Mountains & Highlands (Sydney to Sydney) 5 nights
6 days/ 5 nights Sydney - Blue Mountains - Southern Highlands & South Coast - Sydney.
Price from £505 per person
There and back again from this iconic Australian city, we offer a self drive tour that includes 6 days car rental with Hertz Australia (Intermediate Automatic), 5 nights 'boutique' accommodation, meals indicated and daily driving notes. Price includes car pick up from downtown depot - supplements may apply from airport.
Sydney – Blue Mountains – Southern Highlands & South Coast - Sydney
Prices depend on seasonality
DAY 1 SYDNEY – BLUE MOUNTAINS (NM)
Pick up your Hertz Intermediate Automatic rental car at Sydney city depot or Sydney Airport and commence your drive to the Blue Mountains. Travel on the Great Western Highway past Homebush Bay, the site of the 2000 Olympic Games. Continue through Penrith to the Blue Mountains.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS derive their name from the ever-present blue haze caused by the sun's rays striking the minuscule droplets of eucalyptus oil, which evaporate from the leaves of the dense forest. The city of the Blue Mountains comprises 26 towns and villages, stretching from Penrith (53 km from Sydney) to Mount Victoria (122 km from Sydney).
KATOOMBA is the gateway to some spectacular scenery. There are the sandstone formations of The Three Sisters, the Scenic Railway, originally designed to take coalminers 250 metres down the cliff face and reputedly the steepest in the world, or the Skyway cable car, offering superb views over the Katoomba Falls and the valley floor.
OVERNIGHT: Lilianfels Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, Katoomba (2 nights)
DAY 2 BLUE MOUNTAINS (NM)
Today is yours to explore the rugged wilderness of the spectacular and World heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park and the surrounding sights. Stop by the towns of Leura and Katoomba for a bite to eat or some shopping. Or, for the more active, there are over two hundred walks of easy to difficult grading, mountain bike trails and outdoor adventure tours that reveal the secret beauty of the landscape. Hire a mountain bike from the experts who can advise you on the tricks for riding Narrow Neck orWoodford to Glenbrook.
LEURA is Aboriginal for lava, and while the Blue Mountains are predominantly sandstone, many volcanic rocks have been found in the area. Of all the mountain resort villages, Leura is probably the most prestigious, as some of the grand houses in the district proclaim. Leura Mall is charming and ‘olde worlde’, with coffee shops, restaurants and art galleries all in Heritage colours. Cliff Drive offers access to many beautiful waterfalls, like Leura, Linda, Lila and Bridal Veil Falls. But it is the gardens and mansions most visitors come to see. Everglades Gardens, owned by the National Trust, was designed by the famous Danish landscaper, Paul Sorensen. Nearby Leuralla, which is another magnificent home, also houses the largest collection of toys, dolls, teddy bears and model railways in Australia.
KATOOMBA – Any visit to Katoomba should start at Echo Point, which is located at the end of Echo Point Road. Not only does it offer superb views but the Blue Mountains Tourist Centre on the site will provide you with all the maps and information you can possibly require. This extraordinary vantage point offers exceptional views of the Three Sisters, Mount Solitary, the Ruined Castle and the vast Jamison Valley. An easy 1km return walk to the Three Sisters provides outstanding views and is wheelchair-friendly. Katoomba is home to the Scenic Railway, the steepest railway incline in the world. The ride takes you down the steep descent past Orphan Rock, through a tunnel and the beautiful ferndamp cliff face. Also worth a visit is the Waradah Aboriginal Centre, a landmark place that showcases the extraordinary talents and proud celebration of Aboriginal Indigenous culture, art and dance. The centre is located adjacent to the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains National Park on Echo Point Road, Katoomba.
DAY 3 BLUE MOUNTAINS – SUTTON FOREST (NM)
PICTON – The history of Picton is evident in a number of notable sites. Visit the old church, Georgian cottages, or late Victorian public buildings. The first railway viaduct in Australia (still operational) and first railway tunnel (which you can walk through) are but a short walk from town. Picton Visitors' Centre is an informative introduction to the Wollondilly region. Get in the car and visit many of the villages, dams with their picnic areas and lookouts, steam trains at Thirlmere, and the vast wilderness areas nearby.
MITTAGONG is the gateway to the Southern Highlands. It lies on a plateau at the foot of Mt Gibraltar, Mt Jellore, and High Range – a chain of mountains across the northern end of the Highlands. Gaps here offer the only natural roads into the interior. The Mittagong Visitors' Centre is the main stop for tourist information about the Highlands.
BOWRAL – Renown as the commercial and retail centre of the Southern Highlands, Bowral maintains its old world charm. An almost fairytale setting, it is nestled in glorious rolling green hills. Bowral lies on the southern side of Mt Gibraltar. A climb to the summit should not be missed as the peak affords fine views of Bowral and breathtaking scenery of the Southern Highlands beyond.
