Sydney Holiday : Blue Mountains

After spending a few days in Sydney, we left the sprawling cosmopolitan area on a grey cloudy day to head to Blue Mountains.  Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this mountainous region is only about 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney.

Blue Mountains National Park is huge with many towns nestled around it.  Amongst the bigger and more well-known towns are Glenbrook, Leura and Katoomba.  We stopped by Wentworth Falls Lake to stretch our legs walking along the lake.  The lake together with the park is a popular picnic spot for locals and tourists.

Wild ducks at Wentworth Falls Lake

The weather remained gloomy as we left Wentworth Falls Lake and continued our drive to Katoomba.  Heavy fog and drizzling rain greeted us in Katoomba.  So we abandoned our plan and only checked out some of the shops in town.  We also stopped briefly at Echo Point Lookout for a glimpse of one of the Blue Mountains’ best known attractions, the Three Sisters.

Arrived to a foggy Katoomba

Three Sisters shrouded in fog

Luckily the skies cleared the next day :).  We started our exploration with a trek to Katoomba Falls.  For outdoor lovers and hikers, there are plenty of bushwalks and excellent hiking trails to explore.  They range from easy strolls to longer walks with different level of difficulty for beginners all the way to experienced hikers.

Clear view of the valley and rock formations from the lookout

Scenic Skyway with Three Sisters in the background

View of Katoomba Falls from the lookout

We then made our way back to Echo Point Lookout for another look at the Three Sisters rock formation.  Thanks to good weather, we had a clear view of the magnificent rock formation formed as a result of wind, rain and rivers erosion over time.

Clear view of the famous Three Sisters from Echo Point Lookout

According to Aboriginal legend, the rock formation is actually three sisters, Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo that were turned into stone by a witchdoctor to protect them from harm.  Unfortunately the witchdoctor was killed in a tribal war and no one knew how to reverse the spell!

A closer look at the famed sandstone rock formation

Amazing view of the rock formations and Jamiesons Valley

After enjoying the amazing views of Three Sisters and Jamiesons Valley, we continued our hike to Giant Stairway.  This is definitely a challenging trek with more than 900 steep steps that descend more than 300 metres to the floor of the mighty Jamiesons Valley.

Blue Mountains offers plenty of walking trails to hikers

Blue Mountains water skink greeting hikers on the trail

Some of these steps are pinned to the rock, some carved right out of the cliff itself.  Most of the stairways are secured with fences and handrails. Though challenging, the trail provides a breathtaking view of the mountains and the valley below.

The Giant Stairway also gets one up close and personal to the amazing Three Sisters sandstone rock formation.  By crossing the Honeymoon Bridge, one actually is standing on the first of the Three Sisters!

Part of the steep Giant Stairway

The Honeymoon Bridge to the first Three Sisters

View of one of the Three Sisters rock formation from the Giant Stairway

We made our way back to Echo Point after crossing the bridge.  We stopped by Leura before leaving Blue Mountains.  With its fabulous dining options and hip cafes, this beautiful town is fast gaining a reputation as a five-star food destination.

A colourful mural welcoming visitors to Leura

Leura Mall, the main street of Leura

The town’s cute main street is aptly named Leura Mall.  It is a treasure trove of fine cafes, quaint galleries and antique shops.  After a hearty lunch and some retail therapy, we bid farewell to continue our way to our next destination, Kiama.

Well kept old buildings turned into cafes and shops on Leura Mall

One of the many cafes in Leura

Any takers to operate the post office ;)?

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