Thursday 15 May 2014

Sydney Day 5: Blue Mountains

We woke up early as usual to prepare for our roadtrip to the iconic Blue Mountains that Sydney (and by extension Australia) is famous for!

Putting cold drinks into our ice box

If you have brought along an ice box to store your breast milk for transportation back home, don't forget that you can use it to store cold drinks on your road trips as well! Kills two birds with one stone =)

We travelled about 120km (1hr 40min) via M4 & Great Western Highway to Scenic World at Katoomba (Google Maps search term: "Scenic World" or "Echo Point").

Scenic World

We parked our car (parking is FREE!) and purchased our tickets at the main building of Scenic World. The staff explained to us that there were 3 ways to travel: by railway, by cableway and by skyway. You are not allowed to bring your stroller onto the railway so please leave them at the stroller parking bay within the shop.

We decided to start our journey with the Scenic Railway, the newest attraction at Scenic World and is the steepest railway in the world!

Reading about the history of Katoomba along the way
Welcome to the Railway
You can choose you preferred sitting, i.e. Laidback or Cliffhanger, by pressing on this button 
Riding the steepest railway in the world!

My girl rode with us via cliffhanger and loved it! So unless you have a knee injury or have an extreme fear of heights, choose the cliffhanger =)

We arrived at Jamison Valley, where you can get a glimpse of the Three Sisters rock formation.

The history of coal mining at Jamison Valley

There were three routes via the Scenic Walkway, each of varying distances which may take you approximately 10 minutes, 30 minutes and 50 minutes respectively. We decided to take the middle route to the Cableway Bottom Station.

Map of the routes
(Top route = 10 minutes, middle route = 30 minutes, bottom route = 50 minutes)
My girl hates trekking in Singapore but here in cool Australia, she loves it! =)

We took a nice and leisurely walk and very soon we arrived at the Bottom Station of the Scenic Cableway.

Waiting patiently for the Cableway to arrive
The Cableway is here!

The staff onboard the Cableway was very passionate about introducing us to the history of the valley even though he must have said the same thing a million times before. He likened the historical time line to our journey on the Cableway to keep us in perspective and added doses of humour. I was pleasantly surprised at much I enjoyed such a short journey up to the main building.

We proceeded to board the Scenic Skyway to Echo Point next.

Waiting to board the Skyway
In the middle of the Skyway is a transparent floor that allows you to see the valley below! =)
An awesome view of the mountains
You can also see the Katoomba Falls from the Skyway
Arrival of the Skyway at the Eastern Station
This way to the Cliff View Lookout, Echo Point and Katoomba Park

It's a short 5 minutes walk from the Skyway Station to Echo Point. You may want to spend time trekking down to the bottom of Katoomba Falls where you can get even closer to nature. The sister and brother were really keen to walk but the rest of us weren't too keen cos we're older and had a kid with us.

Blue Mountains National Park

I didn't find out why Blue Mountains were given its name but I half suspect it's because of the extremely blue skies that framed almost every photo we took!

When you think of Australia, chances are, you'll see this in your mind
(Thanks to the Australian Tourism Commission)
Cliff View Lookout at Echo Point
(Photo on the right is a selfie taken with my Olympus, not a phone. You've got to admit I'm good *laughs*
Family photo
Taken by a kind stranger

You can see the Three Sisters from here as well and if I'm not wrong, you can also trek down to take a closer look.

We returned to the main buiding via the Skyway once we were done enjoying the view and my girl begged us to ride the railway again. And so we did =)

The railway is here!
Look at how steep the tracks are!

We rode it up and down, was really fun (cheap thrill maybe)!

After we bought some souvenirs and a very nice photo of our joyride on the railway, we proceeded to visit the Blue Mountains Chocolate Company (Google Maps search term "176 Lurline Street").

Blue Mountains Chocolate Company
Look at all the tasty chocolate

Had no idea why I brought everyone to this chocolate shop. Was it because of the words "blue mountain" and "chocolate"? Well, honestly I don't know. But in any case it was only a 5-10 minute drive from Scenic World so we went and bought quite a bit of chocolate (you know me). They were really yummy (the ones you pick individually at the counter are more expensive but tastier in my chocolate opinion)! =)

Next we made a 40 minutes drive to check out the farms along Bells Line of Road. I knew it was the end of autumn and almost the start of winter but we just had to try our luck to go apple-picking anyway 'cos we did that when we were in Brisbane and loved it. I knew the chances were slim but well, we'll still get to enjoy the amazing view along the way.

We arrived at Bilpin Fruit Bowl (Google Maps search term: "2093 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin"), a nice little farm along Bells Line of Road.

The Bilpin Fruit Bowl
Fresh apples, apple pies, apple juice and honey for sale

We were told that there were no more apples left to pick from the tree, which was expected but we were still disappointed. Had a nice tea break though.

Love the apple pie and banana cake

As it was getting late, we started our long drive back to our apartment in Woolloomooloo. Along the way we spotted Woolworths and decided to make an impromptu stop at Richmond Marketplace to do some shopping (parking was free!).


We bought a ton of groceries and had a feast later that night. By the time it was 9pm, we were all so exhausted that we fell into deep sleep and did not awake (except for me, to pump) till the next morning! True story.

Continue to >> Sydney Day 6: Bondi Beach, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life & Wild Life Sydney
<< Back to Sydney Day 4: Taronga Zoo


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