Mother nature must really love Sydney. Not only are we blessed with a spectacular coastline and 100’s of beaches, but a 90-minute drive west and we find ourselves amidst the sprawling Blue Mountains.
That’s right, blue. The mountains’ distinct coloring arises from the evaporation of the oil in the dense forest of eucalyptus trees, leaving a blue hazy mist hanging eerily over the valley. This disperses light in the blue colors of the spectrum, a phenomenon known as Rayleigh Scattering which also gives us our blue skies! If you are curious to experience what lies beyond the massive metropolis of Sydney, the Blue Mountains make for the perfect quick weekend road trip.Depending on your style and knack for adventure, you can take a leisurely walk through the bush, hike the cliffs for miles (kms), or take a cable car over the the world’s steepest railway. Remember to stop and say hello to the Three Sisters!I give you permission to go ahead and play tourist for a day- I did!Did you know? A region with more than its fair share of natural beauty, the Blue Mountains was an obvious choice for Unesco World Heritage status. In a landscape of deep valleys, lush vegetation, and fascinating sentiments from Aboriginal culture, it is the largest protected piece of bushland in Australia.Did you know? These glorious beasts aren’t truly mountains at all! This rippling sea of hills were long ago the bed of a sea. Gradually the sedimentary rock was uplifted until it formed a high plateau, which eroded by wind and water into the wonderland of cliffs, caves, and canyons that exists today.The richly forested hills, deep river valleys, vast sandstone chasms, and little towns of timber and stone are perfect examples of the diversity that is Australia.An ideal path to take for a first timer is Echo Point at Katoomba, along the cliffs to Leura, down into the valley and back in the direction of where you started. Along the way you pass through the eucalyptus forests, fern gullies, waterfalls, and natural caves. The temperature drops as you climb down the stairs and the plants and wildlife change too. Don’t forget to bring a sweater, it can get chilly especially in the winter.The Three Sisters (pictured below) and Jamison Valley can be seen from the Echo Point Lookout.Hike along a bit and you will find hidden waterfalls… sure to delight at every twist and turn.
Quite stunning, aye?
If you have a few days to spend in Sydney and keen for adventure I urge you to venture outside of the city and take a day trip to the Blue Mountains. The natural beauty will amaze!