The Blue Mountains is arguably the most famous national park in Australia. Anyone who visits Australia is likely to pass through Sydney at some point or another, meaning it is fairly likely that they will also take a day or two to visit the magical, mystical and marvellous Blue Mountains.
Another place I visited during my trip to Australia back int’ day, however, somewhat shamefully, the Blue Mountains did manage to evade my memory pretty successfully. I basically remember nothing, apart from the Three Sisters lookout point, but I don’t know if I actually remember this, or just think I remember it because I have shown it to almost every customer who has walked into my travel shop since I started flogging trips around Australia in April last year.
As I previously mentioned, before Soph and I could reach the Blue Mountains, we were stung by: 1) a fucking freezing night in the middle of nowhere, 2) a $108 fine from some jobsworth dick-cheese with nothing better to do with his day, and 3) a cracked windscreen on our wagon. All round shit 14-ish hours right there!
Not going to sulk too much about it… well in reality I am, but Soph can bear the brunt of that and I won’t bore you with the details any longer! From Grey Gums International fridge freezer, we continued through the heart of the forest that conceals this free camp, down towards the Blue Mountains entrance and main visitor centre at Glenbrook. We gathered some useful information on potential walks and points of interest from the overly enthusiastic lady in the visitors centre and settled on a few different options to keep us busy for a day or two…
- Wentworth Falls
- The National Pass Walking Track
- The Three Sisters Lookout (to see if I actually remember being there of if it’s all in my head, or not in my head, I don’t know anymore!)
Wentworth Falls is a great little stop over as you enter into the Blue Mountains National Park. There are multiple walks and some stunning views available from this area. The National Pass walking track (the longer of the walks available) was the highlight of the day. The bubbly little visitor centre lady ensured us that it was one of best day walks in the mountains and she wasn’t lying.
Starting at the Wentworth Falls car park the National Pass loop track takes you down to the top of Wentworth Falls and then immediately on to a precarious little track that clings to the side of the cliff-face is it creeps down into the depths of the valley. In terms of the views the track just keeps on giving. Epic views of the untouched forest that smothers the valley and mountains in the distance, and brilliant views of the impressive Wentworth falls, which over two cascades descends from the top of the mountain to the wild forest below.
Working our way along the cliff-face, including a little detour to the base of the falls via some ladders, we eventually ended up in the Valley of the Waters – a valley containing the meeting of multiple tributaries of the local creeks and awash with waterfalls, where we ascended again back up to top of the cliff to find some of the best views of the day. The National Pass was a real blockbuster of a walk.
We finished out cliff walking and made our way over to Katoomba, home to the Three Sisters lookout, probably the most famous point of interest in the Blue Mountains. The lookout is set high up on the cliff top, overlooking a range of mountain highs and valley lows, with the striking Three Sisters rock formation away to the left hand side. There are a few short walks around this area following more cliff-hugging pathways to waterfalls, lookouts and down into the valley. For the brave you can tackle the Giant’s Steps – 998 steps that descend sharply past the Three Sisters and into the valley basin. We had had enough steps for one day, and were running out of light for the day, so reluctantly declined the Giant’s Steps descent.
To end our day we had another mishap. Following our run in with PC Dickhead the previous day, we had devised a new way of rigging our bikes to the back of our car so as not to “obstruct clear view” of our signals (to make life easier for all those blind drivers out there…). Our new method required flipping the bikes up-right so that the back wheels pointed skywards. What we had not reckoned on was encountering a low flying ceiling as we entered the supermarket car park. SMASH!! Fucking shambles to say the least. Luckily the bikes survived, but the bike rack and my confidence in the new rack system were in need of some repairs.
The shopping and repairs complete, we headed back towards Sydney to set up camp at a free site called Bulls Reserve, for what was to be out final night on the road…