Visiting Scenic World In The Blue Mountains With Kids

scenic world blue mountains steep train
The Scenic Railway, most thrilling of the rides.

Scenic World has been the Blue Mountain’s premier tourist attraction since it opened in 1944. This family-owned business has been going strong for over 75 years, although the trials and tribulations of 2020 have seen things change a bit.

With the steepest railway in the world on the Scenic Railway, the majestic Scenic Skyway, the soaring Scenic Cableway and the delightful rainforest walk, Scenic World is a mixture of thrills and natural beauty, with exceptional Blue Mountains views in the mix too.

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My twins soak up the views of Mount Solitary from the bottom of the Scenic Railway.

We visited recently and enjoyed all the rides and the rainforest walk as much as we always have. I liked having the pre-booked times as this means there will never be really long waits in queues.

The journey now starts at HQ and the first ride is the amazing Scenic Skyway.

skyway scenic world blue mountains rides

The Scenic Skyway

If you like standing on a glass-bottomed cable car, suspended 270 metres above some of the most beautiful views in the world, then you’ll love the Scenic Skyway. You really are floating in midair, with amazing 360° views all around and down into the ravines below. The ride is 720 metres across, quite a way. 

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A photo from a visit when the kids were little.
scenic world blue mountains waterfall
I loved floating above Katoomba falls, there was plenty water flowing after recent rain.
scenic world blue mountains rides
The ride goes over the valley and then returned straight away. It’s over far too quickly.
 
 
 

After your ride on the Scenic Skyway, you take the Scenic Railway down into the rainforest of the Jamison Valley.

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My kids first tripe on the Scenic Railway – a thrilling ride

The Scenic Railway

Scenic World railway steep

The 52-degree incline at one point is the steepest railway incline in the world. And yes, it feels very steep!

And thrill seekers can make it even steeper by tilting their seats to a 64-degree incline. The more sedate amongst us can adjust the tilt to make it less steep too.

The railway goes through a dark tunnel through the rocks at the start, this can be pretty scary for very young children.

The Scenic Railway had its first incarnation as a railway to carry coal from mines at the bottom of the Katoomba escarpement to the top. Coal mining began in 1878. The coal seam was visible and it was fairly easy for miners to start digging into the hillside to extract coal from the seam. At its busiest there were about 40 mines in the area. A railway was an efficient way to get to the coal up to Katoomba.

But how those miners made a railway up such a steep cliff back in the 1800’s beats me. Amazing engineering… and without all the modern equipment drilling and blasting equipment used nowadays.

In 1944 a man called Harry Hammon organised the first purely recreational trips on the railway. Those early trips grew into a thriving tourism business which we see at Scenic World today, still owned and managed by the Hammon family.

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A view of the railway track from the bottom – that’s steep!

From the bottom of the railway, you take a walk through the rainforest on the Scenic Walkway.

 

The Scenic Walkway

This is an elevated boardwalk which runs through the amazing rainforest deep on the Jamison Valley. The full 2.4km walkway is actually the longest raised boardwalk in Australia. (The full walk is not open at the moment though.)

Initially there is a path which goes along past the coal mining areas, where information boards explain how miners worked back in the old days.

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How the old coal mines used to look.
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There are many information boards like this, telling the story of the coal mining era and also giving information about the flora and fauna.
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The boardwalk means that we can explore this rainforest without causing too much impact.
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The tree ferns are lush and luxuriant down in the Jamison Valley.
 
 
 
Scenic World cableway

The Scenic Cableway

Finally, you take the Scenic Cableway back up to the top of the escarpment, this slowly but steeply glides past the most gorgeous views over the Three Sisters and past Orphan Rock as you rise to the top of the escarpment.

Each gondola is fully enclosed; a guide gives an interesting commentary as you flat along the 545 metre Cableway.

