Okay we’ve been adventuring up north a while so thought I’d bring it a bit closer to home today.
I’m always looking for great places, nearby, so I can plan sneaky romantic getaways for myself and hubby. If you are in or around Sydney, the Blue Mountains is a great option.
A recent post by @samuel-earp-art on the Steemit blog site inspired me to take the “virtual” drive out west and show you one of my favourite places close to Sydney.
You can check out his post with a wonderful painting he has done of the iconic Three Sisters here.
So hop in the car…lets get going 🙂
The Blue Mountains is without a doubt, one of the most spectacular parts of the country. It is World Heritage-listed and a great option if you want a quick getaway from the city, with access by road or rail – only about 90 mins “up the hill”.
There’s plenty to do in the mountains.. from spectacular natural attractions to cafes and fine foods, quaint villages and markets (I’ve always get to get a market in lol) and regular festivals showcasing the region, food and local artists.
Of course if you’ve seen my previous posts you know we like to get all up in the outdoors when we go away (or stay home really) So make sure you got the hiking boots as well, because today we are visiting…
The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters are the classic symbol of the Blue Mountains. This stunning rock formation is best accessed and viewed from Echo Point (I wanna keep singing Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins – I know that makes no sense what so ever, but that’s my loopy brain. Canadians from the 70’s will probably understand)
It’s amazing to see these rock formations at any time of the day as the changing sunlight brings out the magnificent colours in the sandstone rocks.
The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and Gunnedoo’ lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.
These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry.
The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle.
As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witch doctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come.
Now if you are all sciency and don’t hold with magical transformations of people into rocks you can go with the (more boring) geological history of their formation..I won’t judge..
Around 300 million years ago huge earth movements caused the earth’s crust in the region to subside and the quartzite landscape on which the Blue Mountains stands was flooded by a shallow sea from the east. Streams flowing into this sea carried huge amounts of sediment, which were deposited in horizontal layers. Later, these layers formed rock beds of shales, siltstones and mudstones.
In the future, joint widening between the Sisters will endanger them as they become more and more narrow. They will eventually tumble into the valley below.
Blah Blah…boring stuff right? Except for the tumbling into the valley..not boring if you happen to be hiking through the valley floor!
Hiking…see there was a reason we needed our boots.
The Three Sisters Walk
This walk offers some of the most iconic views in Blue Mountains National Park, and takes you right up close to the famous Three Sisters.
It’s a family friendly walk that treats you to ever-changing views of The Sisters.
Pass through the archway, next to the Echo Point Visitor Centre, and you’ll soon be surrounded by soaring eucalypt forest, bird calls and fresh mountain air. Keep an eye out for the superb lyrebird and crimson rosellas as you walk the gently sloping path for 450m to Oreades lookout. Marvel at the incredible views of the Three Sisters’ weather-eroded sandstone turrets, and the hazy ‘blue’ Jamison Valley stretching to Mount Solitary.
From here, steps lead a further 50m to Lady Game lookout, for a closer view of this remarkable rock formation. A short but very steep set of stairs at the top of the Giant Stairway leads to Honeymoon Bridge, which connects to the first sister.
Prince Henry Cliff Walk
This is a longer walk that follows the cliff edge from Katoomba Cascades to Gordon Falls near Leura and has some of the best views going, with 20 look-outs along the way. The whole walk is 7kms one way but you can hop on and off at different points along Cliff Drive and there are plenty of spots to stop and have a picnic with a million dollar view!
Katoomba Falls Walk
The falls are located not far from Echo Point and the walk winds through the temperate rain-forest The falls come from the Kedumba river which falls about 150 metres in two stages. Most of the lookouts in the area give a view of the falls and you can also see them on a trip across the valley in the Scenic Skyway.
If you are doing the walk, it’s worth stopping at the Katoomba Falls Kiosk for a coffee, ice-cream or scones and cream if you are feeling a bit posh (Hard to feel posh after hiking through the bush in 35 degrees sweating like a dog though!)
You’ll love it I promise.