Sunday, August 30, 2015

Blue Mountains

Heading off for a weekend trip to the Blue Mountains. Our interest grew for the Blue Mountains after continuing looking at beautiful pictures other people have posted on instagram. Our list grew of places to see and explore, but after a little research on the area we realized there is so much to see in the area, we had to select a few areas and focus on them. You could easily spend weeks exploring the mountains and its surroundings.

Being on a budget for this weekend we booked one night accommodation in Katoomba, a basic motel room for $95 (which was cheap for the blue mountains) this included the basic necessity's  fridge, microwave, heating and TV. We raided our home fridge and took an esky with food supplies to save money on a few meals. Our room was an easy walk to the 3 sisters and other tourist attractions in this area. The weekend was in late June (winter) so it was freezing cold early mornings and evenings but we were lucky to get beautiful sunny days. We set off early Saturday morning and planned to make it to Bulli tops before 6am to get some sunrise pictures of the Illawarra coastline and escarpment. The day being a little cold, the sunrise was a great start to the weekend and as we drove to the Blue Mountains the early morning fog in the paddocks were also awesome and we got some great pictures.

We arrived at Wentworth falls around 8:30/9am the car park was empty, with only a few people around.We had a map of the area, with lots of tracks that intertwined together, there were variety of long and short distance tracks. At first glance the map looked really confusing, but we just headed off along the Wentworth falls track and the rest fell  into place, we viewed Fletchers and Jaimison lookouts, walked down to Princess rock under-cliff circuit, onto the Short cut track. All tracks were well displayed and easy to walk,although lots of stairs to get the heart rate up. We spend a good 4 hours wondering through lush rain-forest, exploring waterfalls, cliff faces, cliff tracks, lookouts, old ruins. The Wentworth falls area is an amazing area, lots to explore and fascinating landscape and scenery.

As the morning become midday the tourist buses invaded the place and by 11:30am it was almost impossible to get a picture without another person stepping in front of you or groups of people in the way, the walking tracks become congested and the place had lost its serenity. We headed back to the picnic area where we had some lunch and planned our afternoon.

The afternoon we headed in the direction of blackheath, and its surrounding area. I had walked the Six Foot track a couple of years ago (from Katoomba to Janolan Caves, 47km) and remembered the "bowtell swing bridge" which was a great fun river crossing bridge, my google maps on my phone had other ideas though and took us for a drive around the country side. We did not find the bridge but had the opportunity to explore a quieter side of the mountains and came across a small reserve called Coachwood Glen.

It was quiet and isolated at the time we arrived, the track stated it was approx 30min walk, 600mtrs. We spent a good 1.5hours there, taking pictures of the lush rain forest and waterfalls, this place was beautiful and quiet, it felt like we were a world away from anything. But again on our way back to the car, a bus of tourist arrived and the peace and quiet of nature was gone.

We headed back to our accommodation for the evening and had an early night as our plan was to wake early to catch the sunrise at the three sisters lookout.
Up at 5:30am we headed down the road in the freezing weather. I was surprised how many other people also were there, we found a spot and watched the sun rise over the mountain range, an amazing way to start the day, next we headed into town for breakfast and coffee then over to leura.

Our navigation wasn't the best this weekend or Andy would say my navigation??) we parked the car about a kilometer away from Cascades walk. but ventured along a small track towards it. The Leura Cascade Fern Bower walk was a nice walk, we strolled along the track and enjoyed the views, the track was an easy walk (4.5km return) although muddy in sections, it was mainly sandstone steps and board walks.

When arriving at the cascade there was an open cave to view the waterfalls, we sat and just relaxed and took in the beauty of the place, continuing along the track it ended at a lookout overlooking the vast mountain ranges. As our day was coming to an end we drove over to sublime lookout and had a late lunch before our drive back home.The Blue Mountains is a huge area and we will be heading there again to explore more of this amazing area.

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