Mist rising out of the valley at Govetts Leap lookout in Blackheath after the weather has started to clear

The best rainy day activities in the Blue Mountains

Its no secret that summer 2021/22 was a pretty wet one. The Blue Mountains fared far better than many other parts of the country, thanks in no small part to our altitude. But for a region thats prime attraction is the National Park it was a big blow to not only tourists but frustrated locals looking for things to do in the mountains on rainy days.

I will say straight up I have not tried all of these myself. Some of them I have done, others I have heard about, while others I simply went looking for wet weather activities to compile into a list of ideas for when you are stuck for options.

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Blue Mountains Rainy Day Activities Outdoors

Naturally, this will depend on the volume of rain coming down or which has recently fallen.

Blue Mountains lookouts

Some Blue Mountains tracks can become unstable after heavy rain, so its important to take heed of the warnings of Emergency Services and always keep your safety in mind.

However there are a few lookouts you can check out which will be unlikely to have been made inaccessible, and may offer some atmospheric views if you catch the right moment!

Govetts Leap Blackheath

Mist rising out of the valley at Govetts Leap lookout in Blackheath after the weather has started to clear

Even when the National Park is closed, which has happened a couple of times recently, Govetts Leap lookout in Blackheath remains open. This is one of the Blue Mountains best lookouts, and one you can drive virtually straight up to, so no danger posed by walking through wet bushland.

While its easterly aspect makes it a popular spot for a sunrise photo, it’s also incredibly atmospheric if you catch it on a misty day.

You can find Govetts Leap Lookout at the end of Govetts Leap Road in Blackheath.

 

Evans Lookout Blackheath

Another of the Blue Mountains most stellar lookouts probably best known as the starting point for the Grand Canyon track, Evans Lookout is pretty much around the corner from Govetts Leap so its worth swinging on by there to check out the view.

You can find Evans Lookout at the end of Evans Lookout Road in Blackheath.

 

Echo Point

The most popular lookout from which to see the Three Sisters Aboriginal Place, the sandstone formation looks otherworldly emerging from the mist.

This is also the starting point for one of the walks which may be safer in wet weather, as it is a footpath all the way down to the first sister.

You can find Echo Point on Cliff Drive in Katoomba. Be aware you will need to pay for parking.

 

Jamison Lookout

One of the best lookouts in Wentworth Falls, Jamison Lookout has spectacular views out over the Jamison Valley and out to Mount Solitary.

Since this is only a few hundred metres walk from the carpark at the end of Falls Road it is another great option to watch the mists rising out of the mountains valley.

 

Blue Mountains Waterfalls

There are a couple of waterfalls you can see without venturing deep into the bush.

 

Gordon Falls

Starting at the Gordon Falls Reserve at the end of Lone Pine Avenue, the lookout over Gordon Falls is a short 200metre walk away. It is mostly stairs but they aren’t terribly steep, and the lookout offers views across to Mount Solitary, and the back of the Three Sisters if they are visible in the weather.

Gordon Falls spill 200 metres into the valley below, and should look great after some rain!

I’ll upload a better photo of this one when I manage to get back there!

 

Katoomba Falls Reserve

This is a lovely little walk that offers a few gems, a different view of the Three Sisters and three waterfalls! It’s also paved and boardwalked the entire walk and the descents are gentle.

This also isn’t in the National Park so is one of the Dog Friendly options in the mountains.

If you start at the Cliff Drive entrance near the holiday park, Witches Leap falls will be the first you come to, a small detour off to the right. These falls are a trickle unless there has been a good rainfall. On the way to Katoomba Cascades, one of my favourite waterfalls in the Blue Mountains, you’ll pass a lookout over Katoomba Falls pouring into the Jamison Valley.

Katoomba Cascades in the Katoomba Falls Reserve is a cascade waterfall flowing over several levels of rock before continuing to Katoomba Falls
Katoomba Cascades
Katoomba Falls spilling into the Jamison Valley as seen from Katoomba Falls Reserve
Katoomba Falls

The Katoomba Falls Reserve is offers a well lit night walk for a different view. If you’re lucky you might manage to catch some lightning over the falls.

Katoomba Falls lit by spotlight on the Katoomba Falls Reserve night walk

LIghtning lighting up the sky over Katoomba Falls on the Katoomba Falls Reserve night walk

 

Blue Mountains Rainy Day Activities Indoors

 

Visit the community cinemas

The Blue Mountains has three independent cinemas.

Glenbrook Cinema

While I had been to Glenbrook cinema on the odd occasion before, I started going more frequently as lockdowns eased, feeling more comfortable there with the measures they had put in place than the larger cinemas.

While they only have the one screen, they will get most of the big release movies, including kids sessions, and are cheaper than the big cinemas.

