My husband and I flew from Singapore to Sydney, Australia for a weekend getaway. We couldn’t wait to get going on a couples road trip to the Blue Mountains.
Our flight arrived later in the evening and we wanted to enjoy the drive through the mountains so we chose to stay on Manly Beach upon arrival at the Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific Hotel. This is a sweet hotel located right on the water with an excellent breakfast (and as many cappuccinos as you can handle!).
The parking in front of the hotel is a bit tricky, and you have to move your car by 7 am (and who wants to do that on holiday) so best to drive around the corner to a parking lot and not have to worry. There were a few restaurants within walking distance; we went with the Old Manly Boatshed with a lively crowd, good music and delicious pizza.
We got up early, enjoyed breakfast and planned our route to the Blue Mountains. It is a 90 minute drive and there is public transportation available from the airport, but we love a road trip so off we went to start our adventure.
We had a few hours to kill before we could check into our next hotel so we pulled over at a Visitors Center for info and then followed signs to Wentworth Falls. There were a few tours going on, but we just grabbed our water and started to hike. The view was breathtaking and it was a decent 2.5 hour trek.
We pulled into the Echoes Boutique Hotel just in time to check in. I had a hard time deciding to stay at this boutique hotel as opposed to the famous sister hotel Lilianfels Blue Mountain Resort and Spa which is a stone’s throw away. The deciding factor was the balcony and modern rooms as opposed to the older decor of the spa. An added bonus is that you can use the spa and pool at Lilianfels at your leisure. So, you get the best of both!
I was happy with the decision once we got to the room with chocolate strawberries and champagne waiting and the most gorgeous view overlooking the Jamison Valley. I would definitely recommend getting the corner room with a balcony!
Since we were a little worn out from our impromptu hike we decided to enjoy the sunset, chat to our neighbors and head to the Echoes Restaurant for dinner. They did not disappoint! We went with the 3 course menu and would do it again in a heartbeat. That night, we slept very well in a cozy bed.
The next morning we enjoyed a casual breakfast while planning where to start. Since Echoes Point lookout and The Three Sisters was a 15 minute walk away, we started there. And then just kept walking. We saw the Three Sisters. We walked down steep stairways (the Giant Stairway) and deep into the forest. The further we walked the less people we ran into, but the wildlife, the cockatoos, the waterfalls were all incredible. Without much of a map and our water running low we found ourselves thrilled to see a railway that would take us back up the mountain. We jumped on and found ourselves in Scenic World (World Heritage wilderness), paid $25 per person for the lift and said thank you.
It was a short walk back to the hotel and once there we relaxed on the balcony with Henry, our cockatoo and decided to maybe run next door for a dip in the pool. Unfortunately the pool closed at 6pm so we missed that opportunity. Instead, we walked back to a small Tourist Center and had some authentic Aussie BBQ. We slept well that night too!
The next morning we worked our way back to Sydney passing the sweet little town of Blackheath with lots of street cafes and cute shops.
Grabbing a quick lunch after some meandering put us back on the road with plenty of time to make our flight. There is a lot to see in the Blue Mountains, and I think we did pretty good for the time we had!
Are you traveling to Australia soon? We have many itineraries shared by readers just like you! Try this trip from Perth to Margaret River. Or try these favourite chocolate cafes in Melbourne. Or go farther afield to adventure in Tasmania. Australia has so many different kinds of experiences to enjoy.