Katoomba is a major touristy area for Australia’s Blue Mountains. The train stops in town and from there you can catch either a city bus or hop on hop off bus out to Echo Point and Scenic World. Both places have trails for hiking to different viewpoints. Some hikes are long and steep. From Echo Point you get a close-up view of the area’s most famous rock formation, called the three sisters. You can also see them from Scenic World.
Australia’s Blue Mountains were named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. The region is called Australia’s most accessible wilderness. The area covers over 400,000 acres with over 100 species of eucalyptus trees and ancient Wollemi Pines.
Some areas, including Leura Cascades and Scenic World have prehistoric-looking fern trees. Terrain is steep and rugged with sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, caves, and canyons.
Scenic World is a privately owned tourist attraction in a former coal mine. Scenic world has three rides including the world’s steepest railway. You can buy a one way ticket to any of the rides or an all day pass to ride all of them as many times as you would like. The railway goes to one end of a scenic walkway through a valley past the old coal mine, and the cableway (which used to be called the sceniscender) at the other.
The cableway is the largest and steepest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere. You can take either the train or cablecar down and the other up, ride the same one down and up, or take the trail stairs instead and ride neither. The boardwalk between them has signs giving information about nearby plants or former mining activity. In some spots you can see into an old mine shaft or pose for photos with statues of the mining era. You can take the short route from one ride to the other or opt for the long way which has a mining village.
The skyway runs over a gorge. The raised center part of the floor turns from opaque to clear during the crossing. It’s a great spot for people who want the view, not so much for those who are afraid of heights. One person who should have gone to the other part of the car got dizzy and fell during one of our crossings, but recovered enough to leave the car shortly after it reached the other end. The far side of the gorge has trails. One goes to a waterfall. Others connect into the trail system that leads to Echo Point or around the canyon where people can walk back to Scenic World.
You can ride the skyway over from Scenic World and and either get in the queue to ride it right back, hike to the waterfall before going back, hike back, or hike on. Or just wander around looking at the views for a bit before going back.
There’s enough to see at Scenic World to spend a whole day there hiking around and riding the different rides. It also has a giftshop and café.