Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Blue MountainsBlue MountainsTo the west of Sydney the foot of the Blue Mountains is less than an hour from Sydney either by train or car. The Blue Mountains are so named because, from Sydney, they look blue. They are clad in vast forests of eucalyptus (commonly called gum trees), which in the hot sun discharge a fine mist of eucalyptus oil from their leaves. The refracts light, which makes the haze look blue at a distance. That same oil makes the Australian bush as volatile as a pine forest in a bush (forest) fire. The vapor explodes, causing the fire to race through the canopy. The Blue Mountains covers an area of around 1436 square kilometres. The Blue Mountains is surrounded by several areas which also provide a vast array of tourist attractions and places of interest. Surrounding areas include Penrith, Richmond, Lithgow and Oberon. Several days are required to experience the whole region!

How to get here

The close proximity of the Blue Mountains to Sydney makes it an ideal getaway for a day trip, however, many days are required to truly experience the magic of the Blue Mountains.

Travelling by car

The most popular means of transport to the Blue Mountains is by car. The entrance to the Blue Mountains at Glenbrook/Lapstone is only around 50 minutes drive from Sydney. From the city, follow the signs to Parramatta. The M4 Motorway starts at Strathfield and takes you through to Lapstone in the Blue Mountains.(A toll applies at the Sydney end of the M4).

Travelling by train

Possibly the most relaxing way to travel to the Blue Mountains is by Rail. City Rail offer an extremely efficient service to the Blue Mountains. If you are flying into Sydney, a new rail link opened in 2001 taking passengers directly from Sydney Airport to Central Railway Station. There are also many shuttle buses available to transport you to Central Railway Station. From Central you can Board an air-conditioned double decker Mountains train. The fast journey to the Mountains will most likely stop at Strathfield, Parramatta, Penrith, Emu Plains, and then all stations up the Blue Mountains.Most trains go through to Mount Victoria. Some even go as far as Lithgow. Trains generally run every hour and even more frequently during peak commuter times. Taxis are readily available from Blaxland, Springwood, Leura and Katoomba Railway Stations.

The Climate

The climate of the Blue Mountains is somewhat more temperate than the lower Sydney region. There is generally a 2°C drop in temperature every 300 metres increase in altitude. Therefore with Mount Victoria being over 1000 metres above Sea Level, you would expect the temperature to be around 7°C lower than Sydney. Of an evening, thick coverings of ice can form on car windscreens. The crisp cool air of winter makes the Blue Mountains an ideal location for Yulefest. Cozy log fires can be found in many fine establishments.

During the winter months (June, July August), the average temperature in the Upper Mountains is around 5°C while in Summer (December, January February), the average temperature is around 18°C. Even though it is really cold in the Winter, we find this a better time to experience the mountains. I just love the mountains in the Winter. We get to see the Snow which is not seen a lot here in Australia.

The Blue Mountains generally has a reputation for snow in winter, however, despite the cool temperatures there are only around 5 snow days per year in the upper mountains. It is extremely rare to see snow below Lawson. It is not unusual to see white blankets of frost covering the ground in the early morning hours.

Things to see and do

Nowhere else in the world can you experience this thrill.The Cable WayThe Cable Way

Take a ride on Skyway, a 720 meter journey 270m above ancient ravines and dazzling waterfalls. Be suspended over Jurassic rainforests as you glide smoothly across the sky. This ride boasts a world first, state of the art Electro-Sceni Glass Floor.At the flip of a switch breath taking views are revealed through the cabin floor directly below. The 360 degree birds eye view takes in the three sisters, katoomba falls, solitary and the never ending expanse of the jamison valley.

The Scenic Cableway

The steepest aerial cable car in Australia!

Takes you on a 545 metre ride into (or out of) the World Heritage Listed rainforest of the Jamison valley.Once at the bottom experience the 300m Scenic Walkway on your way to the base of the Scenic Railway. The Scenic Cableway can carry up to 84 passengers and is Completely wheelchair accessible.

Scenic Railway

we travel to Scenic World which is the home of the cable car rides, together with the scenic railway. This is the steepest railway in the world. There are 3 rides to choose from. There is the Skyway which crosses the Katoomba Falls, and the Flyway which goes from the top of the cliff down to the
Jamieson Valley near the old coal mine. Each ride costs $8 per person one way. Family tickets available.

Ride the steepest incline Railway in the world down to a lush and hidden valley The 415m descent will lead you through a cliff side tunnel into ancient rainforest. From here you are free to explore the Scenic Walkway which will guide you through the forest to the Scenic Cableway platform. The Scenic Railway can carry up to 84 passengers and operates every 10 minutes.

The Scenic Walkway

Discover over 2 kilometres of boardwalk through the ancient rainforest including 380 metres of wheel chair accessible boardwalk. Take the time to look around and find some fascinating facts about the local flora and history of the valley. Along the way you will also find the Marrangaroo Spring where you can have a refreshing drink of pure Blue Mountains water. Take a break in the Rainforest Room deep within the valley, boasting bench seating for up to 110 people.

Coal Mine Exhibition

Located just a few minutes along the Scenic Walkway See the 10 minute audio visual display located in the coal mine entrance See the life size bronze sculptures of a mine worker and his pit pony and a display of the tools used by the miners.

Katoomba

One of our favourite towns in the Blue Mountains and A must to visit is Katoomba which is in the heart of the Blue Mountains national park.
The blue mountains are called the blue mountains because the eucalyptus oil given off by the trees gives the air a bluish tinge.The place is absolutely beautiful and a photographers dream. Katoomba itself is a nice little town full off cafes and book shops, not at all spoiled by tourism.

