Australia: Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is the Australian version of the Grand Canyon. Located about 1.5 hours out of Sydney, it is nestled among some plateaus and pristine rainforests. We had booked our tour through Grayline.com, a great website for tours around the world. All you have to do is name the country you are visiting and they will list you the tours available through their company. This was a 10.5 hour tour which included Hotel pick up, ride up to the mountains, cable passes, wildlife park, a river cruise and of course the tour itself.

The first stop we made on our red double decker bus 🚌 was at a small town up in the mountains, it reminded me of the Old West but with cute boutiques and furniture stores. On the way back to the 🚌 we noticed a skin care boutique which was all white with subtle hints of green and this calming spa scent that lured us in. I ended up purchasing the oil burner melts that was being used in the store to take back with me and I am currently burning one while I type this post.

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We reached the scenic mountains and patiently waited for our cable cart 🚠, with a glass floor the cable cart took us to the other side to be closer to where the 3 Sisters would be. If you don’t know the 3 Sisters, they are an unusual rock formation in the Blue mountains and one of Australia’s most famous natural landmarks. Pictures don’t justice to how beautiful our views were, just standing there and being surrounded by nature, rocks and waterfalls. I simply can not describe the feeling…

DSC01503DSC01522(Taken while being on the world’s steepest train)

DSC01538(Feeling brave here…)

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We rode down the steepest train 🚄 in the world to get to the forest floor, when I say steep I actually mean STEEP 👀. Here are some facts:

  • Length of incline: 415 metres (1360 ft).
  • Vertical descent: 178 metres (587 ft).
  • Speed: 4 metres per second

 This train 🚄 had me lifted from my seat and almost falling forward (but of course its been made in a way where that shouldn’t happen), we were warned from before how steep this train is and we were given the other option of taking the second cable down to the forest. But we opted for the train ride actually not knowing what we were getting ourselves in to. Did I mention this train takes you back up, even more terrifying.

There were quite a few hiking paths that will take you to the main waterfalls, a ruined castle and other areas around the park however as we were under strict time we hiked through the rainforest to get to our third ride 🚠 and take us back up to the mountains for lunch. Just as we sat down for our lunch we realized the time, we only had 5 minutes left to make it to our bus 🚌  before it left for the next stop. A 15 minute drive and we reached Echo Point and this is where we were given a chance to take some beautiful shots of the 3 sisters and the landscape around it. Some tourists had a booked to watch a show at the Echo point but we had opted to take in the views and take a side hike towards a waterfall which we discovered a bit too late. There was a pathway (go at your own risk) which led to a waterfall and it was a 20 minute walk from where we were standing, we decided to do this but then realized half way thats its not as easy as it looks and we wanted to make it back in time for the 🚌.

Back on the 🚌…

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Our next stop 🚌 was the Wildlife Park, not knowing what to expect, this was one of the best wildlife parks I have actually been to. The animals were roaming free, especially the Wallabies (younger cousins of the Kangaroo clan), Kangaroos and birds. There were quite a few Koala 🐨 dens around the park and also a supervised area to touch and take a picture with one 🐨. After an hour being in the park we were ready to hop on to the bus 🚌 which would then take us to our final stop, the river cruise.

Our evening ended with a cruise down the Parramatta river, looking at the beautiful homes on the harbour and there perfectly parked boats and yachts to the most spectacular view of the tall buildings of Sydney with their lights glistening in the water.

Mansur x

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