Blue Mountains, Sydney
Took the Blue Mountains train to Katoomba. A 2hr trip costing $14 back and forth. Upon exit from the Katoomba station, we were suppose to take the hop on hop off bus but the bus left us at 1:30PM so we just walked thru the echo point. It's a good 15 minute walk. We didn't take the cable car anymore as we were running out of time but we crossed the 3sisters bridge to get to the 2nd sister. Train leaves every hour.
The Blue Mountains is a National Park located about 1 1/2 h away from Sydney (by car). It is very quiet up here, and good for escaping the noise of the city. In winters it snows sometimes, and even at night in summer it can get quite cold.
The Three Sisters are the three famous rocks at the tip of the cliff. You can watch them from a platform at the tourist centre or take the walk down (rather narrow at the end). You do get a stunning view from the platform. There are valleys and plateaus as far as you can see.
The area is also good for hiking, daytrips or longer trips.
The Scenic World provides exciting rides in the Senic Railway, Scenic Flyway and the Scenic Skyway. This is located at Katoomba, not very far from the Katoomba Railway station. Scenic railway is described as the steepest railway in the world, which will take the visitors to the bottom of the Jamison Valley through a 45 degrees incline in an enclosed tramway. This tramway travels through the dense rainforest at a slow pace but the steep desent does cause a moment of scare.
Right at the doorstep of Sydney is located the magnificent Blue Mountains which can keep you spellbound for its breathtaking landscape. It is a welcome break for Sydney people and offers a range of entertainment and activities.
The Blue Mountains are so called because of the ever present haze and can be clearly made out in the photographs. The minute oil droplets coming out of Eucalyptus and gum trees are suspended in the air and these reflect the lights, thereby causing a blue haze.
The 3 Sisters is a must see when you visit the Blue Mountains. This is a very good place to take a picture. You can go and trek for a few minutes to get to the neck of the first rock. You might have to catch your breath on your return walk but it is worth it. If you love walking, you can take a leisurely walk from the 3 Sisters to the visitors' centre.
From the Visitors' Centre try taking the vertical train to get to the lower part of the mountain. You have to pay a minimal fee for the vertical train and for the tram. The line sometimes might take a while specially during weekends specially if there is a tour group ahead of you.
"Greater Blue Mountains Area " was added to Unesco's World Heritage List in 2000. From the Blue Mountains, the lower valley looks like as a large green canyon. The Three Sisters (922, 918, 906 metres asl) which dominated the valley, are named following a Aboriginal dream-time legend. The blue haze actually comes from eucalyptus trees, and is the reason the Blue Mountains got their name.
Since my first visit in june 2000, heavy investments have been made around Katoomba to host massive tourits flows. You will find $cenic railway (said as the steepest in the world), $cenic flyway and $cenic $kyway (for vertignious amateur), $cenic walkway... I think that all these equipements are not very scenic because not well integrated in a such preserve environment. So Blue Mountains becomes the main touristic spot out of Sydney. Try to find less crowed spot to admire more preserve nature.
I must admit that I catch the Blues Mountains rides...
We took a very touristy trip to the Blue Mountains in a Hummer-type vehicle with a bunch of strangers. We met at the circle Quay and took off. They fed us a snack (it was extremely small, I think they opened a pack of cookies) with tea. They drove us around in the Blue Mountains and up to a park with a tram to go over a canyon. It was quite beautiful. There was a gift shop along with these beautiful "wild" birds that they fed.
Next, it was off to a park where kangaroos had gotten used to the foot traffic and just laid about. We were able to take some close up shots of the 'roos.
Very stunning views, starting from the drive from the foot of the mountain. Be sure to stop by some of the villages; quaint, charming and so laid-back.
Visit Scenic World and try a ride on the Scenic Railway and Flyway. Great views too.
Possibly the most visited site in the Blue Mountains! The view is just spectacular on a good sunny day! Come and see how blue are the Blue Mountains! (The bluish mist is caused by fine mists of eucalytus oil floating in the air which distort sunlight into a bluish hue)
Extracted from website below:
THE LEGEND OF THE THREE SISTERS
The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, 'Meehni', 'Wimlah' and Gunnedoo' lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.
