I remember going to the Blue Mountains once as a little girl and have always wanted to go back so took the opportunity to join the Jucy crew on their NSW Instagram meetup in November. I lived in Melbourne for four years straight out of high school, but forgot how hot Australia gets so early in the season. With temperatures soaring into the thirties, this first road trip of the summer was filled with everything you'd expect- festivals, fruit stands, waterfalls, country roads and mountain lookouts.
My favourite stops:
Mount Portal Lookout
On the drive out of Sydney, Mount Portal is the first lookout towards the Blue Mountains. The National Park costs $8 a day to enter, and you'll want to make sure you've got a sturdy car as the road is unpaved and steep. Once you get up there, there's views of the city below and plenty of bush to explore or stop for a picnic.
Govetts Leap Lookout, Blackheath
We decided on Govetts Leap Lookout over the Three Sisters for sunrise and weren't disappointed. The cloud cover and moody morning light made for some really special photos. The air was still and aside from the occasional slow shutter sound, the birds were waking and I loved the freshness in the air.
Wentworth Falls Lookout
My favourite lookout in the blue mountains, Wentworth Falls has several lookout points and walks to explore and is an easy walk down from the carpark. It's located closely off the highway and super easy to get to.
Located in Forbes and held every November, this two day festival was such a blast. Listening to artists like Angus & Julia Stone and Xavier Rudd out in the countryside was pretty magical to say the least. I loved this festival because it felt really laid back and easy going where people came together for the love of music.
Mayfield Gardens, Oberon
On the drive back to Sydney we stopped at Mayfield Gardens for lunch in their beautiful kitchen cafe. Take a wander around their 160 acres of gardens, enjoy a brew and visit the nursery. The perfect spot for a long lunch.
530, Mayfield Road, Oberon
The Agrestic Grocer
I loved the Agrestic Grocer in Orange because it puts a focus on local companies and produce. Their shelves are filled with gourmet goodies, many of which are organic and after you've filled your basket with treats, you can head into their cafe and enjoy a bite to eat. Their almond milk lattes & fresh sautéed kale with eggs is a decent way to start off a day of driving & adventures.
426 Mitchell Highway, Orange
Australia is pretty well known for its incredible Summer fruit- mangoes, apricots, cherries and stone fruit. There was plenty of road side stops from the Blue Mountains towards Orange- one of my favourite parts of any road trip is to stop at all the stalls and pick up local produce.
True to the bean, Katoomba
There was nothing better after stumbling out of our caravans at 4:30am to capture sunrise, to drive into Katoomba and discover this quaint waffle & coffee store which opens at 6:30am. With gluten free options and toppings like fresh strawberries, cinnamon sugar, blueberries and nutella, it's safe to say this was one of the best mornings of my trip.
123 Katoomba St, Katoomba
Campervan & Car Hire with JUCY | www.jucy.com.au
Itinerary and Activities with Destination NSW | http://www.destinationnsw.com.au/