Early July 2018: The Blue Mountains

So, I was obviously unsuccessful at finishing my blog before the end of 2018, but here’s to having a productive 2019 and especially a productive January 1st 2019 morning. After this post, I think I have 4 or 5 more to go: mid-July 2018, the end of July 2018, and 2 or 3 about New Zealand – August 2018 (which was jammed packed with adventure).

So here we go! Exactly six months earlier, July 1, 2018, I had been celebrating Canada Day in Melbourne on the South Wharf. This was the first time I hung out with so many Canadians in Australia at one time. The Canada day celebrations were full of fun and there were lots of little reminders of home.

A few days later, I hopped on a plane and made my way to the Blue Mountains via Sydney. During my Sydney stopover, I stayed at the Sydney YHA Central Station hostel. I wanted to stay here because I really wanted to sleep in a converted rail car. The rail car is on the tracks of Sydney’s actual central station, so there were a ton of bright lights and a lot of noise. While I didn’t exactly sleep well, it was totally worth the experience.

The next morning, I hopped on a second train car (this time a moving car) and made my way to the Blue Mountains! I arrived in Katoomba/Leura, two towns around the Blue Mountains. They are very cute but unfortunately I did not have time to explore the towns, because as soon as the train arrived, I dropped off my bag and headed to the walking trails.

There are a ton of stunning hikes and views in the Blue Mountains and I wish I had way more time to explore. The trails along the cliffside are fairly well marked. My first adventure, started at the Katoomba Falls Round Walk. While Katoomba Falls are not the most spectacular falls I’ve seen, it is a good place to start as you can walk to Echo Point and the Famous Three Sisters. Along the way you get a great view of the valley.

The Three Sisters rock formation is spectacular to see and according to Aboriginal legends the Three Sisters were turned to stone.

 

  

Continuing along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, it is a short walk to Honeymoon Bridge lookout. There are some steep steps down to Honeymoon Bridge but the view at the end is worth it! Around Honeymoon Bridge there are also A LOT of stairs on a track that leads to the valley floor. While I started descending, given the late hour of the day, my lack of light, and the fact that I was by myself, I thought it best to turn around and make it back to the Cliff Walk and my hostel via Leura Cascades.

   

The next morning, myself and a new found friend decided to go to the Grand Canyon Walking Track. The path into the Grand Canyon is well marked and is not steep. The walk is really a slow descent to the valley floor. It took us about 2 hours and 20 minutes at a leisurely pace, enjoying the scenery and taking lots of photos. Make sure to bring snacks and water though – as (for obvious reasons) there is nowhere to stop along the way.

The climb up and out of the valley to Evans Lookout is not fun but is the only way out of the valley and  totally worth it.

We then proceeded along the Cliff Top Walking Track between Evans Lookout and Govett’s Leap. We were a bit unlucky with the weather as the day started to cloud over with a light rain but given that we had fantastic weather during the entire Grand Canyon Walk  – I can’t complain and the cloudy weather provides a different perspective of the Blue Mountains.

The next morning, I went to the Wentworth Falls track. Wentworth Falls is a large waterfall in the Blue Mountains. The track is a windy and makes you feel like an explorer as you walk along the cliffside and right over the top of the Falls.

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I then decided to head down to the base of the Falls (which of course involved many many stairs). The view from the bottom is not as good as the view from the top but the views – along the way – are great.

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I ended my day at Wentworth Falls by taking the Charles Darwin walk from Wentworth Falls to the Wentworth Falls Village. The track is very easy and beautiful, following the Jamison Creek.

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