MY MONEY

Five things to do on a Blue Mountains getaway

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1. Scenic World

It might seem very touristy but my family had a great day visiting Scenic World. The railway - its 52-degree incline is said to be the steepest passenger railway in the world - was a fun experience not too different from a rollercoaster drop. Then there are the Cableway and Skyway, both of which give you views of Katoomba Falls and the Three Sisters. The glass floor on the Skyway cabin is not for the faint-hearted. A family pass (two adults and up to five children under 14) costs $88.

2. Visit the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum

Blue mountains

The sandstone cottage in Faulconbridge was home to the artist from 1912 until his death in 1969. View a major collection of Lindsay's works, including watercolours, sculptures and models from his classic children's book The Magic Pudding, and take in the beautiful gardens. There's a cafe if you want refreshments. Open from 10am-4pm, seven days a week; a family pass costs $30. National Trust members can enter the gallery free of charge.

3. Experience Yulefest

Each June, July and August many places offer traditional Christmas-style celebrations. Picture log fires, sing-alongs, decorations and Christmas feasts. A google search will help you track down venues.

4. Jenolan Caves

A visit to the Blue Mountains isn't complete without a tour of the caves. There are 10 caves open to the public, featuring underground rivers and impressive formations such as stalactites. For thrill seekers there's the option of "adventure caving". Family passes start at $75.

5. Enjoy one of the many beautiful gardens

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah and Everglades Historic House and Gardens in Leura are both popular spots.

FACT FILE

Getting there: About a 90-minute drive from Sydney, the Blue Mountains include towns such as Katoomba, Leura, Blackheath and, further away, Lithgow and Oberon.

When to go: All seasons have their own appeal. You might want to time your visit with a particular festival or event like Yulefest.

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Maria Bekiaris is editorial campaigns manager for Canstar and former deputy editor of Money. She holds a Bachelor's degree in business.
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