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Scenic Railway at Scenic World

Scenic World: a Blue Mountains day trip

Scenic World is a popular stop for families visiting the Blue Mountains.

With views of the Three Sisters, easy nature walks and unique modes of transport, it makes for a fun day trip from Sydney, or an outing for the kids during a long weekend in the Mountains.

Where is it?

Scenic World is roughly 100km – or a 1.5 hour drive – from Sydney’s inner west. It is located in the Blue Mountains’ town of Katoomba and is the site of an old coal mine. It was taken over by the Hammon family in 1945, upon closure of the mine, and turned into a tourist attraction.

What is it?

The old mine rail track has been converted into a tourist railway, said to be the steepest of its kind in the world. This was originally built in the 1880s to ferry coal from the mine up to the cliff top. These days it ferries passengers down into the temperate rainforest of the Jameson Valley, home to the yellow robin (which we were lucky enough to spot) and vegetation dating back to the Jurassic period. It’s a short but thrilling ride (see interior of the train below), with part of the steep descent undertaken in darkness, much to our surprise, and the kids’ delight!

Scenic World

Once at the bottom, there’s a 10-minute, 30-minute or 50-minute walk through the rainforest, before the return trip on either the Scenic Railway or the Scenic Cableway, a large cable car. The walks are all undertaken on a boardwalk. There are signs along the walkways pointing out different aspects of the flora and fauna, as well as the history of the site. And some of the mining elements have been preserved.

During the Inner West Mums’ visit, with a kindy kid and preschooler, we took the 30-minute walk option, with the railway down and cable car back.  The kids loved the Scenic Railway and spotting all the Gruffalo characters on our walk. This is a special installation running until July 23, 2023. Download The Gruffalo Spotter app (do this before you head into the valley) and let the kids interact with characters along the boardwalk, as they tick them off their little Gruffalo spotting guide book.

There’s also the Scenic Skyway, a cable car with a glass floor which takes passengers out to the eastern part of Jamison Valley and back again, for a closer inspection of the Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls. During our visit the kids had had their fill of queuing (the school holidays were busy at Scenic World!) and sightseeing, so that’s one to try next time.

Food and drink

There’s a cafe on-site selling pizza and cafe fare such as sandwiches and cakes. Plus tea, coffee, cold drinks and ice-blocks.

We took a picnic and ate it on our walk.


There are no toilets along the three walks, so take the kids before descending into the valley.

Scenic World

When: Open daily 9.30am-5pm (excluding Christmas Day).
Where: Scenic World is located on the corner of Violet Street and Cliff Drive, Katoomba.
Tickets: Prices for a day pass to Scenic World start at $49.90 for adults and $29.90 for children, with the prices increasing during busier times such as weekends. Children aged under 3 are free.  Family passes are available to purchase. To book visit:

While you’re in the area…

To get closer to the Three Sisters drive around to Echo Point. There’s a large viewing area there, public toilets and a Visitor Information Centre for details about local bushwalks. The Three Sisters Walk is graded as ‘easy’ and takes 25 to 45 minutes (0.8km return).

We recently discovered the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba and will definitely be back. It has a cafe, exhibitions from local and touring artists, and library. Plus a great gift shop with wares from local artisans.

Inner West Mums visited as a guest of Scenic World. 

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