The Blue Mountains. They are the easy escape from Sydney (not that I would ever want to escape this glorious city of course) sitting closely inland just a couple of hours commute away. The mountains have long been on my agenda, for the past 4 years to be precise but had somehow constantly escaped my time (the brunch lurings in Sydney/too much weekend drinking the likely suspects).
You come here for the Three Sisters, the postcard portrayal encapsulating this sprawling region into a single snapshot. They are nice. Although somewhat overwhelming on a sunny Sunday when the tourists are out in force. The Three Sisters are easy- potentially that’s all part of the charm for some. Just a stones throw from the township of Katoomba you need to walk no more than 100m from carpark to viewing platform to see the beauty of these ladies. The giant stone peaks jutting out into the valley that indeed lives up to the name of ‘The Blue Mountains’, as eucalyptus dense bush stretches out before the eye creating the colour illusion.
Katoomba itself is a wonderful town. It’s a welcome change to the pace of Sydney as the sleepy streets take longer to rise and the locals appear to have no reason to rush. The streets are artists shop fronts and an endless amount of cafes, each with their own vibe and bloody decent country produce on offer. You could spend a day just wandering the streets and indulging in brunch and lunch and afternoon tea.
Or, you could walk. I recommend that. From the Three Sisters you can take a track leading down the giant stairway, past Katoomba Falls down and onto Scenic World. You walk along the cusp of the cliff face with sweeping view into the valley below, hidden beneath the canopy of trees and thankfully, with less people around. The nature here feels untouched and prehistoric, and the cool, damp and clean air filling your lungs. We can all be thankful for the Scenic Railway to catapult us back up to mountainside to avoid the almost 1000 steps up the way we came (although if you are looking to shape up your legs this is a great, and very painful, opportunity.)
If you’re after a more mild walk, heading north along the track to Leura is the perfect 3 hour option. The track teeters along the valley ledge with lookout after lookout that they almost become dull (almost, the scenery here is too overwhelmingly fantastic for that to truely eventuate). The Leura Cascades form the end of the hike before leading into the township itself. Smaller and more upmarket than Katoomba this picturesque town hides beautiful vintage stores and stunning providores.
There are endless places to explore within the Blue Mountains, and great sources tell me that Wentworth Falls are well worth my next visit…