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If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, the Blue Mountains National Park is the perfect location for a day trip or weekend getaway from Sydney. An ideal way to enjoy the lush rainforest, rushing waterfalls and breath-taking views is on one of the many Blue Mountains walks.
If you don’t fancy a strenuous full-day hike, don’t worry, there’s an abundance of short Blue Mountains walks under 5km to choose from. Most of these join up with longer tracks too, so you have the option of extending to something more challenging if the desire takes you!
If you’re wondering where you can walk in the Blue Mountains, I’ve listed nine options in this blog post, based in the popular areas of Katoomba, Wentworth Falls, Leura and Blackheath. All four of these villages have train stations (as well as shops and cafes), so use the NSW trip planner if you’re looking for Blue Mountains walks accessible by train.
For more details on each walk, as well as maps, updates on conditions and closed tracks, check the NSW National Parks website. Keep reading on for my top recommendations!
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1. The Three Sisters Walk
Distance: <1km return
To view the iconic Three Sisters rock formation, head to Echo Point Lookout in Katoomba. Do note that’s it gets very, very busy though, as all the tourist buses stop there.
The Three Sisters walk is an easy 400m (each way) sloping path starting from the arch next to the visitors centre and leading to Oreades lookout, where you’ll get a closer view of the sisters than at Echo Point.
A choice of other walking tracks start from Echo Point too, so you can easily tag on a longer walk. There’s also a visitor centre, café and toilets.
If you want to continue further, you can descend the steps for another 50m to get to Lady Game lookout. From there continue down the steep steps at the top of the Giant Stairway to cross Honeymoon Bridge and stand right inside one of the sisters!
For a more challenging walk you could continue down the Giant Stairway to get onto Dardanelles Pass, or jump onto the Prince Henry Cliff Walk to Leura.
2. Katoomba Falls Walk
Distance: 1.3km one way from Echo Point or 1.2km round walk from near Scenic World
To the west of the Three Sisters lies picturesque Katoomba Cascades and Katoomba Falls. There are a couple of different ways to see these, either on the Katoomba Falls Round Walk from near Scenic World, or the one-way Prince Henry Cliff Walk from Echo Point.
I took the walk from Echo Point, which had some great sweeping views across the Blue Mountains. Just make sure you head in the opposite direction to the Three Sisters from Echo Point Lookout, as the Prince Henry Cliff Walk also continues in the other direction to Leura!
On this short Blue Mountains walk you’ll get up close to Katoomba Cascades, see Katoomba Falls from Cliff View lookout and pass a series of other lookout points with fantastic views across the Blue Mountains!
3. Leura Cascades Walk
Distance: 4.5km loop
Leura is a gorgeous village one train stop east of Katoomba. It’s worth visiting for its strip of cute cafes and shops alone, but it also has some great walking tracks.
The Leura Cascades walk starts from Leura Cascades picnic area and descends deep into the rainforest. You’ll pass some fantastic lookout points as well as getting up close to the cascades.
The picnic area itself is a lovely place to stop for a while, with grassy areas and toilets.
4. Prince Henry Cliff Walk
Distance: 7km one way (shorter sections available)
The Prince Henry Cliff Walk stretches 7km all the way from Katoomba Cascades to Gordon Falls in Leura, passing the Three Sisters and Leura Cascades along the way. Since the track skirts the edge of Katoomba and Leura towns, it has many access points. So you can do as much or as little of it as you like.
I’ve covered the western section from Katoomba Cascades to Echo Point in the Katoomba Falls walk above. On my most recent visit I walked the section heading east from Leura Cascades picnic area, as far as Elysian Rock lookout and then back again, which was absolutely stunning!
You get some amazing sweeping views across the mountains from this high up, cliffside trail; it’s very different to the mossy green tracks that run deeper inside the rainforest.
You’ll also look down at some shockingly sheer drops from the lookout points, so make sure you take the short detours to Bridal Veil View and Tarpeian Rock Lookout!
To extend the walk you could add on the Lyrebird Dell loop walk below, which goes deeper into the forest.
5. Lyrebird Dell & Pool of Siloam
Distance: 1.7km loop
This lovely short walk in Leura heads down into the lush green rainforest from the parking area at Gordon Falls . You’ll pass the pretty Pool of Siloam, as well as a quiet spot with picnic tables shaded by overhead cliffs.
I’d recommend adding on the short detour to Elysian Rock lookout along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk if you haven’t been there before, as the open views across the Blue Mountains are gorgeous!
I’d give this walk a miss if there’s been heavy rain, as I tried it a couple of years ago when it was wet and the track was too flooded! It’s great in dry weather though, and very quiet. I had the whole track to myself!
6. Charles Darwin Walk
Distance: 2.4km one way
One train stop east of Leura is popular Wentworth Falls. This area has a big picnic area with parking, toilets, information boards and a choice of walking tracks. It does get fairly busy, but less so than Echo Point.
The Charles Darwin walk is ideal if you’re arriving by train, as it starts from near the train station in town and meanders gently alongside Jamison Creek to join up with the other walking tracks at the picnic area further south.
To get to Wentworth Falls picnic area, it’s another 15 minutes from Weeping Rock at the southern end of the Charles Darwin Walk (you’ll see the sign). Alternatively you could add on the slightly longer track that passes Fletchers lookout and Princes Rock lookout. (See the next walk below.)
7. Princes Rock & Wentworth Falls Walk
Distance: Approx 2.5km loop
This loop walk from Wentworth Falls picnic area is made up of three separate tracks that join up, and takes about 1.5 hours. It passes a few lovely lookout points and a great view of Wentworth Falls.
From Jamison Lookout at the picnic area, follow the track to Wentworth Falls Lookout, where you’ll have beautiful open views across the Blue Mountains.
From there continue to Fletchers Lookout for a birdseye view of the waterfall. Then take the short detour to the cute stepping stones in the picture below!
Head back via the Undercliff Track to Fletchers Lookout. It’s not far to the picnic area and carpark from there.
8. Den Fenella Walk
Distance: 1km return
This is a great little walk if you want to avoid the crowds, as it isn’t listed on the information board at Wentworth Falls picnic area, and it also starts from a different spot than the other tracks, so nobody seems to realise it exists!
You’ll set off through the cool green rainforest and head deep down into a gorge before passing Den Fenella Cascades. At the end there’s a great little viewpoint that looks out across the valley!
9. Govetts Leap Walk via Fairfax Heritage Track
Distance: 1.8km one way
Another great area for short Blue Mountains walks is Blackheath. From the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, the Fairfax Heritage walk is a gently sloping, wheelchair accessible track that takes you through forest to some beautiful lookout points.
It’s a great option if it’s wet weather, as the track is sealed so doesn’t get muddy and swamped!
You’ll pass George Phillips Lookout and Govetts Leap Lookout, which have magnificent views across Grose Valley, Govetts Gorge and Jungle Falls, as well as picnic areas to rest at.
You can either return the same way back to the Heritage Centre, or follow the unsealed 500m track alongside Govetts Leap Road to form a loop.
If you enjoyed this blog post on short Blue Mountains walks, you’ll love my other Blue Mountains posts!
For more ideas on trips from Sydney, take a look at my top suggestions in these posts. Happy adventuring!