The Best Hikes in the Blue Mountains, Australia

The Top 5 Hikes in The Blue Mountains

We spent over a week in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. We tried to do as many hikes as possible. The Blue Mountains have a nice variety of hikes ranging from a one-hour walk to multi-day treks.

Some trails are in massive canyons, some to flowing waterfalls, and others to desolate peaks. Whether visiting for one day or a week these walks will keep you entertained. The list below is the best hikes in the Blue Mountains, Australia.

Blue Mountain Walks: Waterfall
Aerial view of Govetts Leap Falls. A hike leads to the bottom of the waterfall.

Content and photographs provided by Yana Kogan and Timon.

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Top Five Hikes in the Blue Mountains

1. Govetts Leap Falls

Blue Mountain Trail: Govetts Leap
The trail leading down to the bottom of Govetts Leap

This hike starts at the Govetts Leap lookout car park. From there, the hike descends to the base of the Govetts Leap Falls. Throughout the hike, the views of Grouse Valley are stunning. The hike is a steep descent but worth the effort. The views of the waterfalls are beautiful and the track in itself is pretty awesome. This trail, the Williams Track, leads into the Blue Gum forest to the Rodriguez Pass and the Blue Gum Trail.

Blue Mountain Hiking Trails: Govetts Leap
Bottom of Govetts Leap Falls

Distance: 1.2 km return (base of the waterfall)
Time: 30-45 minutes
Elevation Gain: 355 m
Difficulty: 3/5

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2. Valley of the Waters

Blue Mountain Hiking Trails: Empress Falls
Top of Empress Falls

For the most bang for your buck, go for the Valley of the Waters track. This short track is packed with waterfalls and lush greenery. The track can be slippery at times so make sure to wear shoes with good tread. The track descends 300 meters.

After reaching the last waterfall, you will have to turn around and climb the 300 meters back up. There are a few overlooks and three beautiful waterfalls on the track: Empress Falls, Sylvia Falls, and Lodore Falls.

Distance: 1.5 km (0.95 miles) out and back
Time: 45 minutes to 1 and 1/2 hours
Elevation Gain: 300 m
Difficulty: 2.5/5

3. Mount Solitary via the Ruined Castle

Blue Mountain Walks: Ruined Castle
The Ruined Castle

This is by far the hardest hike on the list. This hike can take almost nine hours if completing it in one day, so make sure to leave early. This is also an excellent overnight hike. We camped on the summit, where there are several good campsites. Waking up to a beautiful sunrise was a highlight of the Blue Mountains for us. 

If this sounds too intense for you, the hike to Ruined Castle is worth the effort. The first part of the hike goes down the Golden Staircase. It’s relatively flat the rest of the way until a short ascent up to the Ruined Castle. The area around there can be explored for an hour or so. Afterward, the hike to Mt Solitary can be intense. There are many sections that need scrambling and a bit of climbing. After reaching the top, the hike continues along the plateau. This hike is not for the faint-hearted.

Distance: 11.7 km
Time: 6-9 hours
Elevation Gain: 1050 m
Difficulty: 5/5

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4. Wentworth Falls via the National Pass

Blue Mountain Walks: Wentworth Falls
Top of Wentworth Falls

This hike is impressive because the track is etched into the rock, making some epic photo opportunities. The trail gets crowded so leave early. The best part of the National Pass is about 45 minutes into the hike, past the top of the Wentworth Falls, before descending to the valley floor. The trail cuts into the mountain and seemingly looks to be leading to nowhere. From the bottom of the waterfall, the views up are absolutely stunning.

Distance: 2.5 km
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 250 m
Difficulty: 4/5

5. Grand Canyon Trail

Hiking in the Blue Mountains: Grand Canyon Trail
Start of the Grand Canyon Trail

This walk is different from the other walks in the Blueys. There are lots of places to see fauna and foliage along this trail. Because the track descends into a canyon, the temperature drops quickly. This loop track is a perfect way to cool off on warmer days. We found the track to be quite easy but the ascent might be tough for some.

Distance: 5.4 km
Time: 2 – 2 and 1/2 hours
Elevation Gain: 425 m
Difficulty: 3/5

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That’s it – have a wonderful hike in the Blue Mountains!

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About the Author:

  • Yana and Timon

    Yana & Timon met at college in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating, they started their professional careers. They moved to San Francisco in 2010, a city they loved living in for nearly six years.

    After working and saving up money for several years, they quit their jobs and set off on an adventure of a lifetime. They started living a nomadic lifestyle in December 2015 and have not looked back since.

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