The Blue Mountains is a great place for camping and hiking, with plenty of places to choose from. If you are after a quieter camping experience, then some of the campsites located to the south and west of Katoomba might be more your thing. If you are exploring with kids in tow and want to be able to see them at all times then camping sites in Wentworth Falls might suit best. The list goes on!
When planning your trip, make sure you take into account that most camping grounds are on a first-come, first-served basis. This is especially true during peak holiday seasons such as Christmas and Easter. If you are travelling with a large party or one to two weeks before these holidays, make sure to book your campsites early or you may have to settle for less than perfect accommodations.
The best places to camp in the Blue Mountains are:
- Wilderness Camping
There are a number of wilderness camping sites in the Blue Mountains which are both beautiful and unique. Campsites like Silver Chain, Razorback Ridge, and the Waterfall lookout campsites, offer incredible views and are great for small groups of adventurous campers.
- Blue Gum Forest
Blue Gum Forest is located at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains. The site itself is beautiful, with the camping area nestled within a large group of native Australian blue gums and cypress pine trees. The camping area is within easy walking distance of Blackheath Village, and is only a short drive, if not less, from the M1 motorway.
- Camping along the Lugg Track
The rugged terrain of the Blue Mountains means that many wilderness campsites can be found along the Lugg Track. The track itself is an interesting one, with natural rock formations and caves going off on both sides of the trail meaning you can choose to camp at any one of a number of locations along this popular walking trail.
- Camping at Mistake Lookout
Mistake Lookout in the Katoomba Scenic World Heritage Area offers some of the most incredible views in the Blue Mountains. Located near the summit of Mount Tomah, this is a great place to spend your camping trip and will be sure to knock the socks off even the most jaded camper.
- Campground camping at Wentworth Falls
One of the most popular camping destinations in the Blue Mountains, Wentworth Falls has a wide range of camping sites set amongst the beautiful bushland which surrounds it. Camping here is a great idea for those with children as many of the sites are fairly close to both shops and restaurants and some even have an on-site playground!
- Camping at Leura Park
Located along the Nepean river in Leura Park is a campsite perfect for those travelling with kids. The site itself is an old one, first established in the 1930s. In recent years it has been heavily modified and improved, with a number of on-site facilities including a playground and pool.
- The Federal Camping Ground
Famous for its old growth forests and eucalyptus trees, the native bush surrounding this camping ground really is something to see. In addition to camping, the Federal Camping Ground offers some great short walks for those looking to get out and about and explore the local area.
- Camping at Bellevue Lookout
Located in the Katoomba Scenic World Heritage Area, Bellevue Lookout is home to one of Australia’s most photographed lookouts. The view from the top of Bellevue Point is one which many will never forget, and the camping area here is ideal for those looking to explore some of nearby attractions.
- Camping at Blackheath
Blackheath offers a range of camping spots for campers, with more than a dozen lasting sites set within the scenic surrounds. The campsites themselves are large and offer a number of different areas for campers to pitch their tents.
- Camping at Blackheath Reserve
Located in Blackheath, this is a unique camping site with a number of fun activities to be had while you’re camping. The reserve itself offers a large area to run around and play in, including an inflated inner tube slide and plenty of trees for climbing!
- Camping at Mount Royal Campsite
Located within the Katoomba Scenic World Heritage Area, this historic camping area has been used by campers for more than 100 years. The site is home to a number of different facilities, including an on-site shop, playground and heated swimming pool.
- Camping at Prickly Bush Campground
This well-known campground is located in the large natural bushland area known as the Kanimbla Valley, to the north of Lithgow. It offers some amazing views of the surrounding mountains and the campsites are great for those looking to get out into nature with their family or friends.
- Camping at Barratta Park
Located in the quaint village of Menangle, the Barratta Park is a great camping site for those looking to explore the nearby attractions. Located within an hour’s drive from Goulburn and 2 hours from Sydney, this campsite offers a great base camp for those looking to explore local attractions or head into Sydney itself.
Things to do in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is one of the most popular wilderness holiday spots in Australia. That’s because the Blue Mountains is one of the few places in Australia where you can travel a hundred km from Sydney and still feel like you’re in the country.
With a number of different campgrounds to choose from, there’s something for everyone. While some folk head to the campsites above the village of Katoomba and others head further up into the wilderness, by far the most popular place to camp for outdoorsy adventures is at Wentworth Falls.
Here are the top things to do and visit when in the Blue Mountains
- Wentworth Falls and Lookout
Located near the village of Katoomba, Wentworth Falls has some beautiful scenery and the most impressive waterfall in Australia. The natural beauty of this area is stunning, and while there are some views to be had from the lookout platform, it’s really worth venturing a bit further up to the campsite at Wentworth Falls.
- Glenbrook Falls
Located near the village of Katoomba, Glenbrook Falls is a beautiful area that’s great for those looking to combine a bit of camping with some hiking. There are a number of different trails you can take while at this campsite, including the popular ‘Gap Toes’ walk and ‘Hanging Rock’ trail.
- Mount Tomah
This is a great campground for nature lovers. Designed to resemble a mountaintop, Mount Tomah Ranges offers some beautiful views from the surrounding hills and is well worth checking out if your camping area isn’t always level with the ground.
