ROAD TRIP WITH FRIENDS TO THE BLUE MOUNTAINS IN AUSTRALIA
Hiking. I love hiking. There is something really special about exploring the world off the beaten track. As soon as I start hiking I literally feel a sense of calm. I feel like I can breath again. In many ways, I zen out. I've been back in Australia for one year now and it was only fitting to celebrate this little milestone by hiking around the World Heritage Blue Mountains, a gorgeous mountainous region in New South Wales, Australia. I have been to the Blue Mountains three times over the years, but never on a solo hike. Beautiful anytime of the year, I always seem to visit the Blue Mountains in Autumn and Winter. Probably because I spend my summer days by the beach. The Blue Mountains is densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour - hence the name, Blue Mountains.
How to get there The Blue Mountains is located approximately 100km from Sydney, and only 3km from Katoomba's village centre and railway station. You can easily get to the Blue Mountains via train or car; either way you'll be at the Blue Mountains in less that two hours.
When you get to the Blue Mountains region, bypass the main street of Katoomba and head towards the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters is a curious rock formation and their Aboriginal names are Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo. The observatory deck offers a spectacular view of the Three Sisters, perfect for taking photos. It can get a little hectic with all of the tourists so my best advice would be to take the track at the left of the tourist centre which takes you down to the Three Sisters. The climb is steep so make sure you have appropriate footwear, and bring your nerves with you. It's can get a little hairy for some.
There are some seriously cool hiking tracks in and around the Blue Mountains to choose from. I found one which took me down to the base of the Blue Mountains and for a moment I felt like I was the only person on earth. For the less adventurous, head over to Scenic World which is located on the corner of Violet Street and Cliff Drive in Katoomba - just a five minute drive in a car or bus from the Three Sisters.
For an adult at $35, you can enjoy all of the attractions at Scenic World including Skyway, Walkway, Cableway and Railway. My recommendation is to catch the Railway down to the bottom of the Blue Mountains then hike the three or four kilometre trek around the Walkway then catch the Cableway back up the top. If you have time then do the return trip on the Skyway. Make sure you get to Scenic World before the 19th of May as there are currently out of this world installations throughout the Skywalk.
A trip to the Blue Mountains is not complete until you have walked up and down the main street of Katoomba. Very quaint, Katoomba is your typical Australian country town. Don't expect a bustling street packed with people, but do expect some super cute vegan cafes and vintage stores. Perfect to spend your afternoon reenergising after a big hike around the Blue Mountains.