A Girls Guide to a Weekend in the Blue Mountains
Just a couple of hours out of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a world away from the city. If you’re planning a girly getaway, it’s the perfect destination. With the bush as a backdrop, the string of towns that make up the misty mountains have plenty to offer, from boutique shops and galleries to award-winning restaurants and spas.
Our advice? Take a cheeky long weekend, so you and the girls can soak up the scene and tick off as many ‘to-dos’ as you can.
For a great girl's weekend in the Blue Mountains, be sure to…
Settle in for breakfast at Lily’s Pad Café.
In Leura, the café is famous for its homemade jams and chutneys and has a cute courtyard to boot. Alternatively, opt for Red Door Café. There’s no need to rush – the café serves up an all-day breakfast.
Unleash your inner coffee snob at Cassiopeia
Located in Katoomba, this espresso bar roasts its beans on-site.
Lace up your sneakers and go for a hike
Indulge in high tea
Head to the Hydro Majestic and nibble on petit sandwiches and scones while chatting away.
Stroll the shops
For iconic views, it's hard to go past the Three Sisters at Echo Point in Katoomba.
Soak up views of the valley from all angles at Scenic World. There, you can ride the Scenic Skyway above the lush rainforest, or take the Scenic Railway down to the valley floor.
Head to Sublime Lookout in Leura or Govett’s Leap Lookout in Blackheath.
If you've been to the mountains before, head to these lookouts, they're less busy but just as beautiful.
For a long, leisurely lunch stop by Solitary
Tucked in a heritage-listed cottage, the sweeping views of the mountains will win you over before you even open the menu.
Gallery-hop your way around the area’s thriving arts scene
Stock up on handmade sweets at Josophan’s Fine Chocolates
The staff sport white coats and gloves, and carefully box up your chocolates with a bow. For a real treat, sign the girls up for the truffle-making workshop. Stop at The Candy Store for freckles, sherbet bombs and a hit of sugary nostalgia.
Get your adventure on
For the adventurous souls the Australian School of Mountaineering in Katoomba offers abseiling, canyoning and rock climbing trips.
For a gourmet lunch, pop into Leura Garage
Come dinnertime, the café turns into a buzzing tapas bar. The most popular item on the menu: a six-cheese pizza.
Melt into a massage at the Lilianfels Resort & Spa.
The award-winning day spa also offers facials, wraps and body treatments.
Watch the sunset at Lincoln Rock in Wentworth Falls.
The lookout is a ready-made photo opp – just insert your girl group.
Treat yourselves to a fine dining dinner at Darley’s in Katoomba.
With views stretching across the Jamison Valley, the hatted restaurant is famous among foodies for its five-course degustation, so you’ll want to arrive hungry!
Sip on colourful cocktails at Flemish Flavours in Leura.
Depending on the weather, you can cosy up in front of the fireplace, or make the most of a balmy night in the leafy outdoor area. In Katoomba, Champagne Charlies at The Carrington is chic, lively, and the Blue Mountains’ only true cocktail bar.
Before you leave, make some time to visit…
Only a short (albeit winding) 20-minute drive from Blackheath, Megalong Valley is a small rural community with working farms. Surrounded by the Blue Mountain Escarpment, the area is an ideal hiking and horse riding spots and the views are amazing.
Hop on horseback and take a guided trail ride through the Blue Mountains’ scenic bushland and open pastures. To add wine tasting to the mix, opt for the cellar door ride. Win-win.
This picturesque apple orchard in Megalong Valley is the only remaining apple orchard in the area. Drop in to buy juice, apples and don’t leave without trying the apple pie.
While you’re in the area, sip on an old-fashioned Devonshire Tea (the tearooms are known for it) and munch on scones with jam and freshly-clotted cream.
Open on weekends, this vineyard serves up delicious drops and cheese platters with a side of valley views. Head there in the afternoon to watch the sun start to dip.
Girls weekend stays
Nestled in a eucalyptus forest near the Jenolan Caves, this architectural beauty sleeps up to eight people, and is complete with underfloor heating, a garden deck and fire pit.
For a luxe hotel stay, book a room at this Blackheath retreat. It sits on 28 acres of landscaped gardens and lakes and boasts a day spa.
In Mount Irvine, this designer home has a media room, fireplace, outdoor spa, and an impressive library that calls for curling up with a book after a day of exploring (or wine tasting).
A Katoomba gem, this hotel has an old-world charm, as well as a brasserie and cocktail bar on-site.
A two-storey sandstone house dating back to 1890 is the setting for this stay. The three-bedroom home has a fireplace and an outdoor entertainment area with a heated Jacuzzi.