A trip to the Blue Mountains almost isn’t complete without taking on one of the region’s stunning bush walks.
At the heart of this World Heritage-listed wilderness, you’ll find ancient rock formations, tranquil waterfalls and vast canyons carpeted in eucalypts.
Not to mention, incredible views that stretch to the hazy blue horizon and beyond the famous Three Sisters rock formation.
The only question is, which Blue Mountains bush walk should you try? To help you choose, check out our guide to the best ones:
Grand Canyon Walk, Blackheath
The small town of Blackheath offers one of the best bush walks in the Blue Mountains.
The Grand Canyon Walk begins at the small car park on Evans Lookout Road and takes walkers past cascading waterfalls, bubbling brooks and hundred-year-old trees.
It traverses down into a canyon between two mountains, where the only sounds heard are usually the chorus of birds and the rumbling of nearby waterfalls. Keep your eye out for an abundance of native plants that call this World Heritage Listed landscape home.
At times, the stairs leading in and out can be quite steep but shouldn’t require any experience or equipment.
In total, it’s around six kilometres long, taking between two to three hours to complete. Find a map of the walk here.
Three Sisters Walk, Katoomba
The Three Sisters in Katoomba are a spectacular sight from afar, but what if you could get up-close-and-personal with one? The Three Sisters walk promises that and more.
The one-kilometre walking track is on the easier side, however includes part of the very steep Giant Stairway, made up of almost 1000 stairs, towards the end.
Starting at Echo Point in Katoomba, enjoy views across the stunning deep valley before crossing the gut-dropping Honeymoon Bridge at the end to meet one of the Three Sisters.
The area is recognised as a place of special cultural significance to Aboriginal people. An ancient Dreamtime story explains the formation of the Three Sisters, which is important to understand before visiting.
At the end of your walk, be sure to snap some pictures at the Echo Point Lookout or make a day out of it and head to Scenic World.
Jellybean Track, Glenbrook
The Jellybean track in Glenbrook is a short and easy walk. It is frequently used as the hall-pass to Jellybean Pools, one of the best swimming holes in the Blue Mountains.
Lower down the mountain ridge, Jellybean track is a quick one-kilometre return trail. It snakes downhill through the Glenbrook Gorge with Mountain Spotted Gums and Grass Trees lining the well-trodden path.
At the end of the track, is the Jellybean Pool. Surrounded by large sandstone cliffs, the freshwater pool is a great spot to cool off. Bring a picnic lunch and eat along the sandy shore.
Lockleys Pylon Trailhead, Grose Valley
Right in the heart of the Blue Mountains National Park, Lockleys Pylon trailhead will have your heart racing and your mind blown.
The track was named after J.G. Lockley, a journalist and conservation activist who advocated to save the Blue Gum Forest from 1930’s logging. It has been attracting visitors ever since, brave enough to take on the seven-kilometre trek.
Despite being arduous, the walk offers some of the most picturesque and awe-inspiring scenery in New South Wales. The walk traverses the heath to the peak, which overlooks eucalyptus forests in the Grose Valley.
It ends at Lockleys Pylon, a rocky peak that overlooks Govetts Gorge and the Grose Valley. In the distance you’ll see the golden sandstone cliffs of Mount Hay and Mount Banks. This is a rare spot in the Blue Mountains, the long walk putting off tourists.
Pack some lunch and make sure to bring along plenty of water and sunscreen. Some hikers even suggest a compass or map.
Wentworth Pass, Wentworth Falls
Wentworth Pass is known for its cliff-clinging walkway and ancient canopy of trees. Be prepared for lots of stairs, a constant rumble of nearby waterfalls and views that will make your stomach drop.
The track begins opposite Wentworth Falls picnic area on Sir H Burrell Drive, next to Jamison Lookout. Around five-kilometres long, it takes around three hours to complete.
The descent starts from Wentworth Falls Lookout. The track passes the top of Wentworth Falls, offering stunning views of the 614-foot cascading waterfall.
Then, jump onto the National Pass, to admire the waterfall from the pool below. Afterwards, begin your ascent to the top again, looping along Overcliff walk.
A great spot to re-hydrate or grab a bite to fuel your walk is Conservation Hut. The cafe is located at the end of the Overcliff walk.
Govetts Leap Descent, Blackheath
Govetts Leap descent is a 1.8-kilometre return track suitable for walkers that prefer a more challenging walk. In other words, it’s quite steep.
The track begins and ends at Govetts Leap lookout. As you descend, you’ll witness some spectacular views across the Grose Valley and its giant sandstone cliffs. As well as scenic waterfalls that leave a light mist of fresh mountain water in the air.
When you reach the ground, have a picnic at the base of the falls. It’s a rare opportunity to see such stunning cliff faces from both the top and bottom. Catch your breath here, you’ll need it for the intense ascent.
Six Foot Track, Katoomba
If you’re after a multi-day walk, you can’t go past this Six Foot Track.
This mammoth walking trail traverses alongside the Cox River, from Katoomba, through the Megalong Valley, to its end in Jenolan.
The insane 44-kilometre track, winding through mountains, farmlands, caves and river passages is not for the faint at heart.
Thankfully, there are dedicated camping grounds sprinkled along the entirety of the trail. Or you can check-in at either the Six Foot Track Eco Lodge or the Jenolan Cabins, depending on where you are.
Along the way, take in the incredible sights at the Jenolan Caves, or end your day of walking at Dryridge Estate and Megalong Creek Estate wineries.
Once you make it to the other side, there’s a shuttle bus you can book back to Katoomba. Or, if you’re crazy, turn around and hike back.
Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mt Tomah
Okay, we know. Not really a bush walk. But the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is definitely a must if you’re in the area. Plus, there are numerous walking paths within the park, so that counts for something right?
The garden sits on over 250-hectares of land in the Blue Mountains National Park. With just under 30-hectares of this land open to the public, you’d be silly not to stroll through the grounds.
There are plenty of accessible paths and walkways where you can discover a range of cultivated gardens showcasing various native and exotic plant species.
One of our favourite sections is the Plant Explorers walk. Based on 300 years of exploration through Asia, the walk features over 400 different plant species that celebrate plant diversity and human endurance. There are also daily walking tours led by a volunteer guide.
Keep reading: A complete guide to the best Sydney bush walks