You can find them at 2 Ross Street, Glenbrook right near the tourist information centre. Check out the session times and program on the Glenbrook Cinema website.

 

The Edge Cinema

I’ll always remember seeing Titanic at The Edge on their giant screen back when they were still new! (It really is huge!)

They have several screens so they have the ability to offer more options than their smaller mountains counterparts.

Find them at 225 Great Western Highway, Katoomba and check out their program at The Edge Website.

 

Mount Vic Flicks

Built in 1934, the charming Mount Vic Flicks is an independently run cinema which features often more offbeat and arthouse films, as well as regular classic film screenings. They’ll often show films you’ll be unlikely to see screened anywhere else.

Find them at 2a Harley Ave, Mount Victoria. Session times and program are available on the Mount Vic Flicks Website.

 

Blue Mountains Art galleries

I bet you didn’t know how many different galleries there were to visit in the mountains!

You can also check out the Blue Mountains Creative Art Network for a calendar of creative events offered in the mountains.

 

Norman Lindsay Gallery

Located not far from where I grew up, in the mountains suburb of Faulconbridge, the Norman Lindsay Gallery is always on my itinerary for visiting friends!

Situated in the heritage listed former home of the famous Australian artist who created The Magic Pudding, the gallery showcases Lindsay’s paintings and sketches and the grounds are full of his sculptures. Stop by the cafe for lunch and a coffee once you’ve finished wandering through the house.

The gallery is open Thursday to Monday from 10am – 4pm. Last entry is at 3pm. Adults tickets are $17. It is located at 14 Norman Lindsay Crescent in Faulconbridge.

Exterior of the Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge. The heritage building is pictured behind a female statue on the lawn

 

Braemar Gallery

Braemar is a community gallery located on Macquarie Road in Springwood. They exhibit the work of regional and local artists, changing monthly. Sculptors are also regularly featured upon the lawn of the heritage listed house.

The gallery is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10am – 4pm and entry is free.

Current exhibitions can be found on the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Website.

 

Blue Mountains City Art Gallery

Located at 30 Parke Street in Katoomba, the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery features both local and touring exhibitions and has a program dedicated to showcasing artists who reside in the Blue Mountains. It also hosts workshops, artist talks and community outreach initiatives.

It is open 7 days a week from 10am – 5pm weekly, and until 4pm on weekends. Entry is $5 per adult which provides access to the Gallery and the World Heritage Exhibition, an immersive interactive exhibition on the Blue Mountains area.

Check out the current exhibitions on the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre website.

 

Falls Gallery

Found at 161 Falls Road in Wentworth Falls, the Falls Gallery has a rotational exhibition of works on paper and ceramics.

They are open from 10am – 4pm Wednesday – Sunday and public holidays.

 

Gallery ONE88

A unique offering on this list, Gallery one88 is found at 186-188 Katoomba Street, Katoomba. It is a curated art space occupying three floors and featuring both established and emerging artists from the Blue Mountains, Sydney and East Coast of NSW, including indigenous art.

The venue also includes a cafe and Pigeon Lane, a late night performance arts and dinner venue with menus specially created to match the event. They also have workshop space for hire, and run life drawing classes regularly.

Check out the Gallery ONE88 website for their program of events.

 

Lost Bear gallery

Located at 98 Lurline Street in Katoomba the Lost Bear Gallery is open 7 days, 10am – 4pm Sunday to Friday and 5pm on Saturdays. They exhibit Australian artists.

Keep watch on the Lost Bear Gallery website for the latest exhibitions.

 

Blue Mountains Museums

 

Mount Victoria Museum

The Mount Victoria Museum was once the local railway station. Opened in 1868, it served as the transfer point for passengers to refresh before continuing west or visiting Jenolan Caves. Fifty years later additional building was added, containing refreshment room and facilities but the end of the steam train era saw the building sit unused for a time. It was leased by the Mount Victoria Historical Society in 1971 where it became a home for the local history collection.

The collection features an eclectic assortment of displays, including convict relics, tools and farm equipment, early scientific samples, clothing, music and if you happen to take a local ghost tour, you might even get some spooky interactions thrown in!

The Mount Vic Museum is open on Saturdays from noon to 3pm or 7 days a week for group bookings. Adult tickets are $5.

The museum can be found at 35A Station Street, Mount Victoria.

an old horse drawn carriage on display with other exhibits in the Mount Vic Museum in Mount Victoria

 

Woodford Academy

If it happens to be the third Saturday of the month you can visit Woodford Academy. Originally an inn from the 1830’s, the Academy is the oldest complex of colonial buildings in the mountains.

Today it is a museum of colonial life and host to art events, performances and talks. Tickets are $10 per adult.

Local tour guide Paranormal Pete has exclusive access to the Academy at night for his paranormal tour, describing the site as one of the most haunted sites in Australia. You can find tour details and bookings at Blue Mountains Mystery Tours.

