If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I love a good ‘explore’. So it was with an adventurous spirit I travelled to the Blue Mountains recently with my friend Sarah. It was probably my adventurous spirit that Sarah wished didn’t come on the trip with us.
The Blue Mountains is famous for many things, but at the centre of our trip was the Three Sisters. A beautiful rock formation Aboriginal legend would tell you is three sisters who were turned to stone because they loved three brothers from another tribe. They each stand almost a kilometre above the ground. In actual fact, winds caused the massive rock to erode away… leaving three columns towering into the sky.
As beautiful as they are from the lookout, I really wanted to climb all the way down to the bottom, to explore the forest underneath. Work on the Giant Stairway began in 1916. But it was stopped because it was too expensive to carve steps into the side of the cliff. The project was resumed in 1932 and there are now more than 800 steps of carved stone and metal that take you all the way to the bottom. Not so fun if you have a fear of heights like my travel companion.
In the end we made it to the bottom. As we walked the well-trodden path we came across countless beautiful plants, rock formations and birds. There were also two stunning waterfalls across our path. Tour guides suggest the walk will take 2-3 hours, but we finished it in about 1.5 hours. It’s all along a path and very easy. The stairs really are the hardest part.
We came to the end of our journey when we reached the Katoomba Scenic Railway. It’s the steepest cable driven funicular railway in the world. An awesome adventure for some; a terrifying ordeal for others. If you’re not keen to take the train – which has a clear roof so you can see the valley below you – you can climb back up hundreds more steps to reach the top. For my money, the 90 second train ride is the way to go. Sarah may tell you differently. Once safely at the top we headed back to the viewing platform for the Three Sisters. This time as we walked we gazed at the treetops and the valley to our right.
I highly recommend the Three Sisters walk if you’re looking for something fun and adventurous to do outside of Sydney. Plus there are always the delicious cafes and bakeries in Leura to lure you for a late lunch afterwards.
The Three Sisters are in the Blue Mountains which are 100 kilometres west of Sydney. We drove there, but you can also take the train.
Thanks for stopping by and happy exploring!
PS – All photos taken on a Nikon D90 (in fully automatic mode).