These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry.
The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle.
As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come.
On our tour of the Blue Mountains we had the opportunity to ride the "Mine Train" and the Scenisender (suspended tramway).
The mine train is the steepest inclined railway in the world. Oh my gosh! My heart was in my throat as we ascended the incline (aprroximately 45 degree incline) up the canyon wall. The picture shown here are of those who had a death wish, as they rode the train back DOWN the canyon wall. Nuts, I tell you, simply nuts.
The fee for this and the tramway was $15 AUD pp
One of the highlight of our Blue Mountain tour was the opportunity to see kangaroos in their natural habitat and not in a zoo.
Our guide told us to be very quiet and walk slowly and you will be able to get close to the kangaroos, but be careful as they can kick you quite hard.
Well, doing my best Elmer Fudd impression (ssh you must be vewy vewy quiet!) I got within touching distance of the kangaroos. They were such wonders to behold! Again like seeing monuments or places on TV or in books that you have seen so many times before, it is awe inspiring to see these places and creatures for real.
We really wanted to see the Blue Mountains which, are not really mountains but foothills at approximately 2,228 meteres (which is 7310 in feet).
I had wanted to go with another travel company that offered the Jenolan caves and the Blue Mountains but our hosts at the B&B strongly recommended Oz Trails. When I compared the two tours it was clear that the best bargin for the money was Oz Trails. The provided morning tea and lunch which was included in our fare, the other tour company did not.
Jeff was our tour guide and despite him being Scottish, he was certainly knowledgeable about Sydney and the Blue Mountains. He told a funny story about a man he had on a tour who told him "I went to Scotland and had an Australian tour guide and I come to Australia and now have a Scottish tour guide!"
Give this company a looksee next time you are planning a trip to Sydney and are in need of a good day tour, then I highly recommend
We allocated a day to take this trip, and did it with a tour group. The group was small, about 15-20 of us in a mini-bus and our tour guide picked us up at our hotel. 1st stop was the Featherdale Wildlife Park (more on the park in a different tip). We spent about an hour here, and then went to the Blue Mountains. Stopped and hiked a little ways to see the Wentworth Falls which is the photo to the left (this was a good place to get an ice cream cone or use the wc), then we got back on the bus and stopped again and walked to the lookout of the "Three Sisters". Our next stop was lunch at the cafe (cheaper to include it in the tour price than buy your own) then on to the Scenic Skyway (extra $, but worth it)... the railway ride is quite fun and fast once you get over the first hump, watch out! Walking along the boardwalk below through the forest was beautiful, and the scenic scender is a nice slow (and warm) gondala back to the top. We boarded the mini-bus and headed back after a quick stop at an overlook where the tour guide talked about aboriginal culture and made us tea and biscuits ("biscuits" in Australia is just another word for "crappy cookie"). We drove past the Olympic Center very quickly, and then got on a river ferry that took us back to Circular Quay. Overall a great trip, and worth the money, including extras.
Although the Blue Mountains really can not be done properly in one-day, if you are headed to Sydney, you are really missing out if you do not see them! Located about an hour and a half outside of Sydney to the West, Blue Mountains National Park is a great adventure looking into the Australian countryside. Wentworth Falls is a great spot to hike and see the picturesque waterfall, Katoomba is the home to the Three Sisters and Scenic World, and then there is always the element of shopping in the little town streets throughout the journey. If you are on limited time, I would definitely recommend spending a little of it out here!
The blue mountains...now noone expects them to be really blue but i didn't think they had a strong hint of blue in them at all, they would have been better off being called the purple/violet mountains!!! But i was told by my tourguide that they are called the Blue Mountains because of the 'blue' hue of the eucalyptus trees planted there.
Ok, complaints aside, it was a great trip. I was told by a friend to make sure I see this, and I made it my only demand on my trip, which is unlike me!!
There are many activites you can do here, a lot of them involve hiking, but however you see it, the scenery is absolutely magnificent!!
The best way to see it is via a tour guide, as they can take you to all the hidden spots on the way.
I would totally recommend seeing this, if you are interested, you should be, you can see my special travelogue! Indeed, the Blue Mountains deserve a special travelogue!