As we almost reached the end of the Australian leg of our journey we spent two days in the wonderful Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
Running right down the Eastern coast of the Australian continent is a range of hills and mountains that make up the Great Dividing Range, separating the coastal regions and cities from the Outback, the arid central zone. The mountains have various names and very different landscapes along their length and it were also the background to the great video I posted a few days ago.
About an hour inland from Sydney the mountain range is called the Blue Mountains. It provides a stunningly beautiful location for walking, viewing and photography. The busiest location is Katoomba, a small town with amazing views of a rock formation known as the Three Sisters, which is not only popular with tourists but plays an important role in Aboriginal dream-time legends.
But thanks to recommendations on the ever reliable Tripadvisor we were able to escape the tour buses and take some amazing walks at quieter locations where we were often the only people around. The sounds of the bird life echoing off the valley sides was the only noise, apart maybe from the blood pumping through our ears as we tackled some steep dips and climbs.
Credit must also go to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service because the walks and infrastructure were just superbly maintained. Some of the locations of the viewing platforms were just inspired and returned the effort getting there a hundred times over.
My only frustration is that when I have looked back at these photographs they just don’t seem to reflect the scale of the landscape with drops over 100 metres straight down. I’ll do my best with just one feature that might help tell the story.
The streams that approach the rock edges and just drop away to waterfalls all looks quite innocent from above.
But then we walk a bit further round the rock edges and we can see the full drop is so great the breeze dissipates the water into fine mist almost before it can reach the ground below. No wonder there are warning signs as we cross the streams.
Stunning place. Must see, must visit, must walk there if you ever go to Australia. A true high point of our trip in every sense.