Scenic World in the Blue Mountains is somewhere I have visited many times since I was a small child. It has been a place to go for family outings, somewhere to take visiting family or friends from overseas and now a place to share with my kids. The thrilling bonus for us is the fact that two of the three rides at Scenic World are wheelchair accessible. So, today we headed there to celebrate Hubby’s birthday.
We haven’t been to Scenic World for two years so we were happy to see that the experience hasn’t changed but that there were small upgrades which are keeping the place fresh.
Scenic World is a fun attraction for anyone visiting this beautiful area of Australia but especially for those with mobility restrictions. The rides and some of the walks allow visitors the opportunity to have a unique experience during their visit to the Blue Mountains.
We have done the three rides many times and love not only the individual experiences each one offers but the access it gives us to wheelchair accessible walks.
Choosing a favourite ride is like choosing a favourite child. Each ride has something that makes it unique and appealing. I will share what we like about each ride and with an unlimited pass you don’t have to choose just one.
The Cableway is the steepest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest in Australia. Carrying 84 people the cable car descends 545 metres into the Jamison Valley and is totally wheelchair accessible. The wheelchair accessible area of the cabin is at the front ensuring a wheelchair user the most spectacular view of the descent. BJ loves nothing more than sitting as close to the glass as possible for the full experience and this ensures no-one tries to stand in front of him. Staying on the left side of the cabin will ensure you have the best photo opportunities of the Three Sisters.
When you reach the base of the valley there is a wheelchair accessible boardwalk which takes you past the old Katoomba coal mine and on to the Scenic Railway station. There is an easy, mostly level (a few slight inclines) walk. The walk is educational with information boards describing the temperate rainforest and the history of the coal mine. The walk ends at the base of the Scenic Railway. You will hear the squeals of those riding the railway long before it emerges from the rock tunnel. This is a wonderful place to take photos of the Scenic Railway as it arrives or departs up the steep incline and also a favourite with our family for taking a picture with the Three Sisters in the background.
The Scenic Skyway goes across the Jamison Valley in a straight line between the cliff tops and it is fully wheelchair accessible. Imagine a cable car hanging from a piece of cable at 270 metres high and the cable is stretched between two cliffs. It is a seamless ride across the valley offering fabulous views of Katoomba Falls and Mount Solitary. The very unique feature of the skyway is the glass platform in the middle of the cable car. At the start of the journey this glass floor is frosted but it clears as the journey begins giving you a clear view of the valley floor. There is a small step up to this platform but if you stay on the right side of the cable car (as you head East on the ride) you can see the effect from there. I prefer looking out the windows as the views on both sides are spectacular. I highly recommend riding over on one side and changing sides for the return journey. For unobstructed views for photos stand in the section where there is wire rather than a window.
Once you arrive on the other side you need to get out and queue again before returning. If you are not in a hurry there is a short accessible walk to do.
THE SCENIC RAILWAY
The Scenic Railway is the steepest incline railway in the world. This is the only ride which is not wheelchair accessible but we have done the ride with BJ many times including on our latest visit. We did need to walk him down 15 steps to get to the carriage. There are no facilities to take wheelchairs or prams on the ride so we stayed on board for the return trip.
At a 52 degree incline it is tricky for BJ to keep himself back in the seat during the steep descent. The railway makes its way down the mountain to the rainforest floor. As the theme from Indiana Jones plays, the guests excitement, mixed with a few fearful shrieks, becomes louder. We sat in the fixed seats with the least incline possible for BJ. Other seats on the railway offer guests the opportunity to choose the angle of their seat with the option of the extreme Cliffhanger which is set at a steep 64 degree incline. The carriages have a glass roof which offers expansive views of the rainforest setting and spectacular Jamison Valley as you head down the mountain.
The staff at Scenic World are friendly, helpful and full of enthusiasm which makes each ride even more enjoyable.
EATING AT SCENIC WORLD
There are two options available for food and drinks while visiting Scenic World.
EATS270 is a licensed cafe offering a wide variety of food options for lunch. The menu includes pasta, burgers, fresh baguettes, wraps, fish and chips and more.
Open 10:30am – 3:00pm daily.
The Terrace Cafe has indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating comes with the advantage of panoramic views of the Jamison Valley. This is the perfect spot to have a coffee, specialty tea, snack or bakery treat.
Even if you are not stopping to eat at Scenic World, stop by the Terrace because it is a great spot to snap a photo of the Three Sisters, Mt Solitary and the vast Jamison Valley.
It is open 9:00am – 5:00pm daily.
Scenic World is under 2 hours drive from Sydney, depending on where you live or where you are staying in the city. Arrive at Scenic World as early as possible as this will help avoid the queues. Large tour groups arrive mid-morning and this makes it slower to get on to the rides.
Disabled toilet facilities are located behind the ticket sales counter in a walkway on the lower level and on the upper level behind Eats270 cafe. These are dedicated disabled toilets and have enough room for a companion.
There are more toilets located directly opposite the entrance to Scenic World next to the disabled parking. These are located in the ladies and men’s facilities but there is no dedicated disabled/baby change toilet.
There is a large multi-storey car park to the left as you enter the driveway to Scenic World but if you continue up the hill there are disabled parking spaces (4 or 5) opposite the entrance.
For more information and to plan your visit head to the Scenic World website.
BONUS PRINTABLE FOR CHILDREN
I love making touring interactive for children. There is plenty to keep kids happy at Scenic World but we have put together a bingo/spotto printable to add another element to your child’s visit. Use this link to print out the sheet and take it with you – Scenic World Bingo. Enjoy hunting for them and marking them off.
We would like to thank Scenic World for hosting our visit so we could update our information. As I have been visiting this attraction since I was a child you can be assured that my enthusiasm is based on our experience.
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