Friday, March 23, 2018

Australia 2018: The Blue Mountains

So Ryan and I just spent 19 days in Australia, 5 of those days, we spent in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney. We took the train from Sydney 2 hours out to the town of Katoomba and we stayed at the Blue Mountains Backpacker Hostel. We were not able to get a private room, however, we did have a room with only 4 people. So we shared with a fellow from Brazil, named Anderson. Anderson was in town for a month, working for the railroad. Then for one night, we also shared with a fellow from the Netherlands named, Arnold. The Blue Mountains Backpacker Hostel was extremely clean and in a lovely building. It was a great location, not far from the train station and very close to everything in Katoomba. Included with our stay at the Hostel, we got a ticket on the Hop On Hop Off bus in the Blue Mountains. It was good for an entire week! More days than we needed. I took the bus every single day to get to trailheads and other towns in the Blue Mountains.

Our first day in Katoomba, we did the entire loop of the Hop On Hop Off bus to get the lay of the land. Then we decided to see Scenic World. Scenic World is an area that was once full of coal mines. The Railway there was originally built to bring up coal from the mines to the top of the ridge. It is now the steepest passenger railway in the world at 52 degrees.

You can hike around Scenic World at no cost, however to ride the Railway, the Cableway and the Gondola, it costs money. So we spent one day riding all the rides at Scenic World, although we would come back and hike thru the area for another day.

The Blue Mountains are called that because of the blue haze that you see, supposedly it is because of the eucalyptus trees. The oil from the trees is in the air and causes it to appear bluish. 

Glass floor on the Gondola

See the shadow of the Gondola

The next day in the Blue Mountains, I rode the bus out to Katoomba Falls and Ryan of course walked out from the hostel. We hiked around Katoomba Falls and then back to town. One of the routes we took were the Furber steps, these are approximately 990 steps chiseled into the side of the cliff back in 1908. 

Katoomba Falls

Katoomba Falls

Katoomba Falls

Furber Steps

Three Sisters

The main rock formation to see in the Blue Mountains is The Three Sisters. The legend behind the three sisters is that three sisters, Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo, lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe. They fell in love with three men from the neighbouring Nepean tribe,but marriage was forbidden by tribal law. The brothers were not happy to accept this and decided to use force to capture the three sisters. A major tribal battle ensued, and the sisters were turned to stone by an elder to protect them, but he was killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back. At the base of the Three Sisters was another 900+ step staircase that Ryan climbed, called the Grand Staircase. After experiencing the Furber Stairs, I took a pass on the Grand Staircase. 

Honeymoon Bridge

View from Honeymoon Bridge at the Three Sisters

The other towns near Katoomba are called Leura and Wentworth Falls. The Hop on Hop off bus goes through all three towns and each town has cute shops and cafes. The train also stops at all 3 towns. So Ryan would continue his hike to get more miles and I would quit and go to town for a few hours before we would meet up back at the hostel for dinner time. 

Hot Chocolate at the Gingerbread House in Katoomba

I could have spent many more days visiting more areas in the Blue Mountains. It was fabulous and I highly recommend it! Can totally be done as a day trip from Sydney if you only have a day. I recommend checking out Katoomba, and visit Echo Point to see the Three Sisters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome trip! Thanks for sharing. ~speedsquare