|Sydney - Dubbo|
|Blue Mountains & Central West|
Visit the dramatic scenery and cool, fresh air of the Blue Mountains where scenic towns and villages offer fine food, spectacular gardens and shopping for art, antiques and crafts. Also if time permits, extend this journey to include some of the Central West region’s most interesting towns, historic gold-mining sites and plenty of tranquil rural scenery.
From Sydney, head west through the metropolitan area on the M4 motorway before reaching the Great Western Highway and the gradual climb up the mountains. Stop at Glenbrook’s Information Centre before heading to the interesting Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum at Faulconbridge.
At nearby Wentworth Falls you can visit a historic house, view the waterfall from Falls Reserve and enjoy spectacular bushwalks. Continue on the highway to the charming village of Leura, with its crafts shops, cafes, gardens, the Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum and a wonderful panorama from Sublime Point. The spectacular Cliff Drive leads to Katoomba, the area’s largest town and home of Echo Point, with a breathtaking view over the forested Jamison Valley and the Three Sisters rock formation. Katoomba offers plenty of attractions, including the Scenic Skyway and Scenic Railway, shops and great cafes. This is the ideal place to base yourself when exploring this spectacular region.
Further west, visit Blackheath’s National Parks Heritage Centre, close to Govetts Leap Lookout and more wonderful views. From here, there’s an optional trip to the small village of Mount Victoria, the starting point for another side-trip to the fantastic subterranean world of Jenolan Caves. From here you can continue on to explore the Central West or head back to Sydney.
Down the steep hill that marks the limit of the Blue Mountains, you’ll arrive in the industrial town of Lithgow. At nearby Portland, call in at the Mount Piper Energy Expo - the interesting visitor centre of the high-tech Mount Piper Power Station.
Bathurst, founded in 1815, features elegant architecture, historic Abercrombie House and an excellent art gallery. Just out of town, at Mount Panorama, you’ll see the venue for the famous October car races: racing fans should also visit the Motor Racing Hall of Fame.
With its wide streets and parks, Orange is one of the region’s most attractive townships. There is an impressive regional art gallery and several wineries and you should also drive out to 1395m Mount Canobolas. The Mitchell Highway then swings north to the rural centre of Wellington most famous for its spectacular caves, which can be toured. From Wellington a detour to Mudgee is highly recommended - the drive is very scenic and there are some excellent wineries to visit.
The important regional centre of Dubbo offers historic buildings and many attractions: the most appealing is definitely the superb Western Plains Zoo - an open-range establishment that is home to native fauna and exotic creatures like elephants, rhinos, giraffes and a Bengal tiger.
Where to Stay
Time required: 4 - 7 days are recommended