Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bushwalking through the Blue Mountains

Our first night in the campervan was a chilly one at the Katoomba
Caravan Park in the Blue Mountains just West of Sydney. The park is
across the street from some great bushwalks around Katoomba Falls and
Echo Point lookout. The walks were amazing and unlike anything we
have back home. Echo Point lookout was a big dumping point for the
tour buses, but still worth the walk if you start from the Katoomba
Falls area.

Scenic World is right around the corner from the caravan park with a
cable car and railway down tot he valley as well as a skyway with a
great view of Katoomba Falls. We walked down to the valley where you
can see where the old coal mines were and then took the railway back
up to the top. At a 52 degree slope, I was not too happy, but Tim
loved the ride. The AUD 10 per person was well worth it to not have
to hike back up the steep slope to the top.

Our second bushwalk in the Blue Mountains was a loop to Wentworth
Falls. The walk started at the Conservation Hut just down the road
from the Wentworth Falls picnic area and looped out to the falls along
the cliffs via the Overcliff/Undercliff trails with some amazing
viewpoints along the way. After walking across the top of the falls,
go down a very steep, very long set of stairs tied into the side of
the cliff, then return via the National Pass trail. The return trail
was cut into the side of the cliff about halfway up from the valley
floor and you can get up close and personal with claystone and
sandstone overhangs and rock formations. After crossing another set
of falls at the other end of the loop the path heads steeply up back
to he Conservation Hut. I'd rate this walk in the top 5 of hikes I've
done so far. The unseasonably warm winter weather we've had so far
definitely has not hurt.

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