Journey to Down Under – 2. stage Blue Mountains

As announced in the article Personal impressions of Sydney, I write in this article about Watsons Bay, a bay near Sydney. Although it still belongs to Sydney, I have decided to include it in this article, as we immediately travelled on to the Blue Mountains.

Early in the morning we took the ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay. On this day it was sunny, but very windy. On the ferry we almost froze to death. But we could enjoy the skyline of Sydney to the full again. I advise you to take the ferry in Sydney at least once. A trip costs only one or two dollars. Because of the cold I could hardly wait to finally arrive in Watsons Bay. Arrived there we saw only two three houses and a restaurant. I thought to myself: „oh no, this will be a complete failure.“ But I decided to wait and see before I made a definite decision. First we walked towards Green Point Reserve. On the way we saw a lot of beautiful villas and I just wanted to buy a holiday home in Watsons Bay. In Green Point Reserve we had a great view of Sydney and we saw a beautiful deserted beach. But I think it will be overcrowded in summer.

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Camp Cove Beach

Next we strolled to Robertson Park and finally to Gibsons Beach Reserve. Both I didn’t find special. On a sign a lighthouse was marked, but we did not visit it. In retrospect I think it would have been worth it. Afterwards we walked back to the harbour to eat the fish&chips recommended to us. Those were actually the best fish&chips I’ve ever eaten in my life. The portions were huge and cost almost nothing. The restaurant was called Fish&Chippery – try it! Unfortunately time flew by and we had to take the ferry back to Sydney to catch the train to the Blue Mountains. We drove to Katoomba, the capital of the Blue Mountains. The train ride takes two hours. In the beginning the route is not so exciting. But as soon as the train leaves Sydney and the suburbs, the landscape becomes beautiful. I advise you to take the train in the afternoon. So you can experience a romantic sunset in the mountains (unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of it). In Katoomba there was a little incident because we had a misunderstanding with our host about the meeting point. A small tip: If you are picked up by your host, use the train station as meeting point and not the bus station! My first impression of Katoomba was: „Shit, it’s cold!“ At night there are temperatures of zero degrees in winter. So dress warm! Finally arrived in our modest forest hut, we went immediately to bed, because we were dog tired.

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Our Cottage

The next morning we got up very early because we had some plans. First we walked to Katoomba, which is three kilometers away from our forest hut. Katoomba is a small place, completely in Western style. A long road, left and right shops of any kind.  In this sleepy place I felt like I was transported back to the wild west. I really liked the city, but you saw it in ten minutes. So we walked on to Echo Point Lookout. I remember that it was very windy on that day and that the Echopoint was teeming with Asians. But if you walk to the Three Sisters, a special rock formation, there are less tourists, because most of them only go to Echo Point. The Three Sisters can be reached by a steep staircase that leads to a viewing platform in the rock. The way up there takes about ten minutes and one is rid of the annoying tourist crowd.

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View from the Three Sisters

Later we decided to walk in the opposite direction to see the famous Katoomba Falls. The Lonely Planet says that you have to see them. But well. The way to there was beautiful.  Again and again you look down to the valley and everywhere, as far as the eye can see, only nature. I thought the hike was really worthwhile and would definitely recommend it to you. But you can safely leave out the falls. Convince yourself!

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Do you see the Katoomba Falls?

In the afternoon we took the taxi back to our forest hut and had a rest. On the bed I saw on the app „Maps.me“ that not too far from us there was a small waterfall called Minni Haha Falls. Since the first Falls were such a disappointment, we both wanted to go out again and visit the Minni Haha Falls. On the way we saw a barrier and a sign indicating that the road is closed until further notice. We continued anyway. On the way a walker came towards us and we asked if the road was still closed. He told us that it was still possible to walk along here, but a few meters further on there would be a fence blocking the way. Apparently someone had a fatal accident a few years ago because of the bad road and so they decided to close the road. We walked up to the fence, and then decided to follow the stream instead of the path. I felt a certain thrill because we were doing something forbidden and dangerous. But please don’t imitate it, because it really wasn’t responsible. At some point we returned without having seen the Falls, as it was already beginning to dawn and I found it very dangerous to walk through the Australian Bush at night. In the evening we were totally broken from running.

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Australian Bush

The next day we made the Prince Henry Cliffwalk from Echo Point Lookout to Leura, a town a few miles from Katoomba. Attention: the Cliffwalk is not for Couch Potatos! In the beginning the trail was very easy, but with time it became more and more exhausting. The Cliffwalk is still great. Again and again there are vantage points from which you can see down into the valley. Everywhere nature and you feel really close to nature during the hiking. We were almost all alone on the Cliffwalk. When we were almost in Leura, we saw a turn-off that led down into the valley to the Leura Falls. The way down into the valley was very funny, because it was very steep downhill and we just ran down. The further down we went the darker it got. At the bottom it felt as if we were completely cut off from civilization. We couldn’t find the Leura Falls, but on the way we discovered a small oasis, the Bridal Veil Falls.

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Bridal Veil Falls

What we hadn’t thought of when we ran down:  You have to come up again. At the top, we were half dead. We ate something at the viewpoint Fossil Rocks and enjoyed the view. Tip: Always take enough water with you when hiking! We ran out of water half way and so we were thirsty for a very long time.

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Fossil Rocks Lookout

After this rest we finally reached Leura. Leura is a small village with a small main road with about ten shops. We drank something there, looked at it and then took the train back to Katoomba. We ended the evening on the terrace with wine and snacks. We saw a red parrot. (Probably not the right terminology, but I am not an ornithologist either)

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Red Parrot?

Our last day in the Blue Mountains was rather quiet. Our host drove us back to Katoomba in the morning. There we had breakfast or as the Aussies call it „Brekkie“ at Café Savoy. This was very rustic, but the food was really great. I would strongly recommend that you make Brekkie in a café and the Savoy is perfect for that. A typical Brekkie includes beaten eggs, toast, bacon, ham, tomatoes and one or two hash browns. Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with our hash. It is a kind of potato dish.

Since our Greyhound did not leave Sydney until about ten o’clock in the evening, we decided to make a small stop in Wentworth Falls on the way back to Sydney. Wentworth Falls is a small village and there was nothing we could look at because we had our suitcases in tow. We decided to visit the nearby lake Wentworth Falls Lake. The lake isn’t really special, but it’s a good place to switch off and get the hang of Katoomba. In the evening we took the train to Sydney again. Arriving in Sydney, we ate again in Spicey Alley before we boarded the Greyhound towards Port Macquarie.

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Panoramic picture of Wentworth Falls Lake

If you want to know what to do next, follow my blog to be the first to know! In the middle of the month I will write about my personal impressions of the Blue Mountains again, so that you know what I recommend to you and what not. I’m happy about your Like and a little feedback. So, stay tuned!


 

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