Travel | 2 comments
By: Zdenko Kahlina
Blue Mountains Australia – New South Wales Travel
We went to the Blue Mountains on our first trip to Sydney, Australia. It was impossible to miss the Blue Mountains main destination: town of Katoomba. Though the weather didn’t fully cooperate, we had a great time, because our friends who live in Sydney were good guides. They’ve been there before…
Where are the Blue Mountains? About 1 hour by road in the car, or 2 hours by rail west of Sydney. If you have only one day, and are not renting a car, take a day tour from Sydney. Tours leave early (6 a.m. is not unusual) and get back late, around 6 p.m. You can also take the train or tour bus for the day.
If you are self-driving, (remember they drive on the left!), try to time your arrival in Katoomba as early in the day as you can. Traffic around Sydney and suburbs can be heavy at peak hours. At the Blue Mountains, there is parking near the major attractions (note they close around 5 p.m.), though parking fills up fast on busy summer weekends.
If you have time to stay several days, then do, especially if you enjoy hiking and exploring the rainforest and watching for ‘exotic’ birds. There are lots of places to stay, from bed and breakfast to hostels and hotels. Stay for one or even two weeks, and you’ll have lots of trails to walk and sights to see.
How Much Do Tours to the Blue Mountains Cost ? Organized day tour excursions prices vary according to what’s included, of course. Expect to pay upwards of $100/day to start for a day trip; and upwards of $300 for a multi day trip. If you have three days, then look for City Rail (train) Blue Mountains Explorer packages.
How Much to Scenic World Rides Cost? There are several packages available at Scenic World, and some tour companies will offer packages of their own, based on the most popular rides. My one-way ticket on the Trainway cost $11 AUD (about the same in USD or CAD, at the time of my visit). See Scenic World site for pricing information.
Best Time to Travel: The Australian summer months (December, January, February) are when most visitors and locals head for the Blue Mountains, especially on weekends. Leura is a charming little town with lots of cute shops, trendy restaurants, a golf course. Katoomba shows its coal town roots. Both areas have wonderful older homes and gardens.
So, together we explored beautiful Katoomba. Off we went to Scenic World, to walk down the Furber Steps near Katoomba Falls, then followed Prince Henry Cliff Walk to the Three Sisters at Echo Point.
Katoomba the main centre in the Blue Mountains (Australia) with a population of approx 12,000. An alternative style town where people escape the big smoke for clean air and nature at your doorstep. Home to lots of artists, actors, grungy hippies, dropouts and millions of tourists. But more than anything, Katoomba is surrounded by a beautiful national parks and clean air.
The town is over 1000m above sea level or 3336 feet high and usually gets snow during the winter. Strangely the winter is the busiest tourist season with everyone coming up for Yule fests and sitting around fireplaces.
It was a beautiful day when we were there so I thought I would capture a few images of everything within a 30 minute walk of the town centre.
Enjoy the picture gallery:
Katoomba Landmark old Smokey in middle of town at the Carrington Hotel
Katoomba Railway with CountryLink train
Typical Mountain home converted to a restaurant
Palais Royale hotel – lots of old hotels all around Katoomba many with valley views
Lots of street art throughout Katoomba
The Clarendon one of the best live venues in the mountains
HIVE Studios computer animation company has worked on some major movies recently
Darleys at Lillianfels an award winning 5 star restaurant and hotel
Approaching Echo Point and 3 Sisters
Notice the blue haze (evaporated eucalypt oil) in the distance hence the name Blue Mountains
The original katoomba Cable car
One of the cable car pulley wheel things
The other cable car and the second part of Katoomba Falls to the left
We could easily have spent a whole week there, happily exploring trails and shops. If you are visiting Sydney, and have time to go the Blue Mountains, do it! It’s a wonderful part of this amazing country.
KATOOMBA interesting points:
■The Three Sisters rock formation at Echo Point.
■The Carrington Hotel, built in 1882, an elegant reminder of a bygone era.
■The Paragon Café, a 1930s establishment with a charming Art Deco ambience.
■The Scenic World Skyway – a 720 meter journey offering 360 degree views of the magnificent Jamison Valley.
Plus the Scenic Railway is great. Don’t miss it.
Follow Zdenko’s Corner on Facebook !