Visiting the Blue Mountains in winter is an incredible experience. To make it the ultimate luxurious weekend, you’ve got to start at the very beginning. On Friday, pick up our Ferrari 360 and speedily put the city behind you. We recommend staying in Leura which is only 1.5 hours our of Sydney. It is such a gorgeous little town. Having dinner at Silks Restaurant on Friday night is a must. Then Saturday wake up and enjoy one of the many hikes the Blue Mountains has to offer. Time to take the Ferrari out for a drive and make your way further into the mountains to the Sparadise Japanese Bath House for a relaxing experience you won’t soon forget. Follow this up with a romantic dinner at home and a sleep-in on Sunday. You must finish your Blue Mountains experience with High Tea at the breath-taking Hydro Majestic before jumping back in the Ferrari and cruising home to Sydney.
When a friend approached me to go away to the Blue Mountains during winter, I couldn’t think of anywhere that would be better. I would get to experience all the luxuries the Blue Mountains had to offer, and could do it all in the Ferrari. I couldn’t wait!
I took the day off on the Friday and left Sydney around 10am. I was able to miss the commuter traffic and enjoyed a blissful drive out of Sydney in the Ferrari. I naturally drove with the roof down and the windows up, so had a warm little cocoon in the driving cabin.
Arriving in Leura around midday, the beautiful little town was buzzing with people as I made my way to Bon Ton. I would not recommend parking the Ferrari in their little parking lot, it is really NOT a Ferrari-friendly drive-way. There is plenty of parking on the street, or in the Woolworths parking lot just across from Bon Ton.
Bon Ton had a crackling fire going and a cozy, intimate dining room overlooking the hub of Leura. I would recommend booking a table, because it got busy – even on a Friday lunch. There were plenty of winter warming meals to choose from and of course there were scones and tea. All very tasty and enjoyable.
After lunch, enjoy a walk through Leura shops. A lot of homewares and decorating, clothes and such. My favourite shop would have to be Teddy Sinclair. They had a Man Cave section filled with fascinating, manly items and a slightly hidden, secret connecting doorway into a shop that simply has “175” out the front. Love it! This second shop had the female equivalent to the Man Cave, so lots of time was spent in these 2 (or maybe it should be 1) shops.
Quick pop into Woolworths to stock up on provisions for breakfast, lunch and snacks and it was off to the accommodation. Check out my list below for some suggestions on where you could stay. I was with friends, so while very luxurious it was a bit too huge for 2 people.
Saturday dawned as a clear and crisp winter day. After a breakfast of pastries, I set off on a walk. The Blue Mountains is riddled with hikes for different levels of ability. I was lucky to be in easy walking distance from the Katoomba Falls round walk. The aim was to try to walk to Echo Point to view the 3 Sisters. However, being rather inexperienced I got a little lost. Looking at the map, I mostly followed it, but think I went up at one stage when I should have gone down. I absolutely do not regret the journey though as I had a brilliant time and saw some absolutely incredible vistas. If you’re scared of heights it could be a bit tricky, but if not you will love it. I ended up walking for close to 3 hours, so returned to the accommodation for a well deserved lunch.
After lunch, it was time to start up the Ferrari for the day. I wound my way further up the mountains to the Japanese Bath House. I wasn’t really sure what to expect of a bath house, but had been told to bring my swimmers and we wouldn’t need to book in for a massage. The booking was from 3 – 6pm, so I was really unsure what we would be doing with this block of time if massages weren’t involved. How was I meant to relax?
The Sparadise Japanese Bath House is a surprising delight. You start your experience by taking off your shoes, walking through a lovely warm little pond and are given some massage thongs (flip-flops for non-Aussie readers). A guide will show you around and explain what to do and where things are. The Bath House is set on the side of a hill, overlooking some water and other little hills. Nothing but nature all around. There bath house has a number of heated pool experiences, as well as a fragrant sauna and ice pool. After changing and cleansing yourself in a traditional Japanese shower, you make your way around the various pools. It was so decadent, soaking up the mineral waters and I truly immersed myself in all the bath house had to offer – even the ice pool! I would not relish doing this in the summer I have to admit, most of the pools are over 30degC. Being winter the air is cool while you are in outdoor pools that are heating you up.
To cap it all off, after feeling totally relaxed from about 2+ hours of various dips, I rinsed off again, got changed and made my way into the traditional Japanese tea room. Enjoyed a light repast of traditional Japanese food and a steaming cup of tea. Some advice – in the Japanese culture, tea is best shared, so chose something and enjoy the ceremony together.
The return trip to Leura in the Ferrari just seemed to fly by in my newly relaxed state. The corners felt smoother and I felt at peace with the car and the road. It was getting dark as I left, so it was good to get back to the accommodation and order some home delivery for dinner.
Sunday dawned another beautiful day, slightly nostalgic as I knew it was my last day of this blissful getaway. I ate a smaller breakfast, packed up and started the Ferrari. The drive to the Hydro-Majestic was only a couple of minutes. I would strongly recommend parking the Ferrari in the first carpark block as the other driveways were not Ferrari friendly. Other than that, I couldn’t make a complaint about the newly renovated Hydro-Majestic. The reception area for the High-tea is incredibly grand. And once I got into the dining room – I didn’t know if I should be looking at the magnificent decorations or the awe-inspiring view.
We were seated at a window table, so the view won. There is the option of Traditional or Eastern High Tea. You are allowed to mix and match, but I was very pleased with Traditional. And they continued to refill your teapot with hot water as needed. All I would suggest is that you visit the bathroom multiple times before you finish the High Tea experience. It will make the drive home much more comfortable.
After visiting the cute outlet shop, it was back in the Ferrari for the return trip to Sydney. A quick stop at one of the best pie shops in the Mountains and the Ugg outlet shop was required!
I would have to rate The Blue Mountains in winter as one of the best Fast Escapes you could possibly take. The memories created and the experiences I had over the 48 hours were priceless. Being able to travel around in the Ferrari for the entire time made the journey as much fun as the destination. My weekend away truly started the minute the Ferrari growled to life on Friday.