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Forget peering at The Three Sisters through a foggy tour bus! We've written you a 24 hour itinerary - see, sleep, eat drink for less than the price of a day trip!
Just two hours but worlds away from Sydney, Katoomba is the pot of gold at the end of a trainline! Top your Opal card up with $12.16 and you’ll have a return trip from Sydney Central station, so get comfy and keep an eye out the window – you’ll be amazed how quickly the view transforms from concrete jungle to rolling green hills and all of the cows.
A very short five minute walk from Katoomba station and through the quaint, quirky town will lead you to Blue Mountains YHA – the gorgeous hostel at the top of the hill. This place is the epitome of cozy – roaring fireplaces, heated outdoor dining terraces, double-glazed windows and the friendliest staff you ever did meet. Multishare beds are currently up for grabs for $22 a night, which is laughably cheap – plus, the best nights’ sleep you’ve had in months! Book online here.
It’s a rare, and bloody lucky, thing when the highlights of a place are all yours, for nothing – and Katoomba is one of those places! Sure, you could pay to be driven to The Three Sisters with a busload of people, or you could stroll on down for sunrise or sunset at your leisure as the lookout is a mere 15 minutes’ walk from Blue Mountains YHA.
Whilst standing atop the Blue Mountains National Park viewing the Sisters, you’ll be hit with the realisation of just how huge, sprawling and ready for exploration this corner of the world is. The National Park is home to literally hundreds of walks of varying difficulties – from so easy you could wear thongs to tackle it to multiple day hikes – and they’re all yours, for free. Ask the reception staff for their recommendations as we’ve got a few favourites that can be done in a few hours, leaving you plenty of time to see the rest of the town.
And see it, you should! The Blue Mountains are of course known for their breathtaking natural beauty, but the town of Katoomba really isn’t to be missed, either. The birth-child of the creative community that surrounds it – painters, writers, authors, dancers, singers flock to these parts to sell their wares – from clothes to nick-knacks to leather goods and all that’s in between. Spend your afternoon perusing book stores and jewellery collections to learn a little more about the modern culture of this ancient area.
Café lunch - $15
The Yellow Deli is a Katoomba institution you must tick off your list once all your town-adventuring is done. Having worked up an appetite, we’ve given you $15 to spend here on their hand-drawn menus, and with their meals and beverages having a focus on organic nutrition you’ll be stuffed to the brim and energised to take on whatever’s next!
Thai dinner - $25
After a day of hiking, ‘gramming and window shopping, what sounds better than a huge plate of Laksa with a buttery, flakey roti on the side? Answer – nothing. YHA Members (that’s you!) score 10% off Bamboo Box’s menu, so you’ll likely have some cash leftover from your dinner budget.
Nightcap - $20
After dinner, you’ve got two choices – either head to the bottlo (have a read of some Aussie slang words if you don’t know what this means!) with a hot $20 in your hand to purchase a lush bottle of wine or some beers and head back to Blue Mountains YHA to sit in front of the crackling fire and play some good ol’ boardgames with your pals – which is what we’d be doing 100%! But, if you fancy seeing some more of the town, head on down towards the station and be greeted by a few great pubs to see the night off in. Cheers!
Breakfast - $5
Depending on how much you spent on your nightcaps, you can either pop into one of the many local cafes on the strip for a spot of breakkie, or head to Coles with a fiver in your hand and leave with your tipple of fancy – here’s looking at you, smashed avo on toast! Grab yourself some snacks for the train ride home, which will be spent uploading the photos you’ve taken over the past 24 hours and thanking your lucky stars you didn’t settle for a day trip!