Scenic World is one of the best places to visit in the Blue Mountains. At this one spot, you can ride the world’s steepest railway, stand on the roof of the Skyway, ride on the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest cable car, and walk on boardwalk trails through the rainforest.
For those who plan to explore the Blue Mountains, a visit to Scenic World is a must-have experience.
In this guide, we’ll cover what you can see and do here plus an efficient way to plan your visit to Scenic World, so you still have plenty of time to explore the nearby sights in the Blue Mountains.
What is Scenic World?
Scenic World is a privately owned family run business. It is located in Katoomba.
A combination of railways and cable cars gives visitors views of Katoomba Falls and the rainforests that sit on the slopes of the sandstone cliffs.
This park dates back to 1945, when the old coal mining track was converted into a passenger train, creating the world’s steepest railway. As time went on, cable cars were added and boardwalk trails were erected through the rainforest.
Visitors can now use the railway and cable cars to descend into the valley and hike the trails, making this one of the most unique experiences in the Blue Mountains.
View from the Skyway
Things to Do at Scenic World
There are four main things to do at Scenic World: ride the Scenic Railway, ride the Scenic Skyway, ride the Scenic Cableway, and walk the Scenic Walkway. There are also several restaurants and gift shop.
The Scenic Railway
At 52 degrees (128% incline), the Scenic Railway claims to be the steepest railway in the world. It was originally built to haul coal from the valley floor to the top of the sandstone cliffs and in 1945, it was transformed into a passenger train.
The Scenic Railway connects the Scenic World top station to the base station, which sits on the valley floor.
This is a very cool ride. The railway runs in both directions and we rode it from the top station to the valley floor. The seats are positioned such that you stay upright, even though the railway rides on a very steep incline.
Seats face downhill, so if you ride the railway in the opposite direction (from the valley floor to the top station), you will be facing backwards as the railway is moving.
Scenic Railway Station
The Scenic Skyway
The Scenic Skyway is a cable car that runs from the Scenic World top station to the Skyway east station. It travels 384 meters and for most of this ride, the cable car sits 270 meters off of the ground.
On this journey, you have fabulous views of Katoomba Falls and the Three Sisters. If you are starting at the Scenic World top station, get on the left side of the cable car for the best view of the waterfall.
View of the Three Sisters from the Skyway
A small section of the cable car has a glass bottom floor, which gives you views of the valley below.
For the ultimate experience, you can ride on the roof of the Scenic Skyway. Called Beyond Skyway, it is a pricey addition and only offered a few days per week. Learn more here.
Once you cross to the other side, there are a few viewpoints to see and you will be close to the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. But the best way to return to the top station is to ride the Scenic Skyway back to the top station.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: On the day we did this, the winds were very high (80 kph/50 mph wind gusts). In the morning, the Scenic Skyway was running, but it only went halfway across the valley and then returned to the top station.
The Scenic Cableway
The Scenic Cableway is a cable car that runs between the Scenic World top station and the valley floor. According to the official website, it is the steepest cable car in the Southern Hemisphere.
View from the Scenic Cableway
The Scenic Walkway
The Scenic Walkway is a 2.4 km boardwalk trail that runs along the valley floor. On this walk, you will see the remains of the coal mining facilities and the native flora and fauna of the area.
There are three walking routes, a 10-minute, a 30-minute, and a 50-minute loop. All take you along the valley floor for views of the rainforest. Which one you choose depends on how much time and energy you have.
We walked the 10-minute trail, which connects the railway station to the cable car station, and for us this was enough (but we also hiked the nearby trails in the Blue Mountains).
You also have the option to hike from the base of the Scenic Railway to the bottom of Katoomba Falls. We did this and we thought it wasn’t a very interesting trail. What you see of the waterfall is a small trickle of water, so it’s not worth the time or effort, in our opinion (there are much better, shorter hiking trails to do outside of Scenic World…you can see these in our Guide to the Blue Mountains).
Bottom of Katoomba Falls
PRO TRAVEL TIP: It is also possible to hike from the cliff top to the valley floor, either on the Furber Steps or from Echo Point on the Giant Stairway, but this hike is challenging and gets mixed reviews. Riding the railway and cable car is fun, provides excellent views, and saves your legs for other nearby hikes.
Scenic World: How to Plan Your Time
For the best experience, get here at opening time. The tour buses begin arriving mid-morning and this place gets very busy. If you get here early, you can avoid the lines for the cable cars and railway.
Below is an itinerary of how we visited Scenic World. This makes a loop so it’s an efficient way to experience all of the various cable car rides and do a little walking.
1. Scenic Skyway: ride the Scenic Skyway out-and-back from the Scenic World top station.
2. Scenic Railway: ride the Scenic Railway from the top station to the valley floor.
3. Scenic Walkway: walk from the bottom station of the railway to the bottom station of the Scenic Cableway. This walk takes 10 minutes. You have the option to walk more of the boardwalk trails on the valley floor.
4. Scenic Cableway: ride the Scenic Cableway back to the Scenic World top station.
If there are no lines during your visit, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to visit Scenic World.
At this point, you can move on to more sightseeing of the Blue Mountains or have lunch in one of the restaurants at Scenic World or in Katoomba.
How Much Does a Visit to Scenic World Cost?
The Unlimited Discovery Pass starts at $50 AUD and includes the Scenic Railway, the Scenic Cableway, the Scenic Skyway, and the boardwalk trails on the valley floor. You can ride as many times as you like in one day.
Beyond Skyway (the experience where you ride on top of the Skyway cable car) starts at $369 AUD.
The official website recommends booking your tickets in advance in the summer, because they typically sell out. Get updated pricing and hours on the official website.
When is Scenic World Open?
Scenic World is open 7 days a week. During school holidays, the hours are 9 am to 5 pm with last entry at 3:45 pm. Outside of school holidays, hours are reduced (Monday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm; Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 5 pm).
Before your visit, get updated hours on the official website.
If you have any questions about how to visit Scenic World, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Australia
BLUE MOUNTAINS: Get started with our article Best Things to Do in the Blue Mountains. We also have a guide on how to hike the Wentworth Falls Track Loop and a detailed trail guide for the Grand Canyon Track.
SYDNEY: Get started with our Sydney Bucket List, which contains 40 of the best things to do in Sydney. We also have a guide to 20 great restaurants and bars in Sydney, the best beaches in Sydney, and the best viewpoints and photography locations in Sydney. Sydney is one of the most scenic places in the world to go skydiving and you can learn more in our Guide to Skydiving in Sydney.
THINGS TO DO IN AUSTRALIA: Visit the cities of Melbourne and Sydney, hike Kings Canyon, visit Tasmania, go on a road trip on the Great Ocean Road, and explore the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions.
EXPLORE NEARBY NEW ZEALAND: There are many wonderful things to do in New Zealand, such as visiting the Milford Sound, bungy jumping and jet boat riding in Queenstown, touring the Marlborough wine region, spending some time in Wanaka, visiting Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Read all of our articles about Australia in our Australia Travel Guide.
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