31/12 – 1/1 Blue Mountains, NSW

This was my second trip to the Blue Mountains.  I never plan enough time here.  I always think, just a few more days in the Blue Mountains and I’ve seen it all, but nope.   The most memorable image, I’ve had in Australia, was my first time in the Blue Mountains.  We were driving up  to the Mountains through a bit of fog, and as we came to a clearing a mob of kangaroo hopped out of the fog across a field.  It was the first time I had seen wild kangaroo.  I had no idea how common they were or that they hung out in groups.  It was the most beautiful image I’d ever seen.

The Blue Mountains has been on the World Heritage List since 2000.  The range itself is approximately 60 miles (96 kilometers).  The name describes a unique phenomenon  that occurs in the atmosphere.  Eucalyptus trees in the Blue Mountains are densely populated and oil bearing.  The atmosphere in the Blue Mountains fills with finely dispersed droplets of the eucalyptus oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour creates a mist which refracts light.  This creates a  haze that looks blue at a distance.  Thus what you see when you look across the mountains is a blue color = Blue Mountains.

I stayed at the Three Sisters Motel on New Years Eve.  This allowed me to get up bright and early to see the sun rise over the famous Three Sisters peaks, which was just across the street.  2019 greeted me with a light  fog, stunning colors and only a small crowd of people.  I headed down the Giant Stiarway (better to go down than up, considering there are 998 steps).  Once I got to the bottom of the steps I turned right on to the Federal Pass walking track, which wound around the base of the Three Sisters.  It was mostly a flat trek in the shade, with ferns and massive trees.  After about 30 minutes I arrived at the bridge over Kedumba Creek, and a lovely view of Katoomba Falls.  A short walk further and I was at the base of the scenic railway.

Instead of taking the railway back up, I decided to follow the elevated walkway to Dinosaur Valley. Intended for the enjoyment of the younger crowd, I quite love this.  Triceratops eggs, a T-Rex, and other surprises around every corner, leading to the Cableway.  The Cableway, which is the steepest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere, takes you 545 meters out of the canyon and up to the Scenic World Gift shop as well as the skyway.  The Skyway, is suspended 270 metres above ancient ravin and takes you full loop back to Three Sisters.   Overall a very enjoyable way to spend the better portion of a day.

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