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Blue Mountains from Above: A Day in Scenic World

About the Blue Mountains

What comes to mind when you think of the Blue Mountains? The Three Sisters? Towering cliffs? Blue hazed gum trees?

The flight out to the Blue Mountains has to be one of my favourite flights around Sydney. To have this unique World Heritage-listed paradise right on our door step is incredible! But, sadly, it is too often taken for granted and ignored.

I’m lucky enough to be reminded of how incredible this paradise is every time I fly over it. Due to its isolated nature, the area is pristine. There are only a handful of roads through the area so getting to remote places is impossible. There are even untouched pockets of bush protecting ancient rare plants such as the Wollemi pine which, dates back to the Jurassic period. However, by helicopter, the Blue Mountains opens up as they are at your feet!

The Blue Mountains World Heritage area is roughly 10,000 square kilometres (3,900 sq mi), including the Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd, Wollemi, Gardens of Stone, Yengo, Nattai and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks and the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve. It is home to a number of eucalypt habitats creating endless options for the adventurous explorer! Bushwalking and hiking through the golden sandstone gorges. Seeing the wonders of nature as the deep pitch black limestone caves carved into the mountains are lit up with the bioluminescence of hundreds of glow worms. Or exploring the prehistoric temperate rainforests of the Jamieson valley as you discover the unique flora and fauna that make up this incredible ecosystem.

Flight to Scenic World

It can take up to 4 hours to drive to from Sydney to Katoomba and back. A long way to travel on a highway for the day… especially when time away from work is valuable. We prefer to fly.

We take off at Sydney Airport and fly you through the city, past the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, along the Parramatta River at 500 feet and past the old Olympic site on a gentle climb up to 4,500 feet as the mountains rise up in front of you as we track west. We have planned the day for you so all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the natural world at your feet.

Look down as you fly over the rugged gorges cutting their way through unending eucalypt forests and the flat plateaus that suddenly drop over a thousand feet into temperate rainforests surrounded by towering sandstone cliffs. Your scenic flight out to the Blue Mountains awaits you!

We land right in Katoomba at Scenic World, your window to the Blue Mountains. Scenic World is perched on the edge of the cliffs that fall away into the Jamieson Valley, offering you unobstructed views of the valley, the Three Sisters and Mount Solitary. But what to do when you arrive? Explore the forest floor on the scenic walkway? Enjoy an a la carte lunch overlooking endless eucalypt dotted escarpments? Or ride a cable car with a literal vertical view down!

Activities in Scenic World

Established in 1945, Scenic World is situated on an old coal and shale mining estate. Since 1928, the mine used a steep railway to access the lower mines. For many years, the mine supplemented its income by carrying passengers on weekends and public holidays. For a sixpence a time, visitors could travel the incline in a purpose built 14-passenger car named ‘The Mountain Devil’. Now updated and refurbished, the Scenic Railway is the steepest incline passenger carrying railway in the world at 52 degrees.

Over the decades, more and more visitors flocked to Scenic World prompting further expansion and innovation. Ultimately, it became a place of firsts. In 1958 the Scenic Skyway was constructed, traversing the Katoomba Falls amphitheatre. This was to be the Australia’s first cable car. In 1960, Scenic World opened the first revolving restaurant in Australia. The Scenic Skyway 2004 upgrade included installation of the world’s only electrostatic glass floor, turning from opaque to transparent as it travels 270 metres above the Jamison Valley floor. But this is only the start. Scenic World allows you to explore the top of the Blue Mountains, all the way to the bottom.

The Scenic Skyway allows you to glide between the cliff tops and gaze at the rainforest canopy through the glass floor of this cable car. Suspended 270 metres above ancient ravines, the Skyway provides a unique thrill as breathtaking views are revealed beneath your feet. With 360 degree views, the 720 metre journey provides the best views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, and Jamison Valley stretching to the horizon. Disembark at the Skyway’s east station to access lookouts over the valley along with bush trails to Echo Point.

But, if the inner explorer is calling inside you, take the Scenic Railway into the valley. Discover the thrill of a 52 degree incline riding the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Scenic Railway. Following an award-winning redevelopment in 2013, the carriages offer glass-roofs with expansive views of the rainforest setting and spectacular Jamison Valley. The Railway experience descends 310 metres through a cliff-side tunnel, emerging into ancient rainforest at the Jamison Valley floor.

Once in the Jamison Valley, discover the tranquility of the ancient rainforest along a 2.4 kilometre Scenic Walkway. This elevated boardwalk immerses visitors in the Jurassic rainforest on the Jamison Valley floor with minimal impact on the environment. Along the way, explore elements of the site’s coal mining history including the mine entrance, a replica miners’ hut and scale bronze sculpture of a miner and his pit pony. Learn about local flora, listen for the native lyre bird or taste pure Blue Mountains water straight from Marrangaroo Spring.

The forest floor is stunning but, experiencing the Walkway in the rain is magical indeed. Colours change, mist shrouds the towering cliffs above, hidden waterfalls murmur, raindrops cling to leaves and native birds become more vocal. This is part of the rarely known beauty of the Blue Mountains.

On the way up and out of the valley, take the Scenic Cableway up a 510 metre journey. The Cableway’s fully enclosed cabin provides a unique vantage point for viewing the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and Katoomba Falls. And that’s not the end of your journey. You then have your scenic flight home.

What Are You Waiting For? Call Us Today!

So the next time you’re sitting at home watching a documentary wishing you were trekking through the wilderness, stop. Get out and explore. Stop wishing you were looking out at endless valleys and gorges. Join us as we fly past the most beautiful harbour city in the world on our way out to an adventurous day in the stunning Blue Mountains.