Thursday, August 6, 2015

Scenic World and The Three Sisters Katoomba: A Rite of Passage for Kids

A day trip from Sydney to Katoomba, to see the Three Sisters and Scenic World is something we all did as kids.  It was a memorable day in my childhood, so I wanted to repeat the thrill for my kids almost 4 decades later.
 It's has changed alot since the 1970's, with visitors centres, ticketed parking at Echo Point and better OH&S.  There are also certainly way more people taking in the views, but it's still an adventure, where you can make happy memories with the family.

The geography of the area, is still remarkable and awe inspiring and there's plenty of room at the barriers overlooking The Three Sisters, to get a good look and the view,

which is simply stunning.

Scenic World, just around the corner from the Three Sisters, has change dramatically. There is still the railway and the Skyway cable car, but there is also a cable car, which descends into the valley, like the railway.

The train now has a mesh barrier which closes over the guests and padded hand rails, to ensure you stay exactly where you are meant to.  Compare that to the seats below, which we rode on as kids in the 1970's.  Frankly I felt totally safe either way, but there you go, things have certainly moved on.  The price certainly has too, but more about that later.

In addition to the Sky Way cable car, there is also a cable car that descends into the valley, like the railway does.  In fact you can interchange between the railway and the valley cable car, to get down and back up the valley, as the number of times you ride is unlimited.

Once you get down to the valley floor, you can take a short suspended walk through the sub tropical cool climate rainforest to the coal mine.  The reason why the railway was constructed in the first place.

At the mine entrance there is a talking miner sculpture, who gives some information about the mines.  You can also climb all over his horse.

If you want to walk further into the valley you can view a small miners camp, but as it was late in the day we declined that part of the experience.

Last of all we went on the Skyway cable car, where the operator let the kids have a go at driving her.

 I remember chicken wire in the seat of the Skyway cable car, when I was a kid, allowing you to get a good view down into the valley.  That exciting sensation is now achieved via opaque glass in the floor of the 21 century cable car, which becomes clear, when the driver flicks a switch.

What I found most interesting about Skyway trip, was the idots who climbed the wire fence barriers at the edge of the tree line there, to get closer to the water fall.  You can see them as white specks, centre, right and left.  It would be so slippery there, but the cable car guy said no one had fallen off the cliff YET.  Yikes that is so crazy.

So here's what you'll need to know:

Location of the Light House: Cnr Violet & Cliff Drive Katoomba NSW 2780 Australia  

Phone: 1300 SKYWAY.


Prices:  I thought $88 (2 adults and up to 4 kids 4-13yrs) for a family pass was expensive.  Even though it offers unlimited access to the rides, if you arrive later in the day, you still must pay $88.  I would prefer they had a late entry fee as we only got to experience the rides once.  A full list of prices can be viewed at the Scenic World website.

Distance from Sydney CBD:  100km

Parking: Plenty of free parking at Scenic World in multi storey car park. If you have an oversized car, or bikes on the roof, there is room to park in the bus parking area.  There is street parking at Echo Point (location for viewing the 3 sisters) which is ticketed .

Public Transport: Yes, Train to Katoomba from Central Sydney. The Three Sister (Echo Point) can be reached by bus (Echo Point is about 2km from the station.).  Jump on a Blue Mountains Explorer or a Trolley Tours Bus and they will take you to both The Three Sisters and Scenic World (3km from the station).

Views: Spectacular and amazing in all directions.

Toilets: Yes in the Visitors Centre at Echo Point and in the shop and restaurant at Scenic World

Scenic World Open: Daily 9.00am-5pm every day of the year.

The Three Sisters can be viewed at any time.

Other points of interest:  The Waradah Aboriginal Centre is also located at Echo Point.  There is a lovely art gallery there.  The centre also conducts culture performances and provides a variety of services.


There are two places to eat at Scenic World

More up market than the cafe.  Offering gourmet burgers and main meals.
Open: 10.30 to 3pm

The Terrace Cafe
Really Good coffee and the usual kiosk fare
Open: 9am-5pm

There is also a souvenir shop at Scenic World offering lots of over priced Australian souvenirs, but you only live once.
I hope you enjoyed the tour.

You can pin any of these pictures, by hovering over the shot until the "P" appears, then clicking.

For more ideas about travel destinations go here.

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1 comment :

  1. Great review. Thanks I must get back there. It's been a while.


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