Tuesday, April 14, 2015

BLUE MOUNTAINS, NSW


THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

EASTER 2015

This Easter the brood travelled to the Blue Mountains in NSW. We were a party of nine all up and rented a fabulous house on the cliff top in Leura. Arriving in Sydney on Good Friday, we knew that major shops wouldn't be open, so stopped on route and collected necessities from the local market. 

Heading up the mountain it started to rain, so by the time we reached the house we were surrounded by clouds and the impressive views from the kitchen were non-existent. Not to worry, the forecast was for the rain to clear by Sunday and as it was getting late in the day we were more engrossed in getting dinner on the table and enjoying a vino.

Elysian Rock Lookout in the Cloud
(This is the same outlook we had from the house)

The world heritage Blue Mountains have amazing walks and vistas. It is advised to check the National Parks website for any alerts as we found that some of the walking trails were closed for the duration of our stay. 

We walked both the Undercliff and Overcliff trails from Wentworth Falls. Both of these walks (which we completed on separate days) took us around 2.5 - 3 hours one way to complete. Once under the cloud we had the most amazing views of the valley and mountains and as it had rained buckets overnight, the waterfalls were loud and exhilarating to watch.


 
 


It's advisable to wear good walking shoes when trekking in the Blue Mountains. At this time of year, the tracks are muddy, slippery and wet. Umbrellas aren't very effective in the bush, so take a raincoat and something warm, as it gets very cold quickly once you are under the trees and away from the sun. 

By Easter Sunday the rain had completely cleared and we finally got to see the wowing views from the house. It was also the perfect day to see the famous Three Sisters and visit Scenic World in Katoomba.

The Breathtaking Elysian Rock Lookout
The Famous Three Sisters, Katoomba
Katoomba Falls Trail to the Scenic Railway
We arrived early at Scenic World, so were one of the first groups to traverse the valley on the Skyway. We then walked down to the Katoomba Falls and on to the Scenic Railway where we caught the train up the steep incline to the top. Back at the top and the queues for Scenic World were huge (I would guess it was over an hours wait). Try and get there early and/or purchase your tickets online in advance.

Walking and taking in the magical vistas aren't the only things to do in the Blue Mountains. Of course, eating, drinking and shopping are all available and with the plethora of galleries, craft shops and antiques, pottering is a must.

Leura is a popular town to visit. It boasts great eateries and wine bars and has one of the best cellars in the area.
We had a very relaxing tapas lunch at Beyond Vintage in Leura before wandering the mall. We also had a fabulous dinner with the brood at The Garage.


The Hydro Majestic in Katoomba is an institution. The once popular health retreat built in the early 1900's, has been given a make-over and is definitely a must for your itinerary. Don't forget to treat yourselves to high tea in the majestic Wintergarden.

Sunsets away from the bus loads of visitors on a quiet lookout are a very romantic way to spend an evening and remember the wonderful time you've had in The Blue Mountains.