The Blue Mountains
Just two hours from Sydney lies the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. Blue due to the eucalyptus haze in the air, the region is home to dramatic rock formations, walking trails and pretty villages. Katoomba is the most visited town and the location of the Blue Mountains’ most famous attraction: the Three Sisters. Scenic World has the world’s steepest railway, a cable car and a skyway. Visit on a guided day tour, by train or as part of a self-drive itinerary.
This beautiful region plays host to over 120 wineries, offering everything from cellar door tastings at boutiques to tours of larger, international establishments. Sample Verdelho, Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay amongst others. The Hunter Valley wineries are refreshingly unstuffy – perfect for first-time wine tastings but also excellent for oenophiles due to the sheer variety. Some wineries offer tastings of cheeses, chocolates and olive oils. There’s also a sparkling wine house, brewer, picturesque golfing and indulgent spas.
Impressively returned to nature by its luxurious carbon-neutral resort, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, this secluded region is a 7000-acre nature and conservation reserve in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, just three hours’ drive from Sydney. The area offers unique insights into Australia’s wildlife, history and cultural heritage via a whole host of activities from guided horse riding to Aboriginal history tours. You’ll need to stay at the resort to explore here – the privacy is all part of the attraction.