No-one remembers that weekend you spent at home but who has the time to plan a road trip? Fear not, we’ve taken all the stress and hard work out of the equation so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the drive.
Only a one-hour drive north of Sydney, the Bells Line of Road is an alternative route through the Blue Mountains. Bells Line of Road begins just outside the town of Richmond, in Sydney’s north-west.
Depending on where you’re coming from, you’re probably in need of a break for drinks to give strength before the journey begins in earnest. Drop into the Ugly Mug Coffee House in Windsor Street, Richmond – they have an astonishing range of healthy and hearty treats, grab and go bowls and fantastic coffee to boot.
The Sydney Basin
On your way out of town, you'll cross the Hawkesbury River and head through rolling hills, then scattered stands of eucalypts gradually becoming denser, offering glimpses of the Sydney Basin.
If you haven’t organised road trip games, this is the perfect time to chat with the kids about how the Blue Mountains were impossible for colonial settlers to find a way through for nearly 30 years. It wasn’t until 1823, when an adventurous young man named Archibald Bell was led along an elusive Aboriginal pathway by two Darug men, Cogy and Emery, that the area became known to the settlers.
Bellbird Lookout is a great place to stop if anyone needs to stretch their legs or go to the toilet. When you hit the road again, there’s a spectacular view just before you descend into Bilpin, the land of the mountain apple – which is where the family fun begins. The road is dotted with plenty for the kids to look at – horses, alpacas and if you’re lucky, koalas.
Bilpin is the place to be if you’d like to get back to nature and show the kids where food comes from before it hits the supermarket shelves. Stop in at Pine Crest Orchard or Bilpin Fruit Bowl and pick your own fruit and vegetables.
Kids reconnect with nature
Once you’ve done your bit to support local producers it’s time to get back on track – there’s so much more to see and do! Check out the Rainforest Canyon Walk, stop in at Kurrajong Village, or take the kids on the Garden Safari, a self-guided treasure quest around the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.
If it’s late in the day, book the family in on a Glow Worm Tour and spend the night at the Jungle Lodge, roomy self-catering accommodation in the grounds of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.
This Blue Mountains getaway has so much going for it; you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. So what are you waiting for? Grab the keys and the kids, hit Bells Line of Road and make some new memories in the Mountains.