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Blue Mountains

Orange County
9 posts
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Blue Mountains

We wanted to do a day trip to the Blue Mountains while we are in Sydney for our honeymoon this May. Both of us have been to Sydney before but never the Blue Mountains.

Has anyone used or heard anything about the following tour operators?

- Great Sights

- FJ Tours

- Activity Tours

Or if you have a one day tour to recommend that would be greatly appreciated. We have looked at OzTrails, but it looked like they just glanced over the Blue Mountains, but we weren't sure.

Thanks for your help!

Cradle Mountain
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Mountains, Forests, Waterfalls
Ayers Rock and the Olgas
Geologic Formations, Mountains
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2,897 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Blue Mountains

I can't tell you if one of those is better than the other, as my advice to people is not to book a tour at all, but to travel up to the top of the mountains (Katoomba) by fast train (a two-hour journey) and then see what's on offer from the tourist office there. That way you save money, get more time where you want to be, and have a chance to look at the pleasant rail scenery instead of driving in a coach along a quite-unpleasant motorway. In addition, there are self-managed tours available at the bus stand opposite Katoomba Station which (at around $AUD12 each) are very good value for money... you just get on a trolley or a double-decker bus (which I think is a bit more expensive) and it will drop you at about fourteen different places, where you can disembark and get on again as often as you like (they depart regularly all day). This will give you a chance to actually get down into the valley and look around... that's the best part of the Mountains, not just the scenery from the lookouts (which is often all the tour-buses have time to allow you... they spend a lot of time shepherding you into third-class restaurants and souvenir shops, as they get a "kick-back" for your custom).

Anyway, that doesn't answer your question, does it? If you want to choose between tour buses, choose a SMALL vehicle, not a large one, and try to choose one that visits Euroka Clearing on the way up. The big coaches can't get in there, so they prretend it doesn't exist... but the mini-buses are starting to realise what a gem this is, and more and more are including it in their itineraries.

Finally, try not to book more than a couple of days ahead, so you can check the weather first. On a drizzly day, or even a dull day, in Sydney, the Mountains can be covered with mist, and you won't see a thing.... just white.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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19,887 posts
199 reviews
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2. Re: Blue Mountains

Dragonflyladydid a tour which she really enjoyed and mentioned in her trip report. I'll seeif I can find it for you.

As Alan said..I think you can get a really good trip doing it yourself.

Orange County
9 posts
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3. Re: Blue Mountains

thanks for all the suggestions! I think we're going to take the train from Sydney and enjoy the Blue Mountains from there.

Ontario, CAN
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491 posts
56 reviews
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4. Re: Blue Mountains

I agree....we did the Blue Mountains in mid Feb and based on what I'd read here many times (AlanJ) we took the train and did the day on our own. It was a "change as good as a rest" and once there we leisurely did the touring. We got off in Katoomba and just around the corner from the first trolley or double decker company is a second trolley tour operator which is cheaper. Bought tickets to hop on and off.....then it was:

Eggs Bennie at Blues Cafe

Scenic World - train ride, boardwalk and aerial car - view of three Sisters

Did the full round trip on the trolley to

Gordon Falls - walk to Leura...became difficult so we hopped off the trail jumped on the trolley and downtown Leura for leisurely browse

Alexandra Hotel - beer stop as it's right at the train station (in Leura) and back on train for ride home