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The Magic of the Blue Mountains

Just an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s CBD, the Blue Mountains region is the perfect place to get away from it all.

Just an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, the Blue Mountains region is the perfect place to get away from it all. Here are some of the amazing, accessible adventures awaiting you at this World-Heritage listed destination.

Evans Lookout

If you’re hoping for breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains that are only an easy walk or wheel away, visit Evans Lookout in the Blackheath area of the Blue Mountains National Park.

The visitor area has been recently upgraded to include a fully accessible pathway, new accessible toilets, safety handrails, and expanded parking options.

For a truly stunning experience, visit at sunset to see the sandstone cliff walls glowing orange in the last light of the day. 

A sign for Evans Lookout on a fence in front of a view of a bush valley in the Blue Mountains
The newly upgraded Evans Lookout is the perfect spot for a beautiful view of the Blue Mountains.

Scenic World

Scenic World is mountains of fun for the whole family on a weekend getaway to the Blue Mountains. 

The Cableway has a wheelchair accessible area at the front, which gives the best view of the Three Sisters and the Jamieson Valley. The Skyway lets you float across the Valley and look out to Katoomba Falls and Mount Solitary. Daredevils with a bit more mobility and stability can try the Scenic Railway, the steepest cable car in the Southern Hemisphere. 

If you contact one of Scenic World’s Experience Planners ahead of time, they’ll be able to help you choose the experience that’s right for you.

We recommend the Unlimited Discovery Pass, which allows you to do it all as many times as you like on the day you visit. Plus, they accept Companion Cards, so admission is free for caregivers accompanying visitors with a disability. Find out more on Scenic World’s excellent accessibility page.

The Scenic World Cable Car running over the Blue Mountains on a bright and sunny day
The Unlimited Discovery Pass is perfect for daredevils visiting Scenic World in the Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

It’s always a good idea to have an indoor activity up your sleeve in case of inclement weather, and the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is a beautiful accessible space to spend an afternoon. 

Located in the heart of Katoomba, the Centre includes the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery and the Katoomba Library. Check out the seasonal exhibitions, and pop out to the viewing platform to take in panoramic views of the stunning vistas.

The real drawcard, though, is the interactive Into The Blue exhibition – perfect for curious minds who want to learn more about the natural history of the Blue Mountains. 

For access, use accessible parking spaces available within the Cultural Centre building (via Parke Street). From there, you can use lift access to the Centre. You can also contact the Centre on (02) 4780 5410 to talk to the team about arranging your visit.

A group of visitors wandering around inside the gallery at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
It’s good to have an indoor activity up your sleeve, like the accessible Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.

Fruit Picking in Bilpin

If you’ve got some time to plan ahead, fruit picking in Bilpin is a wonderful and rejuvenating experience. Get out into the fresh mountain air and get a good chunk of your two-and-five straight from the tree.

By its nature, fruit picking is a seasonal activity and subject to availability, so it’s best to do some research before you go. Orchards in the area post on their websites and social media which crops are available for picking and the best times to visit. 

The paths in most orchards aren’t paved, so self-propelling in a manual wheelchair is tough. If you’d rather a more relaxing experience, skip the picking and go right to sampling the produce. Most orchards offer tastings of fresh fruit, as well as their own sweets, ciders, and even ice cream. 

Find out more about orchards that offer pick-your-own experiences on the Harvest Trails and Markets website.

A young man reaching up to pick fruit from apple trees, smiling and holding a basket on his lap
Fresh fruit takes best when you’ve picked it right off the tree in Bilpin.

Katoomba Street Art Walk

The Beverly Place precinct in Katoomba has been transformed with larger-than-life murals by artists from Australia and around the world. 

This community-driven project was created by Street Art Murals Australia (SAMA) in partnership with the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and University of Western Sydney. It’s an impressive and ever-evolving display, with new works appearing all the time. Be sure to bring your camera for Instagram-worthy shots!

The artworks are so large, they can be enjoyed from a distance or by car, which is a great option if uneven roadways are going to be challenging to navigate.

