I was in Sydney for a long time and wanted to visit the Blue Mountains for its scenic beauty and lovely surroundings but wasn't finding enough time.
The main town of The Blue Mountains Katoomba is a little over 50 km from my house in Penrith, very well connected with local and regional train service and the best part was the journey would cost me only AU $2.60 as I traveled on a Sunday.
Had I returned the same day it would still cost me the same since Sunday for me is a Funday therefore any distance, any public transport including train, bus, ferry, light train all are included in a one-time deduction of $2.60 from your travel card.
It was the first week of January when I started my journey from Penrith station by 8.30 AM fast train, which took me via Glenbrook, Linden, Hazelbrook, and Wentworth Falls. I got down at Katoomba at approximately 9.30 AM and came out of the station.
I had a choice of taking a taxi to Katoomba Falls or taking the famous tourist double-decker bus service famous with the name Hop-On Hop-Off. But I decided to walk into the nearest staying facility YHA Katoomba which was only $60 compared to the $150 that I would have paid if I stayed in hotel Carrington.
The bus in this image is a HOP-ON HOP-OFF bus operating in Sydney- The same company operates this service in Katoomba. It's a lot of fun sitting on the upper deck watching the beauty of natural places.
I left my backpack in the room and came out. I decided to walk to Katoomba Falls immediately. I walked past at a brisk pace the beautiful Katoomba church and reached the intersection on the Blue Mountain Drive to Katoomba Falls.
There was no clue of rain when I started from Penrith but the sky was cloudy in Katoomba and by the time I reached the intersection, it was slightly drizzling but there was no shelter so I kept walking. But it stopped soon, and the weather became kind of pleasant.
I should mention it here that the months of January and December are considered the top of Summers in this area so the temperature around 20 C was quite pleasant especially when there was a cloud cover saving you from the harsh sun. By the time I reached Katoomba Falls St. only half a kilometer from my destination, the signs of the sun were visible.
But I was disappointed at the first glance because Falls was too small. I was expecting probably a Niagara like Falls, but maybe the summer season. I learned later that during the rainy season it gets much bigger than what I saw there.
I finally reached Katoomba Falls Tourist Park and on to the Falls- Please don’t feel disappointed watching the Falls.
I soon realized there was a lot more to see here. And what I saw was mesmerizing. I went down the stream and walked about 1 km and back to Tourist Park. I proceeded to A places with the sign which read-
<45 MINUTES ROUND WALK SCENIC RAILWAY> VANI MANS LOG WITCHES LEAP>
I tried that 45 minutes round walk first and covered it in 1 hour. Maybe I walked too slow or spent a lot of time taking photos. It was all mist or foggy but later I was corrected that it was neither mist nor fog but an eye illusion that makes it look misty.
Then I proceeded to much sought-after SKYWAY the Ropeway across the two hills. I had no advance reservation for that, but I was lucky to have one seat in the first trolley itself. It’s all about 30 minutes between two cliffs with wonderful views.
This World Heritage rope trolley journey a little over 700 meters provides such a scenic beauty that I will remember for the rest of my life. Amazing views of the Three Sisters, the Katoomba Falls and Mt Solitary, and of course Jamison Valley. I ended my Day 1 at this point to return the next day.
I met a wonderful couple Steve and his partner, Jane, from Melbourne during Skyway sightseeing and we were soon on talking terms. They were traveling in the Blue Mountains for the last three days and staying in Katoomba too. So, they offered me a lift to Katoomba which I gladly accepted. We drove back to Katoomba Town.
I took the local bus to Katoomba Falls that dropped me close to Katoomba Falls Reserve and on my way to Blue Mountains National Park, Three Sisters, and Echo Point. A great walking experience and wonderful scenic beauty.
Let me add here that Australia has a rich aboriginal history and the Blue Mountains area has a lot to show too. I will write a detailed post about Blue Mountain National Park soon. I have my intention to post more travel posts in the coming days, please keep visiting. Thank you!