Blue Mountains of Australia
The Blue Mountains of Australia is one of the top national parks in the country. It’s easily accessible to most tourist traveling to Australia as it’s less than two hours away from the city of Sydney, one of the top destinations in the world. The name, Blue Mountains, is a little misleading since it’s actually a canyon, Australia’s version of the Grand Canyon. The canyon gets its name from the trees appearing to be blue from a distance. The incoming light and the atmosphere added with the leaves of the eucalyptus trees gives of this blueish tint when viewed from afar. Thousands of visitors make their way here everyday to see the three sisters and to see the wonderful panoramic views of the blue mountains. Most see the canyon from the viewing platforms which provide a wonderful vantage point, but there is so much more to this area. The only way to see it would be to make my way down the canyon through the multiple trails. With only a one day visit planned, I decided to do a guided tour. There aren’t that many tours that include hiking so I had a hard time booking one. I did manage to find one and my itinerary was set.
The tour started with an early hotel pickup in Sydney and our small tour group was on our way. The first stop was the Kings Tableland Lookout. The lookout provided a great view but this was just the starting point for the visit. We walked down the road to the trailhead and headed down the escarpment.
This was the beginning of the hike, through dirt paths and hundreds of stone steps, equaling approximately one hour. The prize for this trail is Wentworth Falls. It was a little low in water volume due to the drought but it was a beautiful sight.
Multiple waterfalls can also be seen along this trail. Swimming in the pools below these falls is a top draw for some. This day, no one would venture into the pools due to the lack of water. Be warned, the steps back up to the road will test your physical endurance.
It was time for the next hike. With a short drive, we parked at a turnout in the road. This was the surprise in the tour and we didn’t know what was at the end of this trail. We walked along the road for a couple of minutes and found the trail head and we quickly made our way into the jungle, and got off the road. It was another cliff-side hike as we made it to a lookout platform on the side of a cliff. We peered across the canyon and saw the surprise of the tour.
Bridal Veil Falls and its breathtaking view was front and center. The falls aptly spreads out over the cliff like the veil of a bride. Looking at this amazing sight one could only wish they could be at the foot of the falls. The last half of the hike would take us there. We took the same trail back but continued on toward the falls. As we got closer we could hear the water rushing down the cliff and feel the moisture in the air. With more steps, we made our way down to the top of the falls. Not only is the falls beautiful, but the whole surroundings is amazing.
The flora and the cockatoos drinking and playing atop the falls is a sight to behold. By now, we had grown hungry from the activities and we had lunch at a park.
The most visited destination in the Blue Mountains is a rock formation known as the three sisters. As a top tourist destination, this area has your expected restaurant and gift shops. Don’t stop there, make your way to the lookout and gaze at the three sisters and the valley below. Here, it will obvious that this actually isn’t a mountain but a side of a canyon, Australia’s version of a grand canyon. Take your fill of videos, photos and selfies and if your game. There are more trails in the area. There is also a short trail that will take you into one of the three sisters. I was disappointed to find out that this trail was closed so I made my way back to the road. The day was over, I thought.
The guide had one more stop. He grew up here so he took us to another wonderful cliff side viewpoint few tourist ever see.
This amazing place was now in the rear view mirror. The events forever in my memory bank. Experiences are what I seek during my travels and hiking the Blue Mountains definitely quenched that thirst.