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Bondi Burrows
20th Jan 2017 - 24th Jan 2017
Granny and Grampy in the Blue Mountains

It’s been a long time since we’d taken the parents up into the Blue Mountains, and now the girls are old enough to enjoy a bit of bushwalking we thought it would be a nice break from the city. We found a lovely cottage in the centre of Leura and I drove the girls and Mum and Dad up on Friday morning. George would join us later after work, coming up on the train. Back when we came for our first Australian holiday in 2001 we’d joined a tour to the Blue Mountains which had taken a detour just as we reached the mountains into a park with wild kangaroos. Having not seen kangaroos anywhere in the mountains since, I did a bit of research online and decided this must have been a place called Euroka campground, in the Blue Mountains national park. It was raining hard as we followed the motorway into the mountains, but it eased up just as we pulled up in the campsite carpark. Pulling on our anoraks we walked across a gully and into a clearing to find a family of roos right in front of us grazing on the wet grass. The weather had been good to us - if it was hot they would have been lying in the shade and harder to spot. It started raining again just after our amble around the clearing, so we ate our picnic in the car. By the time we reached jellybean pool off the road back to the highway the sun was shining - perfect for a dip in the jellybean shaped curve of the river. There were some teenagers there that took it upon themselves to show Emily and Zoe the safe rocks to jump off so they had immense fun splashing around for an hour or so. It began raining again as we walked back to the car so we drove straight to Leura and checked into our cottage. George joined us in time for a lovely dinner out on the deck.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny so we took a walk along the cliff top path to the Cascades - a series of gorgeous waterfalls below the town of Leura. We were all exhausted by the time we got back so we spent the afternoon chilling out on the deck.

On Sunday we drove a bit further around to the cliff drive to Katoomba and walked down to the base of the Three Sisters, squeezing our way down the steep staircase and across a rickety bridge to stand right underneath the huge rock formation. Following up a tip-off from a friend who had been to Katoomba recently we followed a different path back and came across a huge pile of carefully arranged pieces of blue rubbish - a Bowerbird display and bower. Unfortunately there was no bird in sight, but it was amazing this display was untouched so close to one of the main tourist walks in the Blue Mountains. It was lunch time so we drove on to Blackheath and set up our picnic at the top of Govett’s Leap. Another short walk along the cliff top to the top of Bridal Leap Falls, then back to Katoomba for a hike down to Minihaha falls. This was another tip off from our friends, and we didn’t realise how far the walk was. Mum was feeling the heat so we left Dad and Mum in the carpark and headed down with the girls. The falls were beautiful - a long drop into a deep, cold pool. George and the girls leapt from a sensible height - but some of the other kids there were jumping from several metres above the water. Eventually George plucked up the courage to jump off the cliff edge from way up high - heart in mouth! Back at the cottage the girls were in the garden and spotted a few blue pegs under a fir tree - another bowerbird bower right in our back garden! After watching quietly for a few minutes we spotted mr bowerbird himself - and occasionally a lady bowerbird come down to check out his effort - it was just magical to watch the courtship. That night we played a couple of hilarious rounds of our new favourite board game - the Fame Game.

George went back to work early Monday morning, but the holiday wasn’t over for the rest of us… time to ride the world’s steepest railway at Scenic World. In fact we enjoyed it so much we rode it 5 times!  We also took the gondola over to the far side of the valley, where we managed to lose Emily for at least half an hour. I was really starting to panic when my phone rang - a kindly stranger had met her several hundred metres around the cliff walk and offered to help - luckily Emily remembered my phone number!

Tuesday was time to head back to Sydney - but not before a pit stop at Wentworth Falls to follow the Valley of the Waters track down to another gorgeous waterfall. At the bottom we watched some canyonners abseil down the cascade - in wetsuits - the water was freezing! It didn’t stop the girls jumping in of course! On the way down we also spotted a Lyrebird scratching around in the leaf litter - fantastic. We hadn’t been in the mountains in summer for years and years - but it was a wonderful trip.

Next: Emily's 9th Birthday
Previous: Mum and Dad in Oz 2017

Diary Photos
20th Jan 2017  Hop Like a Kangaroo
Zoe joins in with the kangaroo family

20th Jan 2017  Jellybean Pool

20th Jan 2017  Spa Bath Bubbles
Emily and Zoe were beside themselves when they saw this bath - bubbles everywhere!

21st Jan 2017  Family at Leura Cottage

21st Jan 2017  I See You!
Mum and Dad photographing us photographing them....

21st Jan 2017  Leura Cascades

21st Jan 2017  Blue Mountain Explorers

21st Jan 2017  Reading Corner
Catching the last of the sun on the deck

21st Jan 2017  Higher Grampy Higher!
Dad doing a great job entertaining the girls in the garden

22nd Jan 2017  Emily on the bridge to the Three Sisters

22nd Jan 2017  Bowerbird Bower
All the same shade of blue. Amazing.

22nd Jan 2017  Picnic at Govetts Leap

22nd Jan 2017  Splashing about at Bridal Veil Falls

22nd Jan 2017  Fay and Emily

22nd Jan 2017  A Helping Hand
Grampy helps Zoe down the tricky steps

22nd Jan 2017  Watching the Water Fall
Over the edge of the cliff at Bridal Veil Falls

22nd Jan 2017  Minihaha Falls

22nd Jan 2017  Chilly Girl
A bit fresh in the waterfall plunge pool

22nd Jan 2017  Best Terrified Face
Pulling faces for the Fame Game

23rd Jan 2017  Our Very Own Bowerbird
Just starting to put together his display under the fir tree. Amazing bower though

23rd Jan 2017  Bowerbird watching

23rd Jan 2017  Riding the world's steepest railway
Again! Again!

24th Jan 2017  Lyrebird
A very rare treat to spot this large bird scratching around on the rock

24th Jan 2017  Empress Falls

24th Jan 2017  Yabbies!
Not the best photo but we were amazed to see these critters in the pool at the bottom of Empress Falls

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