Australia: A weekend in the Blue Mountains

For anyone hoping to start exploring the Blue
Mountains, a good place to start is in the town of Katoomba. There being good
train connections to Sydney, many different hostels to choose from and one of
the more famous sites in the Mountains- The Three Sisiters.

 I started off my Friday visiting this site,
the town and walking to Katoomba Falls. After dramatically staring a various
rock formations and bits of falling water for the day, I retreated back to my hostel.
The Blue Mountains Backpacker Hostel was large, located near to the train
station and equipped with a kitchen, fire, pool table and of course the all
important free Wi-Fi!  ‘Twas here I
rested on Friday night with plans to head out early the next morning to visit
the very striking and extremely beautiful Wentworth Falls.

There are many walks to choose from in this
area ranging from those meant for people so fat and lazy they can barely walk
10 meters for their car, to those for people experienced in the mountains,
needless to say I was more than able to spend a day entertaining myself here.
I started off following the Darwin Walk
from the village of Wentworth Falls to the falls themselves. It took about half
an hour and when I arrive I was gifted to some views of the beautiful
surrounding countryside complete with terrifyingly high cliffs, captivating
cascades and an amazing temperate rainforest (photos to follow). If you follow
the paths all the way to the bottom of the cliffs you will be greeted by the
massive waterfalls plunge pool. This is an ideal place to stop for lunch and a
great place to swim, temperature permitting. From here one can follow either
the Wentworth or the National Pass, taking you through the rainforest and along
the cliffs respectively.
Following the National Pass is a definite
must as it takes you along the middle of the cliffs via a man made path, it has
been one of the most travelled walks in the mountains for a century. 
After whiling away my days wandering all
the possible paths in this area I returned to Katoomba and my hostel. After
watching the Wallabies beat the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup match I
retired to bed with the next day promising more excitement.

On Sunday I chose to visit Scenic World,
one of the few attractions within walking distance of Katoomba. Consisting of
cable car rides around the mountains and boasting the ‘Worlds steepest railway’
at an angle of 54˚. An entertaining day, good for the more casual walker as
they have boardwalks through the rainforest and lots of information about the
mining industry within the mountains. For experienced walkers this can be a bit
boring, so following the walk from scenic world to the three sisters and the
giants stairway is a good way to brighten up the day.
After a more casual Sunday I return to
Sydney by train (about 2 hrs). One noticeable difference in walking here
compared to in the UK is all of the villages are built on the tops of the
mountains (which are very flat-peaked), and most walks go down into the
valleys. I would definitely recommend the Blue Mountains to anyone who visits Australia.
Even for those who’re not fans of walking, as there are many other activities
on offer (climbing, caving and canyoning to name a few).  10/10 would visit again.



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