The Three SistersThe Three SistersOne of the main things to see are the Three Sisters that are towers of rock that are apparently older than the grand canyon in the states.
You can take a near-vertical train ride or a more leisurely cable car down to the forest floor and walk through the trees from the safety of a walkway.
THE THREE SISTERS One of the highlights of our tour! View The Three Sisters from Echo Point. Hear the old aboriginal folk story of their creation and the legend of The Three Sisters from the dream time.

Jenolan Caves-Blue Mountains

Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy a spectacular weekend of history at Jenolan Caves. As the oldest cave system at 340 million years old, the Jenolan Caves are also a place with a rich history Jenolan Caves is within easy reach of the Mountains making it ideal for a day trip. We never miss out on going to the Caves every trip no matter how many times we have seen them before.

Jenolan Caves are without question, Australia's most impressive limestone caves. The caves were discovered in 1838 by a convict bushranger. There are nine show caves open to the public with spectacular lighting, underground rivers and cave formations that will amaze you.Janolan CavesJanolan Caves

Tour guides take you through the caves. Some caves are tougher than others. Jenolan Caves also offer adventure tours, picnic facilities and bush walking tracks.

The drive to Jenolan Caves is also a pleasant experience. The natural welcoming of the Grand Arch is unforgettable.The acoustics of the Archway make carols by candlelight at Christmas a truly magical event! Historic Jenolan Caves House in itself is a treat to experience. On cold winter days, relax by a log fire with a hot chocolate while waiting for your cave tour to begin. If you wish to stay in Caves House, advanced bookings are essential. We love staying at the Caves House it is beautiful.

Nestled in a secluded valley, Caves House is one of only a few tourism retreats located within a World Heritage area. Heritage-listed Caves House is an imposing Tudor-style building. Built in 1896, it is one of few remaining guesthouses of the Victorian era. Stay in the grand historic guesthouse, modern rooms, budget or self-contained options. Dine at the baronial restaurant, Chisolms. Trails Bistro offers al fresco dining throughout the day. Stroll to Jenolan Caves.

Dining at Jenolan

Jenolan has two licensed restaurants: Trails Bistro is open from breakfast onwards and closes early evening. Trails serves a range of light meals including sandwiches, salads and hot food. Chisolm's Restaurant is open each morning for breakfast and each evening for dinner from 6.00pm.

Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens

If you enjoy photography this is a must to visit:
Situated at an altitude of over 1000 metres in the northern Blue Mountains of New South Wales, the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden was established as the cool-climate garden of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

The Mount Tomah garden is one of the few botanic gardens where plants have been grouped according to their geographical origin. This allows the visitor to see both the similarities and differences between the plants of each region, and thus to learn something of the evolution of the floras of the different continents.

A walk round this 28 hectare garden takes you past the rhododendrons of the Himalayas and western China, the southern beeches of Australia, New Zealand and Chile, the giant lobelias of Mount Kenya, the proteas of South Africa, and the conifers of Europe and North America, to name but a few. As well there is also an impressive collection of cool-climate garden plants. These have been arranged in traditional fashion, as in the Formal Garden and Residence Garden. All of this has been established on an impressive site with panoramic views over the mountains to the north, making it an ideal place to learn about and enjoy the beauty of plants from the principal montane regions of the world.

Bushwalks in the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains features some of the World's most spectacular bushwalks...But they can also be hazardous:
Here is out Check List we follow when ever we take a Bushwalk in the Mountains:


• KEEP WELL BACK FROM CLIFF EDGES.
• Do not climb safety fences.
• Supervise Children Carefully.
• Always carry water for drinking.
• For longer walks warm, waterproof clothing is advised. Weather changes can be
dramatic and swift in the mountains
• Know your route - and advise friends where you are going and what time to expect you back
• Wear sensible walking shoes (boots are not essential)
• Carry a bag for rubbish and encourage others to do likewise
• Wear a hat and protect skin from sun
• Keep to the tracks

We love to visit the Blue Mountains. Every visit we take a Different Guided Bush Walk as there are so many you
can explore;

Princes Rock Walk

1 km, 30 minutes, easy

This track takes you to Princes Rock, one of the best lookouts in the Blue Mountains. The lookout, with its distinctive parapet style, was built in the 1890s. It gives you views over Wentworth Falls and Kings Tableland to the left, and Mount Solitary to the right. The track starts from the Wentworth Falls picnic area – you'll see a signpost 200 m along the exit road. Don't forget to look out for the old drinking fountains along the way (but don't drink from them!).

Weeping Rock-Fletchers Lookout Track

1 km, 1 hour, medium difficulty

Weeping Rock is a popular spot with photographers. It's a broad waterfall over a rock ledge in Jamison Creek – look out for the remains of a low concrete wall which used to control the flow of water. The walk starts from the lookout at the end of Sir Henry Burrell Drive. Follow the signs to Weeping Rock, and look out for the plaque dedicated to Charles Darwin (who visited the area in 1836). Go down a set of steps beside Weeping Rock and follow the track to junction, turn right and then left to Fletchers Lookout. Return to the Fletchers Lookout take the middle path (heading north-east), and turn left after about 100 m to return to the Falls picnic area.

Caves HouseCaves HouseThere is so many nice places to stay at the Blue Mountains and surrounding towns. All to suit a number of budgets. As I said before, we love to stay at the Cave House It is a reasonably priced. This site is a great one with different styles of accommodation depending on your needs and price range: Accomodations

 Such a wonderful

Such a wonderful scenery. Everything in the canyon is almost perfect.

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