Things to do

Bilpin is a quiet, remote place, with a population of around 500 scattered in a thin, long wedge of rural land sandwiched between Wollemi National Park and Blue Mountains National Park. The centre of Bilpin has a Post Office, an auto mechanic, and a restaurant.  Not much…so you can enjoy a peace and quiet, and focus on your work, away from it all. BigCi residents usually find this to be an ideal place to think, to be inspired, to create.

However, when you wish to have a break from your work, there is a surprising and growing list of interesting things to see and do, to add to your residency experience. Here is a list, in no particular order, of things we like to do and places we like to visit in the local area.  When you come to BigCi, we will help you with further directions.

For exhibitions, concerts, festivals, workshops and more, check out the Blue Mountains City of the Arts Facebook page

The area around Bilpin, a part of World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains, is a bushwalker’s paradise. The majority of this area is still unexplored, although many walking tracks also exist. Many lifetimes would be required to explore the stunning valleys, sculptured rock formations, verdant rainforests, deep gorges, spectacular canyons, enormous caves, ghost towns, Aboriginal art sites, enormous high cliffs, incredible lookouts that are all contained within it. Bushwalks of any degree of difficulty are possible. When you come here, you can get more information and assistance from one of the people who run BigCi, Yuri Bolotin, who is an experienced wilderness explorer and guide.

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
Part of the Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, this is a stunning high altitude garden within 15 minutes drive from BigCi along Bells Line of Road.  It is situated on top of a high mountain with great views towards Bilpin and the Wollemi Wilderness.  There is a good information centre, a cafe and a restaurant (see entry below). Often, they have activities and exhibitions; check their website. Free entry.

Sams Way, Mountain Lagoon
A beautiful walk along a quiet country lane, magnificent colours in Autumn. The round walk is about 1.5-2hrs. About 15 minutes drive from BigCi, off Mountain Lagoon Road.

Mount Wilson
Many beautiful open gardens in Autumn and Spring. Deciduous trees in Autumn. Magnificent lookouts and many easy walks. About 30 minutes drive from BigCi.

Walls and Rigby Hill Lookouts
Stunning lookouts across the Grose Valley. Both lookouts can be accessed from one location. An easy 1-1.5km walk each way to either of the lookouts. About 20 minutes drive from BigCi.

An attractive high altitude town on the other, ‘touristy’ side of the Mountains. It has several good cafes, restaurants, interesting shops and stunning lookouts.
Blackheath is about 40 minutes drive from BigCi.

Mt Vics Flicks, Mount Victoria
A small, charming art house movie theatre located in Mount Victoria, 35 minutes drive from BigCi.  See the movies the way they should be seen.

Katoomba is the ‘capital’ of the Blue Mountains. It has many cafes, restaurants, shops, several supermarkets, as well as many beautiful lookouts, all within the town boundaries. Katoomba is about 50 minutes drive from BigCi.
Here are a couple of our recommended Katoomba destinations:
. Blue Mountain Cultural Centre – an art gallery with changing exhibitions and a World Heritage InformationCentre.

. Scenic World – apart from offering a variety of scenic rides, Scenic World also supports a number of cultural events.
Held annually, Sculpture at Scenic World is Australia’s only rainforest exhibition, showcasing artworks in the natural splendor of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains.
02-4780 0200

Bilpin Botany Tours
A walk in the bush, see, smell and touch tour, conducted by local botany experts.
11am and 12.30pm every Saturday, from Pine Crest Orchard, 5 min drive or 15 min walk from BigCi. Minimum numbers apply, so bookings are essential.
Call John Galbraith 02-4567 1145 or

Kiaran Warner’s Massage and Tai Chi in the Wollemi
Wonderful massages and regular Tai Chi classes. Kiaran also teaches Nordic Walking. Discounts to BigCi residents.
5 Ivy Lane (off Hanlons Road), 0427 671 202

There is a great number of good eating choices for a small place like Bilpin.

Grumpy Baker
This place cannot be more local – it is located at the corner of our street and Bells Line of Road. A variety of sourdough breads baked every morning, coffee, croissants, cakes, pies and more. Country hardware store next door, by the same owner.
Open 0630-1600 every day.
Corner of Hanlons Road N and Bells Line of Road – a 3-min drive or 10-min walk from BigCi.

New Apple Bar
Small changing menu based on local produce and the wood fired oven cooking. Open for lunch and dinner, but not every day.
2488 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin
02-4567 0335

Magie Lou’s Bite
A super friendly restaurant with amazing burgers, home made cakes and much more.
Not licensed, so bring your own wine.
Open for lunch (not every day); dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
About 7 minutes drive from BigCi towards Lithgow.
3068 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin
0437 550 881

Archibald Hotel
A friendly local pub with great skyline views towards Sydney and a good restaurant. About 15 minutes drive from BigCi towards Sydney. They offer a bus pick up service.
1349 Bells Line Of Road, Kurrajong Heights
02-4567 7140

Lochiel House
A fine dining restaurant in a historic 200 year old cottage, about 15 min drive away.
1259 Bells Line Of Road, Kurrajong Heights
02-4567 7754

The Village Kitchen
A great restaurant, about 20 min drive away, with indoor and outdoor seating, and views.
83 Old Bells Line of Road, Kurrajong
02-4573 0988

Ugly Mug Cafe and Potager Restaurant
Both are situated on top of Mount Tomah in the Botanic Gardens. Restaurant has panoramic views of the mountains below. Not open for dinner.
Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens
02-4567 2575

Pie in the Sky
Best meat pies in and around Sydney, made on the premises by the owner Josh, a pastry chef. Lots of yummy sweets and other food. Great coffee. Check out Josh’s cappuccino with dark bitter chocolate topping – Yuri is seriously addicted to it! They are open from about 9.30am till 5.30pm every day except Tuesday, so this is a place for lunch and/or coffee. It is very simple and informal, in fact it looks like a shed alongside the road, but the appearances can be misleading. It is about 8 minutes drive from BigCi towards Sydney.
1858 Bells Line Of Road
02-4567 8921

The Pines
Good place for breakfast as they open at 8.30am every day. They also have a great selection of fruit, as well as apple pies, local jams, preserves, juice etc. Good coffee. It is about 7 minutes drive from BigCi towards Sydney.
2070 Bells Line of Road, opposite Bilpin Fruit Bowl.
02-4567 1195

The Hive Cafe
Great coffee, home made food and local produce. About 10 minutes drive from BigCi in Berambing, towards the Botanic Gardens and Lithgow.
02-4567 2590

‘Pick Your Own’ Orchards
In season, many orchards along Bells Line of Road display ‘Pick Your Own’ signs. You can pick your own apples, peaches, persimmons, etc.

Saturday Bilpin Market
Stalls selling locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as other food, coffee, teas and craft.
Great place to meet locals for a chat and stock up on local produce.
Located at Bilpin Community Hall, 5 minutes drive from BigCi.
Every Saturday, 10.00am – 12noon
02-4567 2124


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