Nature has created a panoramic theatre for visitors to immerse themselves in giant ravines where your imagination can take flight. Sandstone plateaus where visitors can view the sheer enormity of the landscape before them. Forests, gullies and quiet places where waterfalls cascade provide intimacy and a sense of quiet. The age and timelessness of ancient rock art talks of people about the place the Blue Mountains has in the hearts of all Australians. Named a World Heritage site in 2000, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area contains eight national parks and protected areas, four internationally significant wetlands and a rich cultural tradition of some six Aboriginal groups dating back many thousands of years. More than 1,500 species of plants and a third of Australia’s bird species live in an area ten times older than the Grand Canyon. With luxury retreats, attractive villages and towns, and a flourishing artistic community, it’s easy to see why the Blue Mountains are the most popular mass tourism day trip from Sydney. As mentioned in our TIPS ‘been there, done that’ day trip can diminish your experience to the level of a souvenir refrigerator magnet.