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Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

India
Level Contributor
150 posts
34 reviews
Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

Hello everyone. We are a couple and a 7 year old kid. We are visiting Sydney for couple of days in mid January. We were planning to get a My Multi Day pass for 2 days. We would use the pass to visit Blue Mountains early morning. After getting off at Katoomba, I have found we have two options. Either take the HOHO bus tours or the public bus service (which is covered by the My Multi Day Pass). There are plenty of recommendations for the explorer bus but comparatively less discussion about the public bus. Since we are only interested in Scenic World and Echo point (we have to get back to Sydney for a 7pm Opera show), is public bus a good option? The route 686 seems to cover both these points with half hourly buses in morning and every 15 minutes noon onwards. Would this bus be a reliable option as it saves time as well would be free to use also? Or should I consider the HOHO bus, which operates on the full tourist circuit and may be possibly squeeze in something else to experience before departing to Sydney. Thanks.

Sydney
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1,761 posts
10 reviews
1. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

The public buses look great to me - so much cheaper than the HOHO.

You may also want to visit the village of Leura, which has a mountain-village feel with some quaint cafes/gardens/shops. This is a stark contrast from Katoomba, which is a busy tourist hub.

You might want to get off the train at Leura, walk around and have breakfast/lunch, then catch the 685/695 to Katoomba and then change for a 686.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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2. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

Hi gags

You could easily do Scenic World and Echo Point via the HOHO bus.

If you want to ride the Scenic Railway, and do a walk around the rain forest area, then back up by the Cable Car or Scenic Railway, you could easily spend an hour or more doing that - depending on which walk you want to do and if you stop and look at nature.

While there may be queues - there certainly were around 2pm last Tuesday, the queues move relatively quickly. Once up the top again you can get the sky train to the other side of the mountain and walk to Echo Point (prbably around 15-20 mins but the 7 yo may be tired of walking by then.

You should allow 2 hours+ up to Katoomba in the train and back again plus wait time for the buses etc

And if your 7 yo is into fluffy toys, there's no escaping them at Scenic World - dozens for sale and you have to walk past them to get to the Scenic Railway entry !!!

India
Level Contributor
150 posts
34 reviews
3. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

Thanks Aussieboy90. Your suggestion of Leura sounds good but may try it out at lunch and take train to Sydney from there only.

India
Level Contributor
150 posts
34 reviews
4. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

Thanks for the suggestions DougoOz. Though, we may be able to escape the fluffy toys as or little boy is interested in cars and more cars :-)

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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5. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

Sorry, I meant to write at post 2 you could easiy go to Scenic World by the HOHO or public bus.

Just make sure you are aware of the timetables for pick up no matter which option you choose.

As for cars for your 7 yo ... I don't recall seeing any there - lol

And another tip - sitting in the very front seat of the Scenic Railway is scary !!

As for lunch, there is a cafe at Scenic World - not a lot of choice but it would probably be cheaper than Leura.

Edited: 23 November 2011, 03:08
India
Level Contributor
150 posts
34 reviews
6. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

Thanks again, DougoOz. I have already downloaded the time tables for both. Can you suggest the best way to experience Scenic World? I mean when we arrive there, in which order to proceed with the Railways, Cable Car, Walkway and Skyway. Really confused about it.

As for lunch, many people on this forum were recommending a meal in Leura to experience a typical mountain Australian village. If not a meal, at least we'll just visit it and then catch the train back from there.

Sydney
Level Contributor
1,761 posts
10 reviews
7. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

I doubt a cafe in Leura would be more expensive than one at the BM's primary tourist attraction. Note to OP: never eat at an attraction's cafe in Australia - you will be ripped off (applies to Zoo, Aquarium, Sydney Tower). Regardless, there are some lovely cafes in Katoomba as well (best ones are away from Echo Point towards the station).

With Scenic World, all "rides" depart from the main building. There is a triangle consisting of the railway down to the valley floor, then walkway and cable car back up. The skyway is separate, and you simply go back and forward between 2 cliffs.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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8. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

"in which order to proceed with the Railways, Cable Car, Walkway and Skyway"

When we went last week, the Cable Car was being maintained. We did the Railway first as we wanted to do the walkway next. We had intended to do the 30 min walk but found that "a few steps" was more than a few and our companions could not have coped with them. We took our time and walked the the end of the 15 min walk where the Cable Car is and we saw a female and a male Lyre Bird ... it's worth ambling along this walk because you nver know what you see.

Then because the Cable Car wasn't available, we caught the train back up to the top and then the Skyway. Because there were bush fires there about 4 weeks ago now, you do see the burnt bush. To add the cost of the Skyway was not a lot extra which is why we did it. When you do the skyway, you look back over to Scenic World and you can also get a bird's eye view of a waterfall which you can't see properly from Scenic World. You can walk to Echo Point from here if you like but it may be too much for the 7 yo.

And Aussieboy, I do agree with you in general about food in an attraction's cafe but our coffee was fine and about the same cost as elsewhere. When we had our coffee it was about 4.30 so I have no idea if they have sandwiches etc for lunch.

I have eaten some lovely food at a couple of cafes in Leura but it's not cheap - when we last ate up there it was about $15-20 each and that was the middle of the road option I think. However as you will be doing the public transport option, perhaps the money you saved could go towards a nice lunch in Leura ?

I would recommend a stop in Leura - it's a very pretty little town and worth a visit.

Sydney/Melbourne
Level Contributor
18,143 posts
80 reviews
9. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

We were up in the BM last weekend. Be aware that the scenic

Cliff top walk from Scenic World to Echo point is closed due to the recent bush fire. you can only walk as far as the Kiosk (which is closed).

A really nice walk which could be easily done by a 7 yo if you take it slowly is to go down the Giant Staircase at Echo point, walk along the escarpment towards Scenic World and then take the Scenic Railway back to the top.

happy travels!

India
Level Contributor
150 posts
34 reviews
10. Re: Blue Mountain: HOHO Bus or Public Bus?

Thanks guys for the inputs.

Aussieboy, what you said about an attraction's food outlet rates, is a probably universal phenomenon all over the world. We'll budget accordingly. Sometimes with a little kid in tow, you don't have much choice when he craves for something.