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Blue Mountains, New South Wales
To 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 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
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.
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
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.
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.
One 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.
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.
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
|Click book to purchase|
|Australia (Eyewitness Travel Guides)|
ASIN or ISBN-10: 0756615690
|Lonely Planet Sydney & New South Wales (Regional Guide)|
author: Justine Vaisutis,Lindsay Brown,Jocelyn Harewood,Wendy Kramer,Charles Rawlings-Way,Penny Watson
ASIN or ISBN-10: 174104541X