If you haven’t yet experienced autumn in the Blue Mountains then Sculpture at Scenic World is the excuse you’ve been waiting for. This annual art event is one of the highlights on the calendar for Scenic World, just 90 minutes from Sydney and set in the ancient rainforest of the Jamison Valley.
The whole family will love meandering along the Scenic Walkway, exploring 35 brand new artworks from local, interstate and international artists.
If the kids are looking for more inspiration, book them into a Sculpture for Small People Workshop, where they can create their own take-home piece of art inspired by the artworks in the exhibition. Workshops run every Saturday and Sunday at 10.30am.
Did we mention the entrance to the exhibition? Choose from the thrilling Scenic Railway – the world’s steepest train, travelling 310 metres from the top of the escarpment through a rock tunnel to the valley floor – or a gentle glide on the Scenic Cableway into the valley offering jaw-dropping views of the Three Sisters and Mount Solitary.
Your Sculpture at Scenic World Pass, which is $39 for adults and $21 for children, will give you access to the exhibition, unlimited rides on Scenic World’s attractions, plus entry to see Sculpture Otherwise at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. (The Family tickets are particularly good value at just $99 including two adults and up to five children.)
Throughout the April school holidays, if you book online to arrive before 10am you'll enjoy an Earlybird discount.
There are also great value accommodation packages available also, so why not treat the whole family to a Blue Mountains autumn adventure?
The Scenic World story begins in 1952 when the Hammon family took the old mining railway originally used to haul shale up the mountain and converted it into a Scenic Railway for the use of visitors. The ride passes down a 50° incline through a rock tunnel down into the Jamison Valley to the rainforest below. These days, just to get you into the mood, they play the Indiana Jones theme while you descend at a rate of four metres per second. Many visitors start their Scenic Walk experience by descending via the Scenic Railway, but you can also use it to return to the clifftop.
In 2000, Scenic World opened the Scenic Cableway. This glass-walled cable car makes the same trip down into the valley as the Scenic Railway but with a more spectacular view, taking in the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mount Solitary and Katoomba Falls. The largest cable car in Australia, the Scenic Cableway is capable of holding 84 passengers at a time. At the bottom the Scenic Cableway joins up with the Scenic Walkway.
On the jungle floor there is a 2.4km series of raised boardwalks called the Scenic Walkway. Partly wheelchair accessible, these platforms take you on a pleasant, dirt-free walk around the valley going past fascinating examples of plant life as well as enormous pieces of mining equipment from the former mine. There are museum-style exhibits about the mine down there as well. This 50 minute stroll through Jurassic rainforest is great to take in all weathers as you’re protected by the rainforest canopy. The Scenic Walkway has been designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. During April/May each year is the annual Sculpture at Scenic World event, a curated exhibition of sculptures by local and international artists installed around the rainforest walk.
In operation since 1958, the Scenic Skyway is a 720m return ride between clifftops in a cable car, suspended 270m in the air. Rebuilt in 2005, the new cable car features a glass bottom for unrestricted views of the rainforest below. The journey provides the best views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, and Jamison Valley stretching to the horizon. If you disembark at the Skyway’s east station you can access lookouts over the valley along with bush trails to Echo Point.