- Three Sisters Rocks
This campsite is located in the famous Three Sisters Rocks. A beautiful rock formation that is well worth taking in from a distance. Keep an eye out for the Australian symbol and you’ll know when to look up.
- Cone Rock
This campsite is well worth a visit if you’re looking to explore some of the peaks within the Blue Mountains National Park. While it isn’t often crowded, many people use this campground for day walks and hiking trips.
- Mount Banks
If hiking in the Blue Mountains is what you’re after, then Mount Banks is a great place to base yourself for a few nights. It’s particularly popular with those adventuring with their pets as dogs are permitted in this area. There are also plenty of trails that can be explored just a short walk from this campsite.
- Hargraves Falls
If you want to go waterfall spotting in the Blue Mountains, then Hargraves Falls is one of the best places to camp. While this campsite isn’t in a national park, it’s still a fantastic location to base yourself for exploring nearby waterfalls. Hargraves Falls is an easy walk that will lead you to a beautiful cascading waterfall.
About the Blue Mountains
The blue mountains are mostly located in the Blue Mountains national park.
The Blue Mountains are a mountain range located near Sydney, NSW, Australia. The highest point in the range is Mount Victoria at 1,215 m AMSL, but the most prominent peak is Mt Blaxland at around 1,080 m AMSL.
The range gives its name to the Blue Mountains City Council area and to the Government of New South Wales local government area of Blue Mountains City Council. The Blue Mountains are a popular tourist destination and the region’s major industry.
The mountains separate the Woronora Plateau to the east and the Warragamba River valley to the west, while forming a natural border between Lismore Shire Council area and Auburn Shire Council area. They are part of an anticlinal mountain range within which runs the Main Range National Park. The mountains were formed by volcanic activity in relatively recent times, with Mount Blaxland having a crater for an active volcano on its summit.
There are three large Indigenous Australian communities living within the Blue Mountains:
- The National Parks and Wildlife Service run ‘Kanangra’ at Kanangra Walls on Barrys Reef Road, between Mt Wilson and Mt Tomah. It is about a 1.5 hours walk from Endeavour Falls or Warragamba train stations.
- The Blue Mountains Indigenous Land Council (BMILC) run ‘Wiangari’ at Blackmans Camp. It is about a 1.5 hours walk from Endeavour Falls or Warragamba train stations.
- The Blue Mountains Iwi Services Inc (BMISI) run ‘Holloways Station’ at Penrith near the Royal National Park. It is about a 1 hour drive from the Sydney CBD via the Great Western Highway and Blackheath interchange (exit 69).
Frquently Asked Questions about the Blue Mountains
- What are the Blue Mountains?
The Blue Mountains is a part of the Great Dividing Range that runs from the southeast coast up to inland, approximately 2000km north of Sydney. It is composed of sedimentary rock folded and faulted by ancient tectonic plate movements known as the Great Artesian Basin which pumping life from deep within the Earth’s crust. The landscape is quite rugged in parts, with a large area above 2000m high as well. Much of the mountains is a national park just outside of the town of Katoomba (the “capital” if you get my drift).
- What are the benefits?
Many, many! The Blue Mountains National Park contains numerous spectacular waterfalls, as well as amazing rock formations and many natural wonders. It is close to Sydney which makes it a popular destination for tourists from around Australia. If hiking is your thing, you have access to great trails all over. The national park also has 21 different areas for camping. There are lots of things to do, and plenty of natural beauty to behold.
- When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit is anytime! The Blue Mountains has a cold/warm summer and winter climate, with most rain falling in spring and autumn (but it rarely mists things enough to affect camping). The summer months are between December and February, when days are long and hot. The best time to visit in the autumn is September and October, when leaves are changing. The spring is April to June, but can be cold with snow on Box Hill and around Katoomba.
- How do I get there?
The Blue Mountains are located around 2 hours west of Sydney by car. The closest airport is in Sydney, so think about that when planning your itinerary.
- How do I get around?
Although you can’t walk to the Blue Mountains National Park from Sydney (as it’s 80km away), there are many different ways to enjoy this amazing place. It is possible to go by foot on various trails, by bicycle on bike trails, or by car using roads and parking areas (where you will be charged a parking fee of $10 per day). The railway line from Sydney to Lithgow also passes through the Blue Mountains. The national park has a visitor centre and plenty of camping areas where you can camp overnight.
6: Is it safe?
Yes! It is one of the safest places in Australia to visit. The national park has recently had increased security in response to the recent spate of violent assaults across Sydney, but it is nowhere near as serious as that. The national park is especially active on weekends and holidays, when many people come to enjoy the natural beauty.
History of the Blue Mountains
Europeans first settled in the Blue Mountains around 1813, when Michael Gannon established a convict outpost west of Sydney. By 1814 the settlement had become known as Coxs River after John Cox, who set up a store there.
Local Aborigines knew about this area but didn’t settle there because they hadn’t discovered fire yet. The area remained largely unsettled until gold was discovered and a Gold Rush ensued. The “rush” started a massive influx of people into the area, with many choosing to live in tents. A large number of these people were Chinese miners who settled in the mountains just south and east of Katoomba. A town called Blackheath was established around this time.
In 1884 the Blue Mountains National Park was created, with the purpose of protecting the natural beauty and environment of the area. Most of this park was located in what is now the Katoomba North and South national parks.
Today, over 250,000 people visit this amazing area every year to escape modern-day life and enjoy some natural beauty.