By Ellen Hill, Blue Mountains Attractions Group
Accessing the premier attractions of the Greater Blue Mountains has never been easier, with the Great Western Hwy upgrade almost complete, hop-on/hop-off tourist buses, a public bus service and now the new State Government Opal card.
In fact, the new rail electronic ticketing system offers great savings to visitors travelling from anywhere in Sydney.
If you’ve already taken eight paid journeys in the week with an Opal card, you could even travel to the Greater Blue Mountains for free.
Visitors can travel all day on Sunday with Opal for no more than $2.50 from 4am Sunday morning until 3.59am Monday morning. The $2.50 cap applies to pensioners and seniors Gold Opal card all the time. (Phone 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) or go to opal.com.au for more information)
The credit card-size Opal card can be used to travel on the Blue Mountains rail line to reach the region and each township. Many tourist experiences such as The Brook Co-Op Arts & Crafts at Glenbrook and Blue Mountains Cultural Centre at Katoomba are within walking distance.
To access attractions further away from railway stations, such as Nana’s Teddies & Toys at Blaxland and Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge, simply use your Opal card on a Blue Mountains Bus Company public bus right to the door.
And getting around to all the sites and sights in the main tourist hubs of Leura and Katoomba is easy on a hop-on/hop-off Blue Mountains Explorer Bus (the red double-decker buses) or Trolley Tours (vintage-style maroon buses).
Blue Mountains Attractions Group president Dave Robertson said: “Just 60 minutes from Sydney CBD to the lower Blue Mountains and 120 minutes to the upper mountains, the Greater Blue Mountains region has never been more accessible to visitors.
“If you needed another incentive besides eliminating the hassle factor, seeing the world from an elevated perspective on the train and the greenhouse gas emissions you will save, just think of the cost.
“Remember too that we reward loyal local tourism ambassadors through our Residents Rewards program simply for showing family and friends around the region and visiting our attractions businesses.’’
Go to bluemountainsattractions.com.au for more information about what to see and do in the Greater Blue Mountains region and the Residents Rewards program.