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Weekend trip Syd--> Blue mtns-->Newcastle

Boston...
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Weekend trip Syd--> Blue mtns-->Newcastle

I'm seeking suggestions for my wife and myself. We are making our first trip to Australia and will fly into Sydney on a Friday am in December. After spending the day exploring Sydney & spending Friday night there, I was thinking of driving to Blue mtns for the weekend and ending up in Newcastle late Sunday evening. We love the outdoors, beautiful vistas, swimming, and animals.

Questions:

1. What route would you suggest for Saturday and Sunday? How many hours of driving might this take?

2. With only 2 days, What are the best moderate hikes, attractions along the way?

3. What town(s) would be a good mid-point for lodging?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Weekend trip Syd--> Blue mtns-->Newcastle

Hi Vardon,

This is a favourite loop of mine - lots of beautiful scenery and a range of walks to suit all levels.

If you google "Blue Mountains" (or have a look at the "Blue Mountains" info here) you will be able to find the perfect walk for you. bluemts.com.au/tourist/thingstodo/bushwalks/

Just a note: If you do go walking (hiking to you), remember it's summer here and likely to be hotter than you think. Take plenty of water and let someone know where you are going (and when you get back). Ask at the Tourist Information Centre if there's a ranger/register for walkers to notify.In lieu of a designated person there, drop into the local Police Station & tell them.

Your mobile/cell phone will almost certainly NOT work out of the villages/towns.

Wear a hat, sunscreen and Bushmans or other good quality insect repellent.

Accommodation: There are myriad options - have a look at www.wotif.com.au for specials. We are a few months away from your arrival but, unless you will be here in late December, when we have our main school & other holidays, prices will probably be similar.

I'll just tell you about the driving. This route will take you through the Blue Mountains, past (or into) Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, along the Putty Road to the Hunter Valley, and from there to Newcastle.

Assuming the CBD as a starting point, I'd suggest you take the Great Western Highway (M2, M7 & M4) to the Blue Mountains. Depending on road works (which will continue for some time and often more extensive on weekends), it should take about 90 mins to Katoomba.

Lots of places to stay. I like Blackheath (have friends there).

From Katoomba, drive west to Blackheath (about 15 minutes) and across to Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens http://www.mounttomahbotanicgarden.com.au/

(45 minutes or so). Nice spot for morning tea, walk etc.

You are now heading east - back towards Sydney.

A little further on, Bilpin is famous for apples ... and the Apple Bar is a great lunch/coffee stops. http://www.applebar.com.au/

Follow Bells Line of Road to Kurrajong East (about 30 mins) and turn left into Putty Road. This is a picturesque and windy road (watch out for trucks) which will take you to the Hunter Valley in about 3 hours or a little less.

http://www.winecountry.com.au/

Depending on your interests/ time frame, you might like to spend some time exploring our wine country. From Pokolbin, it's about an hour to Newcastle.

Boston...
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2. Re: Weekend trip Syd--> Blue mtns-->Newcastle

I appreciate your detailed suggestions. I will now plan to bring a hat and be prepared with shorts and t-shirts for the hot weather.. We will check out Blackheath.

Thanks so much!

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Weekend trip Syd--> Blue mtns-->Newcastle

Two further tips (the drive is exactly what i would have suggested)

1. Take note of the fire danger warnings. Plan your walk to allow for quick exit if the day is high fire (park will be closed at Extreme Fire danger) Govetts leap is a must visit.

2. Try to book direct. many places will have a 2 night minimum if Saturday is involved.

(another diversion might be the Zig Zag steam rail if you're into that kind of thing)

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Weekend trip Syd--> Blue mtns-->Newcastle

Excellent advice regarding the route from Bokhara.

Just to add if you have time try & drive up to Port Stephens from Newcastle its approx 1hr north of Newcastle or better still stay in Port Stephens rather than Newcastle. Approx 1.5hrs drive from Pokolbin (Hunter Valley) to Port Stephens.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g255060-c1127/Sydney:…

For additional info on the Hunter Valley

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g255060-c5736/Sydney:…

5. Re: Weekend trip Syd--> Blue mtns-->Newcastle

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