll just download the bus schedules and walk. The opal card $15 daily max is a benefit on the day you come up on the train.

Level Contributor
18,143 posts
80 reviews
4. Re: Input on Itinerary & Questions

We always go by train when we want to do the National Pass, as Pinkbits suggests, starting with the Darwin Walk.

It's a short walk from the Carrington to the station, so you could just take the train to Wentworth Falls and start from there.

This is one of my favorite little walks around Leura - and there are waterfalls!


It's short and mostly flat.

I've always driven to this one but I think the public bus may go nearby.

Edited: 05 November 2015, 22:53
Leyte Island...
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for Cebu City, Cebu Island
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5. Re: Input on Itinerary & Questions

Any restaurants or hotels with terraces or views to stop for a drink at the end of the day if you are staying in Katoomba?


The Carrington was located where it is originally because of the view. I don't know how much of the view is blocked by the town now but If your room is in the top of the Carrington, i believe you will have a good view from your room. Just ask the hotel about it.. However, just sitting on the front verandah of the Carrington looking at the gardens stitched out in front of you is pleasant too. People sitting on the verandah staring at the gardens was the first thing I noticed when I arrived there for a party a few years ago. I then got myself a drink and joined them

Level Contributor
82 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Input on Itinerary & Questions

I greatly appreciate the input. I have a transportation ap on my phone so I can check that for times. I also have paper maps. It's good to know the length of time and stairs, flat, inclines. After all the walking and hiking, a bottle of wine on our hotel terrace is probably the farthest we'll make it in the evening! So many beautiful places to wander.

7. Re: Input on Itinerary & Questions

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