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5 hidden gems of the Blue Mountains


From lookouts to pools, gardens, charming villages and places to whet your whistle, here are 5 wonderful spots that you may not know about in the Blue Mountains.

If you need somewhere to base yourself during your stay, there’s nowhere better than the unique ambience and timeless elegance of Katoomba’s beloved Carrington Hotel.


Stay mid-week at the Carrington Hotel and enjoy 1 night in a Colonial Room and a two-course dinner for two in the Carrington’s Grand Dining Room from $315 per couple.

This Autumn Rendezvous is valid for booking on Wednesday and Thursday evenings only (room upgrade price available, subject to availability). Phone 02 4782 1111 for more information or to book.

You can also book via The Carrington website.


Hidden gem #1: Lincoln's Rock Lookout

On any given day, thousands of tourists make their way to Echo Point in Katoomba to spy the famous view of the Three Sisters and out over the Jamison Valley. However, just a couple of kilometres away as the crow flies is Lincoln’s Rock Lookout, one of the best hidden-gem lookouts you’ll ever find. To get there, exit the Highway onto Tableland Road, then turn right onto Hordern Road and right onto Little Switzerland Drive, where you’ll see a small parking area. From there, it’s a three-minute walk along Little Switzerland Drive to the Lincoln’s Rock escarpment, which opens up to sweeping panoramic vistas of the valleys below. It’s particularly spectacular at sunset.

Hidden gem #2: Hargraves Lookout

Okay, so Lincoln’s Rock is certainly a hidden gem, but it’s so easily accessible that it can still build up a bit of a crowd during a particularly great sunset. If you really want to escape the crowds and get a spectacular view all to yourself and maybe a few others, try Hargraves Lookout. Hop off the Highway at Bundarra Street, Blackheath, then make an immediate left onto Station Street once you cross the railway line, before taking the next right on Shipley Road. From there, it’s a 10-15 minute drive to the lookout (the last couple of kays are dirt, so make sure your vehicle is up to the task). You’ll emerge to stunning views over the hills and farmland of the Megalong Valley

Hidden gem #3: Jellybean Pool

If you’re looking for an easy road trip from Sydney – perhaps somewhere you can take the grandkids for a fun day out to escape the summer heat – then look no further than Glenbrook’s Jellybean Pool, so named because, from above, it does somewhat resemble a jellybean. To get there, exit the Highway at Ross Street, then turn left at Burfitt Parade, which becomes Bruce Road. Follow Bruce Road and then turn left onto Jellybean Road, which winds its way to the Jellybean Pool parking lot. Bring a picnic and a lilo and enjoy the sandy beaches and calm waters. If you’re into bird watching, keep an eye out for kestrels, rainbow lorikeets and gang-gang cockatoos. 

Hidden gem #4: Everglades House & Gardens

Built in the 1930s by a Danish landscape gardener, Everglades House & Gardens mixes impressive Art Deco architecture with beautifully kept gardens in the heart of Leura. Wander the winding paths and enjoy the tranquil pools, carved tree trunks and lichen-covered drystone walls What’s more, there are many points throughout the property where you can grab those classic, majestic views of the Blue Mountains. There’s also a tea room serving tea and scones and open on Saturday and Sunday. To get there from the Highway, exit the roundabout into Leura Mall and then turn left onto Craigend Street. Then turn right onto Everglades Avenue, where you’ll soon see the Gardens on your right. Head in spring or autumn to enjoy the gardens at their most wonderful!

Hidden gem #5: Bilpin

The vast majority of visitors to the Blue Mountains journey up the Great Western Highway from Penrith, but if you take Bells Line of Road via the Hawkesbury further north you’ll soon happen upon the charming mountain village of Bilpin, famous for its apples and cider. Though it’s technically part of the Hawkesbury. Check out Bilpin Cider Company and Hillbilly Cider to try the fermented beverage. Pop into Pine Crest Orchard or Bilpin Fruit Bowl, where you can pick your own fruit and, at the latter, try the farm’s famous apple pies. For lunch, try Tutti Fruitti with its garden tables, home-made preserves, pies and ice cream. And if you’re travelling in October, don’t miss the Bilpin Flower Show & Spring Fair with an array of flowers from the local area including rhododendrons, azaleas, irises, roses, waratahs and more.