A young man and woman in front of a detailed mural of Australian fauna painted onto an outdoor brick wall
The Katoomba Street Art Walk can be enjoyed from all angles.

Josophan’s Fine Chocolates

For those of us with a sweet tooth, Josophan’s is better than fine! This is an indulgent sensory experience in the Blue Mountains, and the perfect spot to pick up souvenirs or gifts for loved ones back home. 

The store is located in Leura, arguably the prettiest village in the Blue Mountains. If you visit at the right time of year (usually September), you can see the cherry blossoms lining the main street in bloom. From there, make your way to the back of the store to watch magic being made in the chocolate laboratory through Josophan’s Fine Chocolates viewing window. 

There is one small step at the entrance to the building, but it’s easy enough to bump up with some assistance.

Close up of rows of chocolate truffles and treats carefully decorated and shiny
There are mouth-watering treats on offer at Josophan’s Fine Chocolates.

Wentworth Falls Lake Park Playground

It’s wonderful to see so many local councils using government grants to make their play spaces inclusive – and Blue Mountains Council has done an exemplary job with Wentworth Falls Lake Park

This fenced playground has beautiful views of the lake – probably only to be enjoyed by the adults, because the kids will be having too much fun on the equipment. Under plenty of shade, you’ll find an accessible carousel, fun mirrors, a variety of swings, and more. Best of all, there’s a picture communication board just inside the entrance.

If you’re making a family day of it, you can use the barbecue facilities, and there’s also a unisex stand-alone accessible bathroom 

A variety of swings available at the Wentworth Falls Lake Park playground
The fenced playground at Wentworth Falls Lake Park is accessible for all.

Time For Tea

Tea drinkers will find plenty to delight them in the Blue Mountains.

The Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum & Tearooms has retained the historic beauty of their Leura location while ensuring step-free access to their cafe and store. They have the world’s largest private collection of tea wares, including more than 5,500 teapots from around the world. The small admission fee is waived with an equivalent purchase in their cafe or retail store. Tea, scones and jam, light lunches and some hearty soups in winter make this a lovely place to eat amid the treasures.

And if you’re after a traditional high tea experience, you must visit the Hydro Majestic – another historic location with level access. Take in the panoramic views of Megalong Valley as you sip and snack on one of their indulgent tea services. Reservations are essential, so call ahead on (02) 4782 6885 to book – and be sure to let them know if you have dietary requirements, as they are happy to accommodate them at no extra charge.

Cabinets with glass doors displaying hundreds of teapots in all varieties
We can guarantee you’ve never seen a teapot collection like the one at Bygone Beautys!

Where To Stay

We love Lilianfels, which offers spacious accessible accommodation conveniently located near the foyer (while retaining privacy and peace). All light switches are lowered, beds are at a great transfer height, and the bathroom has grab rails, a shower chair, and handheld shower. This is a great option for both families and grown-up getaways.

You might also like the Fairmont Resort, which offers three accessible ground-floor rooms with verandah access, garden views, and accessible bathroom fit-out. Kids will love the Fairmont Express miniature train (on weekends and holidays), the Mirror Maze Arcade, bowling alley, and ice skating rink. Visitors in summer will definitely want to make the most of the indoor and outdoor pools.

If your visit to the Blue Mountains is a day trip, there are several accessible bathrooms in convenient locations. For MLAK key holders, a Changing Places facility in Echo Point is equipped with a hoist, adult-sized change table, and grab-rails. Other stand-alone accessible bathrooms can be found in the Leura mall, and near the park at Glenbrook. 

When To Go

The Blue Mountains area is beautiful year-round, and there’s always something (accessible) to do. Visit during autumn for beautiful foliage and changing colours around Mt Wilson. Visit during winter for a dusting of snow at the highest peaks (though you may want to layer-up to stay warm, and allow extra time for travel). If you want an easy drive and less crowding, you’ll want to avoid school holidays, long weekends, and other peak times for holiday attractions.

A woman and young man with their arms around each other with a large tree full of browning leaves behind them
The Blue Mountains are beautiful at any time of year.

This story first appeared in Travel Without Limits. You can subscribe to the magazine here.

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