In just an hour, you can immerse yourself in 11,400 square kilometers of World Heritage-listed wildness. The Blue Mountains combine sandstone mountains and valleys covered in rainforest and cooled by waterfalls. They also include dramatic gorges that are adorned with Aboriginal art. For every escarpment or lookout, there is a nearby restaurant or bar that offers breathtaking views.

Here are four great places to visit if you want to enjoy the scenery and the food.

The best place to get a bird’s eye view is Beyond Skyway in Katoomba

The only sound you will hear is your own heart pounding. You’re 270m above the rainforest canopy in the Jamison Valley and over 300m away from the edge. Maybe the screech from a black cockatoo flying beneath the cable car suspended in the air.

In 2022, the Beyond Skyway at Scenic World will be launched. After the cable car stops, the roof hatch opens. You can then climb out and sit on wooden benches or a picnic rug to enjoy the 360-degree views. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate while you take in the idea of the Three Sisters and Katoomba Waterfall, as well as the endless rolling peaks that make up the Blue Mountains National Park.

The experience is only available to four people per time. You will spend about 30 minutes on the top of the cable cars. You can then toast your bravery by drinking a glass of champagne once you’re back in the building.

Wintergarden and Medlow Bath are the best places to enjoy high tea.

Since its opening in 1904, the village of Medlow Bath has attracted a who’s-who crowd. Sybarites and socialites stayed at the Hydro Majestic Hotel. The grand dame of Blue Mountains, which reopened in 2014 after a six-year, top-to-bottom renovation, now has three restaurants and bars. The Boilerhouse Wintergarden and both offer soul-saving views of Megalong Valley. Wintergarden’s daily high tea celebrates the glamour from the hotel’s glory days. Dapper servers serve tiers of delicious treats, including finger sandwiches, scones, macarons, and petite cakes.

There are many walking trails in the Medlow Bath region. The Coachwood Glen Nature Trail takes you through Megalong Valley. This short loop will take you through rivers and rainforests. If you don’t want to make the effort, then head up to Tuckers Lookout for a sweeping view of the landscape.

Best for clifftop fine dining: Echoes Restaurant & Bar, Katoomba

Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant is situated on a clifftop at Echo Point and enjoys a spectacular setting. The rooftop bar and restaurant, along with the fragrant gardens, offer panoramic views of the Jamison Valley.

Start your meal by enjoying a cocktail out on the patio that extends to the edge of the cliff. You can see as far as Mittagong in the Southern Highlands, which is more than 80km from the resort. The view will only be surpassed by the delicate dishes in the dining room. Echoes specialises in modern Australian cuisine with an Asian flair. Expect dishes such as pan-seared squid with sambal, kangaroo with a ponzu, or confit duck Maryland served with taro root puree.

Echoes is within easy walking distance of the Three Sisters. You can enjoy more breathtaking views from a lookout or a short hiking trail. These ancient stone sentinels have stood guard over the valley faithfully for thousands of years.

Leura Embers is the best choice for families & fireplaces

The Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains is a stunning resort with rooms and facilities spread across gardens. It’s located on the edge of Jamison Valley. The Embers Restaurant is a great place to take photos, especially with its cathedral-style windows. The atmosphere is relaxed and cozy, especially if your table is near the fireplace.

The Leura Golf Club is the oldest course in the Blue Mountains. Enjoy burgers, pasta, or pizzas before exploring the grounds. The 18 holes are challenging, and the views over the deep canyon provide a shot-distracting backdrop.

It’s only a 5-minute drive to Leura. Everglades House & Gardens features azaleas (in season), rhododendrons (in winter), and camellias that color the 5.2 hectares of this grand art deco house. It also has a tearoom and gallery with sweeping views of Mount Solitary.

Darleys in Katoomba is the best place to get a taste of Australian history.

Darleys, located in the Lilianfels House built in the late 1880s, is fine dining done the old-fashioned way. The thick tablecloths and plush chairs are complemented by embossed crockery, twinkling chandeliers, and soft, wide tablecloths. The roaring fireplace will warm diners in winter. The wraparound glass sunroom is the perfect place to dine in summer. Light streams from all angles. You can enjoy the view of the formal English garden surrounding the house and the rugged escarpment in the Jamison Valley through the large windows.

The modern Australian three-course menu includes dishes such as wood-fired wagyu, butter-poached Murray Cod, pine-smoked pastrami, and charcoal-grilled wagyu. Many of the ingredients are sourced within 100 miles, including warrigal leaves, wild rosella, and house-made wattle seed bread.

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