When we started settling in Sydney, the weekends started getting routine. After all, it was just two of us and there wasn’t a pile of work that was left to get completed in the weekend. Having our own record of travelling wherever possible, we wanted to do the same to beat the boredom during weekends. The best possible day trip, and also one to cross off the bucket list, was Blue Mountains. (We couldn’t be residents in Sydney who haven’t been to Blue Mountains).
On the day which was called the hottest day of winter this year, with 27 degrees to help us enjoy, we set out to explore the biggest attraction of New South Wales. It was about an hour and a half drive from Parramatta (where we live). We were deciding between driving and taking public transport (There are ample train route options if you want to take public transport), but we had to choose driving as we decided to stopover at a friend’s in Penrith. If you are planning to hop on the train, consider ‘Katoomba’ station.
What to Wear
Depending on the season you travel, be sure to cover up or carry a rain poncho. It is always a good idea to check the weather update for the day you travel so you are prepared for anything Katoomba has to offer. Apart from dressing for the weather, get on some comfortable shoes and cloths and be prepared to hike a bit. I do not recommend fancy bags or attire as if you want to enjoy Blue Mountains to the fullest, you better be ready to walk.
Getting to Blue Mountains and Entrance to Scenic World
We left home around 8.00 am, wanting to start the day early. The breathtaking view of Blue Mountains was in front of our eyes by about 9.30 am. Having the weather in favor of us, we stopped at the viewing point of Blue Mountains on our way, to get a good view for ourselves. It was like a preview of what was to be offered that day.
Afterwards, we drove to Scenic World, where most of our day’s activities would be. Scenic world entrance is priced AUD 39, which cost AUD 78 for us in total. This price includes all rides within the park, and unlimited times as well. Scenic World gets crowded during weekends and school holidays, so if you do opt to go on these days, it is better to be an early bird to enjoy hassle free rides.
The Scenic World
Most would agree that when we say ‘Visiting Blue Mountains’, it is largely about going to Scenic world. Scenic world presents with 4 different rides, which lets you enjoy and inhale the beauty of Blue Mountains. There is,
- Scenic Skyway
- Scenic Walkway
More details on each ride can be found at Scenic World’s official website.
For me, I enjoyed the Railway the most! It is known to be the world’s steepest ride, and it sure is steep! Unfortunately, the ride lasts less than 5 minutes so at the end of it you are like ‘What! I want more!’ Good thing is the unlimited ticket lets you take as many rides as you need. Just that you hesitate to again wait in a long queue of people for the ride again.
Next would be Scenic Skyway, in my personal favorites, as it gives a good photographer’s view on to 3 sisters and the waterfall.
Blue Mountains – Attractions
The Echo point in Katoomba, with its famous story of aboriginal sisters turning in to rocks, is a major tourist attraction of New South Wales. It becomes special because throughout the day, the appearance of 3 sisters change according to the magnificent colors it displays with the change of sunlight. While at Scenic World, you can get different angles or different close-ups as well. Correct me if I’m wrong but if you have the will, you can hike up and meet these sisters up-close and personal but that is going to cost a sick-leave for not-so-sporty food addict like me.
The waterfall that is visible while in the Scenic Skyway, was a barely having enough fall with less water flow. It is supposed to be a magnificent view with water flowing down to the steep, but unfortunately, all what we saw is evident in the picture.
Pool of Siloam
Not really a part of a usual Blue Mountains Itinerary, but having a habit of covering most of it when it comes to a destination, we picked out Pool of Siloam as something we need to visit. Again, google images convinced us that the place is quite pretty to see for real. We followed where Google Maps took us, and we arrived at a dead end in a residential area. After peeking around, there was an entrance to the walkway. There were no people around and it looked as if we were on our own in this area. After walking in to the pathway for a while, we realized that this in fact, was the best part of our trip.
There was a viewing point, directly facing towards the 3 sisters which displayed the opposite side of the attraction from what would normally be seen while being in Scenic World. What was nice about this place, is that the whole view was for ourselves and it was just the two of us. The view was magnificent, the breeze was soothing and it could have been a picnic if we had food!
Walking further in, until the Pool of Siloam is met, we met a few other visitors. They may have been doing a full-on hike, rather than visiting the pool. The walkway was quite windy and narrow but it is not a difficult path. After walking for about 10 minutes, you get to what you came for, the Pool.
It was not as what I expected. It was quite small in size, and again, the fall was lesser than what we saw in the images. Probably because of the weather. However, it looked beautiful and serene and should be one of those movie locations used to shoot romantic moments. There were another few couples who were spending some time there, idling on the rocks while dipping feet in the freezing cold water that was running by
I need not say this but Blue Mountains is definitely a great day tour for us, New South Wales residents. Coming from Sri Lanka, it has only half a day attractions. Still, if you have kids and enjoy a mini hike, then this is great. If you are touring in Sydney, then Blue Mountains is a ‘Must Visit’ for you.
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