The Blue Mountains are a rugged region of Australia about 50 kilometres west of Sydney. They get their name from the blue haze created by the eucalyptus forest that covers the area. Tiny droplets of oil are released from the trees and are mixed with vapor and sunlight to produce the blue haze over the mountain.
The views from the clifftop outlooks are spectacular. The valley below you is carpeted with forest and it appears to go on forever as it continues as far as the eye can see. The only thing that interrupts the forest are the places where sheer rock protrude through the trees which adds to the beauty of the panoramic view.
The most famous rock outcropping of the mountains is known as the three sisters. The view of the three sisters is the most visited spot of the mountain and can best be seen from Echo Point. According to Aboriginal legend, three beautiful sisters were turned into stone by a powerful elder and they now watch over the land.
While the Blue Mountains are best known for three sisters (picture above) there is so much more to than just a large rock outcrop.
There are lots of trails that have nice walking paths and are easy to walk and see all of the trees and plants that are native to the area.
Some of the trails will go to the edge of cliffs with spectacular views of the valley and others go to some of the waterfalls. Waterfalls are unpredictable during the wet season they have much more water than in the dry season. The photos below are of three different waterfalls during the dry season. It was so dry that the third waterfall barely had any water. These waterfalls may look completely different during the wet season.
Looking from above, the trails are hard to see because the forest is so dense but if you look closely at the photo below there are two places that the trails can be seen. It can be seen how dense the forest really is by hiking on the trails. Some of the trails are thick brush but other trails are less overgrown with native flowers.
One of my favorite things about my time in Australia was how easy it was to see many beautiful birds and the Blue Mountains was no exception. Three of the birds that I saw when I was in the Blue Mountains are shown below.
Getting to the Blue Mountains is easy even if you don’t have a car. There is a direct train from Sydney to Katoomba. Once arriving in Katoomba, taking the Blue Mountain Explorer Bus allow you to hop on and hop off at 29 different stops.
One of the most popular stops is at Scenic World. Scenic World has three attractions that should not be missed.
1. The Scenic Skyway – The scenic skyway glides between cliff tops suspended 270 meters above the canopy for a distance 720 meters. It provides 36o degree views and has a glass floor to look down on the canopy. It provides good views of Katoomba Falls, the three sisters and the Jamison Valley.
2. The Cableway – The Scenic Cableway descends into the Jamison Valley where you can walk in the Jurassic Rainforest where you can walk along a 2.4 kilometer Scenic Walkway.
3. Scenic Railway – The Scenic Railway is the world’s steepest passenger railway at 52 degree incline. The railway descends 310 meters through a cliff side tunnel down to the Jurassic Rain forest.
Experiences like these are not easily found!