At the foot of the Blue Mountains is a charming township perfect for your next day trip. Glenbrook is on the traditional land of the Dharug and Gundungurra people and is steeped in character and history. With plenty of exciting food and drink places, Glenbrook is also home to several hidden places of historical significance. So, pop on your hiking shoes, jump in a car or train and head up the hill.
Start your day with a coffee and brekky from 2773 Glenbrook, a delightful café and restaurant, aptly named after the local postcode. Perfect on a sunny morning, you can immerse yourself in the true spirit of the Blue Mountains with their all-day breakfast and lunch menu inspired by the mountains, catering for every palate.
With indoor and outdoor dining options, you can choose to warm up inside at the open fire or the spacious outdoor area. 2773 is also great for families with an additional treat for the children —an undercover play area. We love that there are options for everyone to create a memorable dining experience.
After coffee, take a stroll in the town centre where you’ll find all sorts of small businesses. We love Con’s Continental Deli and Patisserie, which again has an amazing assortment of produce from around the local area as well as some fine international goods.
You’ll also find Kickaboom. This is another great place to pick up a coffee and some local and artisan goods from their in-house shop. And of course, their food menu is a hit full of creative dishes inspired by travels around the world.
There’s also the lovely Glenbrook Village Nursery full of blooming flowers lovely all year round and much loved by locals. You’ll also find a collection of boutiques in the town centre including Ebony & Ivy, Villagio Men’s Emporium and Cycling, Blue Mountains Running Co, and The Little Sparrow. Other inspiring eating options include Vincent and Mountain Fish.
Once you’ve explored the township, get yourself ready for a bushwalk. Glenbrook is surrounded by the Blue Mountains National Park and there are many great walks nearby. Take a friend, check in with someone and of course, take some water and some snacks. This isn’t hardcore hiking but it's always good to be prepared.
The Red Hands Cave trail is an excellent walk that leads to a place of Indigenous cultural significance. You’ll spot the beautiful stencils of indigenous hand art with earthy red and yellow ochre tones. This rock art is thought to be around 1,600 years old, yet you can still clearly see the handprints. It is now protected by a barrier to prevent vandalism, ensuring it is preserved for all to see and enjoy.
Jellybean Pool is close by and is another great attraction perfect for a dip in warmer weather or a very refreshing dip for the very brave. It’s a short out and back walk from the car park and easy to get to. In the warm months, it can be quite busy and popular, but this just adds to the great vibe. The water is, as you might expect, very refreshing all year round.
Glenbrook is also the historic location of the Lapstone Zig Zag. The world-first zig zag railway on a main line (who knew!). It was constructed during the 1860s to overcome the steep ascent of the mountains. Today it forms an excellent and historic walking track, beginning on Knapsack Street.
Along this track, you will come to the Knapsack Viaduct – which is truly a highlight of your day out. Completed in 1865, the viaduct was made to carry the railway line across the Knapsack Gully, and still stands an amazing 37 metres above it. Designed by esteemed engineer John Whitton, the bridge is made from sandstone from the Hawkesbury and features seven spans which form beautiful arches. Walkers can enjoy the view from atop the bridge, but you can also go down into the gully and back up the other side to fully enjoy this engineering masterpiece. Make sure to take plenty of photos!
If you continue along the bridge, you’ll notice the path is very wide and well maintained. That’s because you are now walking along the old railway line. Notice just how steep the slope is, which is why they had to build a zig zag. Today, this path is popular for joggers, cyclists, and brisk walkers. Continue along until you reach the Knapsack Viaduct carpark. You’ll spot the John Whitton memorial obelisk and even the old ruins of the old gatekeeper’s cottage. A beautifully haunting reminder of the past.
Further along, there is also the oldest surviving stone arch bridge in Australia – Lennox Bridge. Built in 1833 by convicts and named after its designer David Lennox, it’s an impressive structure that is still in use as a road bridge over Mitchell’s Pass.
After enjoying whatever walk you choose, we know you’ll be ready for a special treat…what better than doughnuts? Head back to Glenbrook township and you’ll find Dolly’s Donuts on Wascoe Street just up from the main town centre.
Their doughnuts are simply legendary. Quickly becoming a local favourite and hotspot for day trippers, you’ll certainly need to make room in your day to try one (or five) of their special flavoured doughnuts. They update their menu seasonally, so you’ll always find new creative combos. And why not treat yourself to their house-churned gelatos, simply delicious.
As twilight descends upon the enchanting lower Blue Mountains, head back to 2773 Glenbrook which undergoes a vibrant transformation, becoming a lively and much-loved restaurant.
On weekends, woodfire pizzas are a highlight and the ambience comes alive with live entertainment. Importantly, they have you covered with their well-stocked cocktail bar offering a great selected of handcrafted beverages... with a very good Happy Hour!
You can also head over the highway to Glenbrook Panthers for a classic pub meal before you head back down the mountain. Great food, friendly atmosphere and another little gem.
As the gateway to the Blue Mountains, Glenbrook itself makes a perfect day trip on a sunny weekend. Since it’s such an easy trip, you'll find yourself returning time and time again to explore everything there is to see and do.