Wet and Wonderful day at the Blue Mountains…

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The Blue Mountains (so called because of the blue haze created by evaporating oil from the Eucalyptus trees in the surrounding valleys) are one of New South Wales’ top attractions. At just two hours away by train they are easily visited in a day and this is what we chose to do earlier this week – despite the fact that the weather man forecast nothing but rain and clouds for the next seven days!

We took the train from Sydney’s Central station at a cost of just £10.80 return each. This dropped us off in the town of Katoomba where we bought a couple of tickets for Trolley Tours – one of the ‘hop on, hop off’ buses that operate in the Blue Mountains. This is an easy way to ensure that you get to see the best of the Blue Mountain’s attractions – particularly if only there for a day. It stops at 29 points along a set route and costs $20 per person.

The fact that it hadn’t stopped raining since we boarded the train was a bit worrying, as the whole point of visiting the region is for its breathtaking views! Nevertheless we kept our fingers crossed and prayed that the clouds would clear as the day went on.

Our first stop was Gordon Falls where we had planned to do a bushwalk to another beauty spot further down the road. The Trolley Tours bus driver had pre-warned us that the walk would be quite hard going that day due to the rain but we weren’t going to let a little bit of water spoil our fun!

We got off the bus and went straight to the lookout point where we got a great view of the waterfall itself.

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We then set off for our walk along a section of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk which took us across the top of the spectacular Jamison Valley. Sure enough, the ground was fairly soggy and we got rained on occasionally as the clouds came and went, but the dramatic views we were treated to were well worth the wet socks!

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Whilst walking, we passed another couple who told us to go and check out another scenic spot called Bridal View Lookout, around 100 metres off the main path. They said that the slight detour was well worth it and they were right!

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Just over an hour after we started the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, we came out at the Leura Cascades. The water was in full flow due to the recent rain and tumbled impressively down the rocks towards a natural pool at the bottom.

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Following the flow of water from the pool, we then came out at the top of Leura Falls, where the water drops dramatically down the side of the cliff.

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The best view of Leura Falls was from the bottom – we walked to the base via a set of steep (and rather wet) stairs, where the spray from the waterfall made for quite a refreshing shower!

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After Leura Falls, it was time for us to hop back onto the bus, which took us round to what is perhaps the Blue Mountain’s most famous spot – the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters can be seen from Echo Point, where they tower over more of the Jamison Valley’s spectacular green canopy.

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Our next stop was the Katoomba Cascades – another wet and wonderful beauty spot where the water flowed furiously over the rocks.

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The cascades flowed towards perhaps the most impressive waterfall we saw during our day at the Blue Mountains, Katoomba Falls. The best viewing platform for this was Reid’s Plateau – a lookout point a few hundred metres down the bushwalking track.

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Not only did Reid’s Plateau give us fantastic views of the waterfall, but it also overlooked another rock formation known as the Orphan Rock.

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This was the last of our viewpoints before we caught the bus back into town. Despite the occasional cloud and bout of rain, we felt satisfied that we had managed to experience the Blue Mountains at its best. In fact, without the questionable weather the waterfalls would probably not have been so dramatic, so the rain actually worked in our favour!

We would definitely go back to the Blue Mountains – there is so much to see and so many options for bushwalking and climbing. Our day out merely scratched the surface of this beautiful place and it would be easy to spend a whole week experiencing the great outdoors!

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