We've heard about the Blue Mountains about a two hour train ride north of Sydney and decided to see what they were all about. We took a bus ride to the Central Station in Sydney and then hopped on the train for the ride up there.
The train ran through a number of Sydney suburbs and after a long time it was in the countryside. It was interesting to see the different views from the train. We sat in the upper deck to help improve our field of view.
Sharply two hours later we pulled into the station at Katoomba. We were told that many people took the train on their daily commute to work in Sydney. I imagine they didn't have the same outlook regarding the trip.
|Katoomba railway station|
We arrived shortly after lunch and headed for a pub on mainstream for sandwiches. Of course since it was an Irish pub we had to have a beer also. It was a brewpub and they had two nice beers on tap. The pub was in an old bank building converted to a dining room upstairs & the pub below.
|The Old City Bank|
There is a hop on - hop off trolley to take you to the various sightseeing places of interest in the area. We were mainly interested in seeing the canyon & "Blue Mountains" so we concentrated on those stops.
We wound up taking a competitive bus tour to see the sights. They were located in the train station and we managed to bargain for a 1/2 price fare.
The first stop was at some cascades in a rain forest setting along with the high humidity. There are a number of trails leading to viewing areas. It was easy walking on the way down, but quite a climb back to the bus stop. We wound up taking just under an hour for this section. It was well worth it for the walk & view.
There was a gondola ride between two rock cliffs and we would have taken the ride if we had more time.
The mountains have a blue cast to them in part due to eucalyptus trees giving off fumes.
The name Blue Mountains is derived from the blue tinge the range takes on when viewed from a distance. The tinge is believed to be caused by mie scattering which occurs when incoming ultraviolet radiation is scattered by particles within the atmosphere creating a blue-greyish colour to any distant objects, including mountains and clouds. Volatile terpenoids emitted in large quantities by the abundant eucalyptus trees in the Blue Mountains may cause mie scattering and thus the blue haze for which the mountains were named.
One of the most well attended tourist attractions in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the three sisters rock formation. It is the 2nd most viewed site in Australia according to the bus driver.
If you look closely you may see a foot bridge leading to the sister on the left.
All too quickly it was time to head back to Sydney. We were close to the Laura station to catch the train.
The train pulled into a different gate and threw us a curve, but with a little help from one of the gate attendants we found our way to the street level. Our wait for the bus was short and we were on our way on the crowded bus. It's a good thing the ride is a short one. After a quick dinner we were ready to call it a night.