MOSS VALE – The town of Moss Vale is surrounded by lush farming areas and the spectacular natural scenery found throughout the whole of the highland area. While central to a great array of natural marvels such as Fitzroy Falls and Wombeyan Caves, Moss Vale also offers its own attractions. Leighton Gardens in the centre of the town are renowned for their colourful blooms and treasured also as a place to relax and enjoy the pleasant climate. Many homes and other historic buildings have been meticulously restored; one of the most extensive and attractive is Tudor House, a preparatory school for boys which welcomes visitors.
SUTTON FOREST was one of the first settlements in the lands discovered outside the limits of the Sydney colony. There are reminders of its early history in the cemeteries (look for the graves of bushrangers and troopers at All Saints Anglican Church) and throughout the town. The famous 'Everything Store' (established in the 1830s) is a magnet for antique collectors and tourists.
OVERNIGHT: Peppers Manor House, Sutton Forest
DAY 4 SUTTON FOREST – HUSKISSON (NM)
FITZROY FALLS – the village and the spectacular natural attraction - lies at the edge of the escarpment towards the coast from the Southern Highlands. Although the view from the Falls shows steep cliffs descending to the valley floor, there is a pathway leading down from the Highlands, first shown to the explorer Charles Throsby by local aborigines in 1818. At the foot of this pathway (closely approximating the current highway) is the beautiful Kangaroo Valley.
KANGAROO VALLEY is a stunningly beautiful valley surrounded by steep escarpments, nestled between the white beaches of the South Coast and the Southern Highlands. It is reputed to be one of only seven fully enclosed valleys in the world. The combination of rainforest clinging to the steep slopes of the escarpment, the splendour of the river as it weaves its way through the countryside, the patchwork quilt of farms, and the small creeks which cross the valley, all make it a special and strikingly attractive place. These qualities have been recognised by the National Trust, which classified the village in 1977.
NOWRA is a bustling centre for the Shoalhaven district, an area given to dairying, vegetable growing and timber milling. Nowra has a lot to offer the visitor including surfing, tranquil lakeside beaches, offshore and river fishing and Meroogal, a historic home built in 1886 which is open for public inspection. Nowra also has an excellent historic museum.
HUSKISSON – On the shores of the famous Jervis Bay, you'll find the historic township of Huskisson. This town is a great base for exploring the Jervis Bay Territory and other areas of the beautiful Shoalhaven. Huskisson had a major boat building industry at the turn of the century and you can gain an insight into this pioneering industry by visiting the Lady Denman Heritage Complex. This popular attraction houses a maritime museum and is also the site of the Lady Denman Ferry. Huskisson also offers some interesting shopping with an aboriginal art and crafts centre and a great trading post that will fascinate you for hours with its collection of antiques, bric-a-brac and other second hand goods. There are many beautiful bushwalks around the area and a stroll along the miles of white, clean beaches is a definite for your diary.
OVERNIGHT: Dolphin Sands Bed & Breakfast, Huskisson (2 nights)
DAY 5 HUSKISSON (NM)
Today, explore Huskisson and the surrounding Jervis Bay at your leisure. Jervis Bay is one of the true gems of the NSW south east region and its value to Australia has been recognised by its National Park status. The breathtaking beauty, rich cultural and natural significance of the area have long been recognised and appreciated by locals and by domestic and overseas visitors. Jervis Bay is reputed to have the clearest waters and whitest sands in not only this country but also in the world. Booderee National Park and Botanic Gardens is also waiting for you to explore and fall in love with. The National Park includes Green Patch Beach and other notable beauty spots such as Hole in the Wall, Bristol Point and Scottish Rocks. Also available are a Visitors Centre, many bushwalking trails, boat ramps, picnic and barbeque equipment and camping areas. A ruined lighthouse on the southern side of Jervis Bay is also well worth exploring.
DAY 6 HUSKISSON – SYDNEY (NM)
Depart Huskisson this morning and head back to Nowra. At Nowra, meet the Princes Highway which will take you directly to Sydney where you can set down your vehicle. On the way, you will pass by Berry, the popular seaside resort of Kiama, the beautiful coastal city of Wollongong and the lovely towns of Stanwell Park and Waterfall.
BERRY, known as the town of trees, boasts a quality environment of fresh air, picturesque countryside, unspoiled rainforest and colourful wilderness. Berry‘s heritage is visibly cultivated and preened. Historic buildings grace the streetscape such that the character, charm and rich diversity of Berry is evident in a simple stroll down the road. The perennial landscape, its striking palette of greens, blues,mauves and yellows makes Berry a beautiful, year round destination.
KIAMA – The name Kiama is from the aboriginal word Kiaram-a, to which some sources give the meaning "Where the sea makes a noise"- a reference to the famous Kiama Blowhole. This landmark has attracted people to the region for over 100 years. A viewing platform with disabled access allows you to view the spectacular plumes of water that surge upwards when the seas are running from the south east.
WOLLONGONG is the third largest city in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle. Historically, Wollongong is a city which was driven by the vast deposits of coal in the area. In spite of this industrial base, the city is located on the coast and consequently is characterised by many beautiful beaches and edged by attractive holiday destinations. Return your vehicle to the Sydney Airport depot or Sydney city Hertz Depot.