Woodford Academy is at 90-92 Great Western Highway, Woodford.

 

Leuralla Toy and Train Museum

If you’ve stopped by Gordon Falls Reserve you will have seen Leuralla, it’s pretty hard to miss! The property is styled like a train station and it is the largest collection of toys, trains and memorabilia in the Southern Hemisphere.

Another heritage listed mountains property, built before 1914, the large house is displayed in its original state, including paint, furnishings and fittings. The toy collection features historic tin toys, dolls, teddy bears and Barbie, as well as model trains, boats, aeroplanes, trucks and cars which are replicas from their time. Leuralla has the only permanent Barbie Doll display from 1959 in Australia.

If the weather lets up long enough to pop into the gardens, you may find the model railways. The Matterhorn Mountain Railway is able to run in all weather.

Leuralla is located at 36 Olympian Parade in Leura, and is open daily from 10am – 5pm.

 

Blue Mountains Performance Venues

The mountains has a number of venues which can offer the occasional show, its worth checking out what might be on!

 

Blue Mountains Community Hub

Located in the main street of Springwood, Macquarie Road, the community hub came about as an overhaul of the old civic centre. Completed in 2015, it has a custom built theatre with stage and seating for 418 patrons and features a regular line up of music, comedy and theatre performances.

Check out the upcoming events at Blue Mountains Community Hub.

 

Avalon Downstairs

The vintage old Savoy Theatre building in the main street of Katoomba is home to the popular Avalon restaurant and the ground level foyer has been renovated as an entertainment space which features weekly live music and events, including Katoomba’s own Comedy Club.

Check out the program of upcoming entertainment at the Avalon.

 

Carrington Hotel

The stunning building of the Carrington hotel is another heritage listed mountains property, straight across the street from the Avalon. It has events a number of times a year plus its own live music and performance venue in the Baroque Room, which is located upstairs in a separate building from the main hotel.

Within the main hotel is Katoomba’s original cocktail bar, Champagne Charlies.

Pre-covid the Old City Bank building hosted weekly live music so keep your eyes peeled for the reinstatement of those events.

Check out the upcoming events at The Carrington.

 

Blue Mountains Specialty Bars

 

Brew Mountains Brewery

Tucked away on Tayler Road in Valley Heights, the Brewery Bar is open Fridays from 4-8pm and Saturday from 12-8pm. A different food truck is featured weekly on Saturdays.

 

Mountain Culture Beer Co

Available for dine-in or takeaway Thursday through Sunday, Mountain Culture Beer Co makes award winning beer. They also serve wine, non-alcoholic drinks and cider varieties.

Located at 23-25 Parke Street in Katoomba from 11am-9pm Thursday to Saturday and until 8pm on Sundays.

Dogs are also welcomed!

 

Bootlegger Smokehouse and Bar

Inspired by Southern BBQ and Cajun cuisine, the Bootlegger menu offers a good range of food options, including a kids and desert menu.

They also offer Whiskey and Gin tastings and live music every weekend.

Find them at 92 Bathurst Road in Katoomba 6 days a week from noon to midnight and 10pm on Sundays. Monday hours are 5pm to midnight.

 

Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern

A hidden bar located in the basement of the famous Fairmont Resort, while they may be a whiskey bar they also offer a range of signature cocktails and locally distilled gins.

The menu includes dishes incorporating whiskey and they have live music from local musicians and DJs every Saturday night between 8.30 and 10.30pm.

Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern is open Wednesday and Thursday from 6-11pm and Friday and Saturday from 6pm until late.

 

BarNSW

Perched looking over Echo Point and the Three Sisters, BarNSW offers local produce tasting sessions, either beers or wine accompanied by grazing platters.

Guarantee your spot and book your tasting session here.

 

Megalong Wineries

Did you know that the stunning Megalong Valley has two wineries, both featuring an indoor space in which you can enjoy a wine tasting and nibbles.

Dryridge Estate

Open weekends and weekdays by appointment for groups, Dryridge Estate offers wine tasting for $10 per person. Enjoy a cheese platter or a Ploughmans lunch while you watch the mist roll through the valley

Ploughmans Lunch at Dryridge Estate. Pictured is a platter containins cheeses, crackers, fruits and pastes

Dryride Estate is located at 226 Aspinall Rd, Megalong Valley.

grape vines at Dryridge Estate winery in the Megalong Valley

Megalong Creek Estate

Also located on Aspinall Road, the cellar door for Megalong Creek Estate is open in the afternoons on weekends. Bookings are essential and they do request you contact to confirm in wet weather as their undercover space is limited.

A wine tasting and grazing plate for two is $25.

You can also book a shuttle tour which will pick you up and drop you to both wineries and back to selected locations.

