The Blue Mountains are located only 2h by train from Sydney. Scenic World is a tourist complex in the south west of Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains, and I would personally define it as a mixture of a National Park and an amusement park: there is a skyway, a cable car and a railway that are attractions by themselves.
When I arrived in Katoomba I thought ‘it looks like a small village in the mountains’. Then I realized that it was exactly that: a small village in the mountains. In only two hours by train I went from Sydney to the Blue Mountains World Heritage Site, leaving behind the sea to move to the altitudes, changing the high buildings of the city for the trees of an ancient forest.
Katoomba is actually a town, not a village, located nearby the edge of a cliff. The main highlight is, of course, the breathtaking scenery. Along the edge of the cliff there are walking trails that cross the deep green forest and offer spectacular views of the valley, including some interesting rock formations and waterfalls.
But there is more: have you ever been in a place that is at the same time a national park and an amusement park?
Blue Mountains: Scenic World
Scenic World is a tourist complex in the south west of Katoomba, in the Blue Mounatians, and I would personally define it as a mixture of a National Park and an amusement park: it contains a skyway, a cable car and a railway that are attractions by themselves. I love heights so I could not miss the opportunity to try them all (several times!).
The scenic skyway glides between cliffs, suspended up to 270 meters above the valley. I heard that it had a glass floor… I had to see that!
The glass floor is, actually, a panel in the middle of the cabin (not all the floor) that becomes transparent abruptly during the ride. It gives a vertical overview of the forest in the valley which is nice, but I found even more spectacular the views from the windows.
The views over the valley are indeed wonderful, including a ‘close’ view of the high Katoomba waterfall. I enjoyed riding it several times in different locations (over the glass panel, the window on the side of the cliff, and the window on the side of the valley and the distant mountains). So great!
The scenic railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world: it rides at 52 degrees! This funicular has its history: it was originally built to facilitate the transport of coal from the valley’s mines. Today, it has been reconstructed as an attraction: it has a glass roof and it goes down quite fast, it was impressive! First we entered a tunnel, after the tunnel we got great views over the valley, and then… we entered the jungle in the valley, and it was over. It felt so short!
Once in the valley, there are three options: going up taking the railway again, walk 10 minutes to the scenic cableway, or to explore the jurassic rainforest through the scenic walkway.
The scenic walkway is a trail containing several easy walks from 10 minutes to one hour in the ancient rainforest. The trail is clearly indicated, and there is also information about the local flora and the coal mining history of the region, including some replicas and sculptures.
There are some benches ideal to rest or sit down to enjoy the peacefulness of the forest, listen to the sounds of the birds and feel the smell of humid eucalyptus. It was only 300 meters down the cliff but it felt completely different!
The scenic cableway is the largest and steepest cable car in the south hemisphere. On the cliff, it starts next to the railway and the skyway. Down the valley, it is located 10 minutes far from the end of the railway.
The cableway offers great views of the Blue Mountains, including the Three Sisters and the Orphan Rock, the skyway and the Katoomba waterfall.
Most people went down to the valley by railway and went up by cableway. I did it this way and also opposite, and actually preferred to go down by cable car and go up by train: there was less queue and I found the views to be better. My recommendation: if you have time, try both directions!
GOOD TO KNOW
- How to get there:
- Sydney to Katoomba: local train, 2h
- Katoomba to Scenic world: there is a hop-on hop-off bus (that also goes to other spots in Katoomba), or take the local bus near the train station (much cheaper), or walk (the skyway east station is closer to the town center).
- Ticket: day pass, illimited rides, AUD$35
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