Choose your Own Family Adventure at Scenic World
Mums & Bubs
By: Lisa Wolff, ellaslist
We’ve just had the most awesome adrenaline rush. We rode the steepest train in the world. It whooshes down the mountain in an almost vertical blur and I’ve never seen the kids more delighted. The Scenic Railway is one of the exciting rides at Scenic World, the Blue Mountain’s top must-visit destination. It’s the only ‘funfair’ I know that is within a national park, nestled within the ancient Jamison Valley rainforest.
There are four main attractions at Scenic World and each one offers thrills, breathtaking views and so much fun for the kids (and grown-ups). We’ve got three toddlers so visiting anything that isn’t our home is a challenge. But the kids were enthralled throughout our Scenic World adventure.
Choose your Own Adventure
The Scenic Railway was a favourite as riders can ‘choose their own adventure’ ranging from the more ‘Laid Back’ option all the way up to the Cliffhanger ride with a 64 degree incline (eek!). You can probably guess what mum and dad chose with three little ones but even so, I was still clinging to my kids with a vice grip as we hurtled 310-metres through the blackness of the cliff-side tunnel. Woo Hoo!
It’s hard to believe that the train has been operating since the 1880’s originally built to haul coal and shale mined from the valley floor up the mountain. On the weekends, the ‘Mountain Devil’ would take passengers for a joy-ride for sixpence a journey. It officially became a fun attraction in 1945 after the mine was closed. It’s fascinating to see the very first Scenic Railway on display – how things have changed since the days of that rickety old wooden carriage.
The train dropped us off on the valley floor and we followed the Scenic Walkway – 2.4 kilometres of boardwalk (some of which is pram accessible). The kids loved having a bit of freedom to explore the path, touching the leaves and admiring the knotted trees. School-aged kids would appreciate the Jurassic flora and a trip through coal mining history with the mine entrance, a replica miners’ hut and scale bronze sculpture of a miner and his pit pony.
We meandered along the walkway for about 10 minutes until we reached the Scenic Cableway. Older kids would be keen to explore the path for longer but for my tiny tykes it was just perfect.
The glass-walled Cableway holds 84 passengers and glides gently up to the top of the escarpment. The kids stood at the base of the cabin their faces pressed against the window transfixed by the tiny trees hundreds of metres below. I loved that there was a charming Scenic World guide in the cableway giving us a running commentary of the gorgeous scenery highlights (like the awesome Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls), rather than just a piped through audio which many international tourist attractions offer.
This personal touch is one of the many special features of Scenic World that hints that this is a family-owned establishment. You would imagine a tourist attraction on this scale and professionalism would be owned by a big corporation. But no, the Hammon family bought the lease to Scenic World in 1945 and it has been operated by three generations of hands-on Hammons since then.
The family are continually making improvements and adding new innovations to the centre. Just take a look at the Scenic Skyway – this seems like an exercise in impossible engineering. This is a cableway that glides 720-metres across the gorge above the Katoomba Falls. The kids jostled for the raised central panel which boasts a floor that becomes transparent as the cabin travels through the air. It’s almost disconcerting standing on a clear floor and gazing at the rainforest 270-metres below (twice as high as the Sydney Harbour Bridge). You can get off on the other side and admire the magnificent views or do a bushwalk before heading back on the return journey.
Sky High Dining
After all that excitement, the kids were starving so we headed to EATS270 for some sky-high dining. It’s a casual, food-court style eatery with a variety of different options to suit all tastes. We chose the kid’s special – chicken nuggets and chips – which our brood devoured in minutes. Hubbie and I had the beef burger which was generous and very tasty.
There is also The Terrace Café with outdoor seating and panoramic views of the Jamison Valley and a menu offering hot drinks, snacks and treats.
Plan a Visit to Scenic World
What a day! What an adventure! Scenic World was a highlight of our Blue Mountains trip. If you’ve never been to Scenic World, make a plan to go. It’s only 90 minutes from Sydney. And if you’ve been, then go again. We’re already planning our next visit.
It was wonderful for our littlies and would be even more exciting for older kids. And best of all, the grown-ups get a gigantic kick out of it too. This for me, makes it a perfect family destination.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Where: You’ll find Scenic World on the Corner of Violet Street & Cliff Drive, Katoomba – only 90 minutes drive from Sydney
When: Scenic World is open every day of the year between 9:00am and 5:00pm
Costs: Ticket Prices are really reasonable for all the amazing activities on offer.
Unlimited Day Pass: Adult $35 / Child (4-13) $18 / Family (2 adults & up to 5 children) $88.
There is also an Earlybird School Holidays Special and an Annual Pass.
Find all the Ticket Prices Here
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT SCENIC WORLD
Scenic World is marking their 70th Birthday with a series of celebrations! The first 70 guests to arrive on 21 September will enter for free, enjoying the thrill of the rides, beautiful Blue Mountain landscapes and Scenic World hospitality…all for free! Doors open at 9:00am so arrive early and share in birthday celebrations.
Visiting during the school holidays? Arrive onsite before 10:00am and save! Grab the front seat of the Scenic Railway, feel like you have rainforest all to yourself, or just grab a coffee and watch the mist lift to reveal the Jamison Valley.
Adult $30 / Child (4-13) $17 / Family (2 adults & up to 5 children) $77
Tickets are available from the Scenic World Ticket Desk or online.
Offer valid from 19 September – 5 October inclusive
Scenic World has invited 70 Camp Quality families to enjoy some respite with a memorable day out, the thrill of the rides, beautiful Blue Mountain landscapes and Scenic World hospitality.
The partnership continues for the duration of the Spring school holidays, with Scenic World donating $1 to Camp Quality for every child pass sold. Funds will assist in delivering support programs for kids living with cancer.