While you are in the Megalong Valley swing on by the Megalong Tearooms for a farm style home cooked meal.

 

You can also travel down the other side of the mountain and head for the township of Bilpin in the Hawkesbury council area. Bilpin is famous for its fruit, its apples in particular, and two well known cider companies have an orchard and brewery in Bilpin. Who knows, it may even not be raining on the Hawkesbury side, but even if it is you can still pass a pleasant afternoon.

 

Hillbilly Cider

Located on Bells Line of Road (one of the original roads up the mountains and a fantastic drive) in Bilpin, Hillbilly Cider is open seven days, from 10am – 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 6pm Friday to Sunday. Sessions are in 2 hour slots on the weekends and there are woodfired pizzas and a log fire inside to beat the winter chill.

They do put the occasional event on so it is worth checking out the Hillbilly Cider website for whats on.

Enjoying a Hillbilly Cider while looking over the apple orchard on their Bilpin property

Bilpin Cider

My personal favourite of the two, make sure you try the Blush at Bilpin Cider. It’s made from their Pink Lady apples and is really lovely!

Bilpin Cider Co is on a large property which they open up to the public for picnics (hampers available to order 24 hours in advance) and events. Also located on Bells Line of Road they are open seven days from 10am – 4pm and run a live music event every third Sunday.

Check out their events at the Bilpin Cider website.

 

Blue Mountains Day Spas

I bet you had no idea how many of these there are in the mountains!

Spa Sublime

Specialising in creating spa experiences for couples and small groups, Spa Sublime is able to cater for 8 guests at a time. They offer a variety of packages and services, starting at just $39 for a foot massage or scalp treatment, both of which can be added to any treatment.

They are located at 9 Penault Ave, Katoomba, overlooking Sublime Point Lookout and are open Tuesday to Saturday.

Contact Spa Sublime to book your pamper!

 

Parklands Day Spa

Located at the Parklands Country Garden and Lodges property at Blackheath. They are open from 9am – 6pm seven days and offer a variety of services and packages for groups and individuals, in tranquil rooms overlooking the gardens. They are well regarded for their massage.

Contact Parklands to book your visit!

 

Echoes Day Spa

This is a small day spa inside the Echoes Boutique Hotel, perched on the edge of the spectacular Jamison Valley. Drink in the views while you enjoy a range of treatments including facial and massage. Massages start at $125 for 45 minutes.

Check out the treatments available at Echoes Hotel.

 

Lilianfels Day Spa

Located in the stunning Lilianfels building near Echo Point, so it also overlooks the Jamison Valley. Massages starts at $125 for 45 minutes which seems to be the going rate.

Check out whats on offer at Lilianfels Day Spa.

 

Scenic World

One of the Blue Mountains best known attractions, Scenic World not only looks over the stunning Jamison Valley, it features both the Scenic Railway (the world’s steepest) and the Scenic Skyway.

Looking back up at the Scenic Railwayy descent down into the Jamison Valley

Even when it is a bit wet to walk through the forests of the Jamison below, it might still be worth riding the Railway and Skyway and checking out the valley while staying dry! If the weather is clear enough you may even get to see Katoomba Falls from the Skyway.

For more information check out the Scenic World website.

 

Katoomba Falls as seen from the Scenic Skyway at Scenic World

High tea at the hydro

One of the most stunning buildings in the Blue Mountains, in a prime location on the escarpment, the Hydro Majestic is worth a visit for the view alone.

I’ve heard good things about their Afternoon High Tea.

Check out the menu and times available at the Hydro Majestic website.

 

Pinot & Picasso

Recently opened in Katoomba, this is a fun event to get a few friends together for.

They have a schedule of artworks available, you can book the session according to what painting you want to do or grab whatever is going at the time you want. You’ll receive tuition in constructing the painting yourself and all the materials. You get to enjoy a few drinks while you paint and hang it on your wall at home when you are done!

As you can see there below is a reason I take photos rather than paint!

Check out the sessions and artworks available at Pinot and Picasso Blue Mountains. They are open most days.

Colourful painting of a lion as completed in a at Pinot & Picasso
There’s a reason I take photos instead of painting!

Jenolan Caves

As a general rule, Jenolan Caves aren’t impacted by the rain and taking a tour or two of the stunning limestone caves is a good escape from it!

It is a stunning drive out to the caves, you can also take an organised tour to Jenolan and relax on the way.

Limestone formations inside the Temple of Baal cave at Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains

You can read more about the logistics and different caves you can see at Jenolan over on my Jenolan post.

 

Where to stay in the Blue Mountains

If you are planning a visit to the mountains, check out some of your accommodation options below!

Have you found any other great rainy day activities in the Blue Mountains that I need to include? Drop me a line below!

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