Part of the Great Dividing Range, and traditionally centered around the Blue Mountains National Park, the Blue Mountains contain some of the most recognizable and famous things to do in New South Wales. With the foothills only 50 kilometres west of Sydney and easily accessible by bus, train and road, the Blue Mountains have been one of the most popular destinations for the people of Sydney for over a century and now also for hundreds of thousands of international visitors each year.
The name comes from when the first explorers of the area saw all distant objects as appearing a blue color. This is thought to come from chemicals released by the areas vast eucalypt forests filtering the light.
In 2000 the Greater Blue Mountains Area was created and declared a UNESCO world heritage listed area. This now includes several of the other national parks to the north and south of the Blue Mountains National Park, an area of 10,000 square kilometers. The area includes expansive forests, rivers, waterfalls. soaring plateaus and cliff facesÂ some of the most astonishing scenic views in Australia.