A great thing about Sydney is that within just a few hours you can be immersed in beautiful rainforest, surrounded by rushing waterfalls and towering palms, listening to the cockatoos and lyre birds sing. That’s because the city is just 100 kilometres from the world heritage-listed Blue Mountains.
The Blue Mountains are a perfect introduction into Australia’s natural beauty and are also incredibly accessible. You can take an organised tour, drive there yourself, or do what we did and go by public transport. From Sydney’s Central station, we took a train to Katoomba and hopped on a Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, which takes you to all of the main lookout points around the clifftops.
Wanting to get a sense of the ‘great outdoors’ during our visit, we got off the bus at Katoomba Falls, where we took a bush walk to the valley floor…
We eventually found ourselves at ‘Scenic World’, where you can take a ride on several cable cars that will take you to towering heights for the best possible vantage points of the area.
Unfortunately, we found these quite expensive so we couldn’t try out more than one – after deliberation we decided to have a go on the Scenic Railway, which just happens to be the steepest incline passenger railway in the world!
Hopping back on the next bus, we took a ride around the Cliff Tops and Valleys Tour to see the Jamison and Megalong Valleys before getting off at Honeymoon lookout for a cliff walk to Echo Point – the best view point for the famous Three Sisters rock formation.
Our last stop for the day was at Leura Cascades, where we set ourselves the challenge of trekking for an hour along the cliff walk to Gordon Falls in time to catch the last bus. The bus driver warned us that we may not make it, but we tightened our laces and got walking…
The views were incredible, although Gordon Falls itself was a bit lack-lustre (apparently this waterfall is best viewed after a downpour) and we made it to the bus stop with at least 10 minutes to spare.
We would have loved to spend more time in the Blue Mountains because it really was beautiful and a welcome change of pace from our city-hopping. On our train journey home, we agreed that it was certainly the perfect day-trip escape from Sydney.