It’s amazing to see the huge sandstone cliffs of the escarpment close too as the Cableway goes up.

scenic world blue mountains rides cableway descent
There’s a very steep section as you lift off from the bottom station – it’s exciting to whizz up.
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Here’s a photo of my daughter looking down as the Cableway nears the top.
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Look at the size of the mechanics that make the Cableway run!
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You don’t need to rush as you go around the circuit, there’s time to enjoy the views. This is Mount Solitary.

Back at the top you can visit the shop and have something to eat and drink in the indoors/outdoors cafe.

three sisters seen from scenic world blue mountains rides
Here’s a classic shot of the Three Sisters and Katoomba, taken at Scenic World.
 
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Last look at the Scenic Skyway, a thrilling ride through the air.

Scenic World Tickets

Pop over to the Scenic World website here to view current prices and to book your tickets and timeslot.

Address: Corner Violet Street & Cliff Drive, Katoomba

Phone: 02 4780 0200

sculptures at scenic word amongst trees
An artwork in the rainforest, part of Sculptureat Scenic World

Sculpture at Scenic World

Each April Scenic World hosts an outdoor exhibition of sculptures, adding a creative twist to the experience.

Read about this year’s exhibition: Sculpture at Scenic World

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Summertime dinosaur exhibition at Scenic World

School Holidays At Scenic World

There are often special exhibitions at Scenic World during the school holidays. The dinosaur shows in the summer school holidays have been a huge hit with Sydney families.

Check the website to see what is current.

Fairmont resort wide shot
The expansive Fairmont Resort + Spa, just a short drive away from Scenic World

Where to stay: The Fairmont Resort and Spa

We have stayed at the fairmont several times and always enjoyed our visits. You can find a very detailed review of this lovely resort hotel here on Hello Sydney Kids, see link below.

Address: 1 Sublime Point Road, Leura NSW 2780

Phone number:+61 2 4785 0000

Check prices and availablity at the Fairmont Resort here.

Read our own family review of the Fairmont Resort and Spa here.

Are you at Scenic World fan?

Did you ever visit as a kid?

If you are visiting the Blue Mountains With Kids, click here to find all the fun stuff to do.

scenic world blue mountains rides rainbow over three sisters
A rainbow over the Three Sisters and Katoomba
 
 
 

Disclaimer: We visited Scenic World as guests of the company, many thanks Scenic World. All views are our own.

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Posted on: October 6, 2020

7 Comments

  • Reply July 12, 2013

    Kate

    Scenic World was one of the highlights of our trip to Sydney last year – my kids are still talking about the scenic railway (I was scared, they LOVED it!).

    We spent a full day at Scenic World, did all of the cable car rides etc and all of the walks. As a family of six, I felt it was incedibly good value and was pleaantly surprised that the family ticket accommodated large families (not something that happens to us very often!). And of course, there’s the scenery! It was STUNNING.

  • Reply July 12, 2013

    Amanda

    That scenic skyway is breathtaking! What a gem (and a bit of a bargain for the price just quietly!)

  • Reply July 12, 2013

    GourmetGetaways

    Oh wow! what gorgeous pictures! I never knew this place existed!!
    I am so pleased you are sharing … although I am afraid of heights 😉

  • Reply July 12, 2013

    Kim

    Well done Seana – that cable car is totally freaky – it’s a love hate relationship with me. I absolutely adore the Blue Mountains – i love love love the walks, the restaurants (my fave is The Rooster – little French number found in Jamison’s Guesthouse) … just down the road from the cable car 🙂

  • Reply July 13, 2013

    Hotly Spiced

    I love the Blue Mountains and yes, it’s so good to take kids there during the holidays and let them experience all these rides. Congrats on obtaining a major sponsor for your blog! xx

  • Reply July 14, 2013

    Emily

    Whoop – love your awesome sponsor! I also adore a bit of Blue Mountains – spent a few weekends up there when I was a Sydneysider 🙂 x

  • Reply July 14, 2013

    Lisa Wood

    We so want to go to the Blue Mountains – I love that the family pass includes five children – most places only include two adults and two kids 🙂

    Looking forward to trying all of the Rides! And to hearing your Adventures.

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