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Our Blue Mountains Getaway @ Sydney

Sydney . 2013 . May 21

This post is part of our Sydney 7 days 6 nights Trip Itinerary and Report. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

A trip to the Blue Mountains in Sydney, Australia should never end without an excursion to the famous Three Sisters.  Located at Echo Point Katoomba, the Three Sisters are the Blue Mountains’ most visited and spectacular landmark.  The Three Sisters are mere minutes away by car from our dwelling place at The Carrington Hotel, however, as we do not drive, the next option was to purchase a day pass on one of the two service providers in town – The Blue Mountains Explorer which offers double-decker buses or the Blue Mountains Trolley Tours on a mini rustic single deck bus.

We took the Blue Mountains Trolley Tours to the Jenolan Caves and therefore continued to purchase the 1 day Discovery Package from them for our exploration of the Blue Mountains.  The Discovery Package includes an all day hop on-hop off service on the trolley at 29 stops, an all day unlimited rides at Scenic World, as well as covers all rides on the Express Trolley service. 

The Hop on-Hop off Trolley and Express Trolley starts from the bus stop right outside The Carrington Hotel. The Express Trolley was especially useful for early birds like ourselves who would like to start the day with the Three Sisters at Echo Point.
Tip:  The Hop on-Hop off Trolley actually takes the long loop to Echo Point and Scenic World, so you might want to take the Express Bus which goes directly to Echo Point.

Three Sisters at Echo Point, Blue Mountains

From the trolley bus stop at Echo Point, follow the pathway down to the viewing area and be amazed by the Jamison Valley that opens up before you.

Trolley Bus Stop area at Echo Point.

Echo Point is where you will get to see the best views of the famous Three Sisters rock formation.  Named Meehni (922 m), Wimlah (918 m), and Gunnedoo (906 m), the majestic Three Sisters overlook the Jamison Valley.

Other than the Three Sisters at Echo Point, you might want to keep a lookout for Mount Solitary, Mount Colong and the Ruined Castle (really just a pile of rocks).

Tip:  Echo Point is one of the most popular stops for tourists.  The only way to beat the crowd is to be there early.  Another option is to stay to watch the sunset over the Three Sisters – one of the most recommended to-do at the Blue Mountains. 

Queen Elizabeth Lookout

If you have time, walk down to the lower Queen Elizabeth Lookout, so named because Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II viewed the Jamison Valley from this lookout during her visit in 1954.  If there’s no one else around, try leaning over the railing a give a loud call towards the Three Sisters – you may just get your echo back, exactly why it is named as such.

While at Echo Point, you might want to check out the Kedumba View lookout.  It is an easy 10 mins walk one way from Echo Point and gives a fantastic view of the vertical cliffs of the Blue Mountains and Mount Solitary.

Besides its amazing scenery, Echo Point is also the starting or finishing point of a few highly recommended bushwalks.
  • The Prince Henry Cliff Walk to Scenic World (2 kilometres, 1 hour)
  • The Giant Stairway, National Pass and Scenic Railway  (3 km, 998 steps, 2 hours).  This trail actually brings you down to the valley floor, to the base of Katoomba Falls and the Scenic Railway.  Those who do not wish to climb back to the top can take the Scenic Railway or Cableway back to the plateau. 
  • Honeymoon Lookout to Echo Point via the Three Sisters (1 km, 40 minutes)

Cliff View Lookout

It will take at least one whole day to finish all these bushwalks, and unfortunately, we did not have the benefit of time on our side.  We did embark on part of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, until the Cliff View Lookout point.

 The magnificent Mount Solitary lies just ahead of the Cliff View Lookout, with the ruined castle on the right.

Across the Jamison valley, the Scenic Railway and Scenic Skyway bring tourists to the valley floor and across the valley.  There are several places along the Cliff View lookout where you will can get a great picture of the journey of the Skyway coming across the valley and also look at some of the attractions at the other side of the valley.

As its name implies, the Cliff View Lookout consists of some narrow walks along the edge of the cliff.  A little perilous, I would say, although the path is well-fenced.  But the scenery that opens up are priceless.

After 20 minutes of walking, we reached the Scenic Skyway East Station, which would bring us across the Jamison valley to the West Station.   We took a short detour from the Skyway East Station to visit Katoomba Cascades.
Tip: There are bus stops for both bus operators at the Skyway East Station to bring you to Scenic World should you decide not to take the Skyway.

Katoomba Cascades

This is one of the easiest walks, and highly recommended if you are near the Skyway East Station.   A perfect and cooling place for a picnic, far away from the tourist crowd!

Gordon Falls

The Gordon Falls is a short few minutes’ walk from one of the Blue Mountains Trolley Bus stop.  From Gordon Falls, we opted to do a one-hour bush walk to Leura Cascades, and hop back on the trolley at a distance 3 stops later.

At the Gordon Falls Lookout, expect to see magnificent views of the Jamison Valley.  The Gordon Falls is visible at the lookout, but only if you look closely.  It is a fantastic place for a picnic, for it is very much away from the throngs of tourists at Scenic World.

Bridal Veil Falls

Enroute from the Gordon Falls to Leura Cascades, we passed by the Bridal Veil Falls.  The Bridal Veil Falls sits in its own little valley, and though its valley is not as magnificent as the one at Gordon Falls, the views of the Bridal Veil Falls is enough to capture our attention.

Leura Cascades

It was a tough one hour hike from Gordon Falls to the Leura Cascades, and there were not many signages along the way to point us in the right direction.   But we got there in one piece eventually.  It’s not a feat that we would want to repeat again, as it’s just too much work to go to a crowded place to see a small stream, albeit a pretty one.  It’s quite similar to the Katoomba Cascades, but that one has a much easier and more accessible walk.

There was a rather unpleasant encounter with the Blue Mountains Trolley Tours as they did not pick us up at the designated stop at Leura Cascades causing us to panic as it was the second last bus ploughing the roads of the Blue Mountains.  We did entertain thoughts that we might have to spend the night in the cold wilderness of the Blue Mountains.  Overall, it was not an experience that we want to repeat again and we could only conclude that bush-walking should only be done when there is plenty of time on your hands and when you are not rushing for the last bus to pick you up.  Nevertheless, we did have a good time bush-walking in the Blue Mountains.

Special Deal for Blue Mountains Explorer Bus Pass by KKday, Our Travel Partner

We are pleased to share with you a travel deal from our Travel Partner KKday on the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus Pass which gives you unlimited Access to 29 Attractions! :)

Click on the link below for more information!

Join us in our next post as we experience the exhilaration of travelling across the Jamison Valley at Scenic World.

This post is part of our Sydney 7 days 6 nights Trip Itinerary and Report. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

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1 comment:

  1. Australia, has one of the most beautiful scenery I've seen..


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