Being around Sydney, I couldn’t miss Blue Mountains National Park, located at only 65km from the city and very easy to reach by public transportation. The slate-coloured haze that gives this park its name comes from a fine mist of oil exuded by the huge eucalyptus gums. This park has many excellent bushwalks spread along its main four train stations and beyond, it was hard to pick only one for my day trip!
I left Sydney Central Station at 7.35am direction to Katoomba, my first stop. From this station I walked to the Eco Point (one hour return) to see the famous “Three Sisters”, a beautiful (and very touristy) rock formation. It was a cloudy day and the mountains looked more green than blue to me but I will use a little bit of photoshop on the next picture not to disappoint you 😀
Back to the train station, I jumped again on the train direction to “Wentworth Falls”. From this train station I walked the Charles Darwin Walk (1,5 hrs), an easy walk that took me to the (Wentworth) falls and the starting point of National Pass.
The National Pass Walk is considered one of the best bush walks in Blue Mountains. Many of the walking traks in the Blue Mountains were constructed 100 years ago and local communities were in competition to provide “the most spectacular” walking routes to attract tourists to their towns. Here in Wentworth Falls capitain James Murray supervised a team of 4 workers who took 2 years to build the 2.5km National Pass Walk track (1908). Developing tracks in such steep and difficult conditions involved extraordinary efforts for the team. Accessing the base of the falls was one of the team’s biggest challenges because they needed to cut steps down the sheer cliff face but it was worth the effort, the resulting track is just spectacular!
After the falls, the track passes through different eucalyptus forests and ends with the Valley of the Waters, home of the Empress Sylvia and Lodore waterfalls. At the end of the track I will need a little bit of climbing to reach Queen Victoria lookout and the Conservation Hut, the official starting point of National Pass Walk.
Back to town, I ended my hiking day with a hot cappuccino before taking the train to Sydney. What a beautiful day I had!
My Tips :
- Trains to Blue Mountains leave hourly from Sydney Central Station (two hours). If you want to move through the different towns of the Park, note somewhere the trains’ schedule along the different train stations;
- Try to decide which track you want to walk before visiting the park. The website www.visitbluemountains.com.au has the description of the main bush walks, with walking times and level of difficulty;
- The official starting point of National Pass is Conservation Hut but I started from the other edge of the track, through Charles Darwin Walk.
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