9th Dec 2016 - 10th Dec 2016
Blue Mountains & Jenolan Caves
For a weekend in december Sam & I decided to head up to the Blue Mountains, at this point in our trip we are both working and have bought a VW Golf, so thought we would treat ourselves to a weekend away and make good use of the car! After driving for 2 hours out west we made it to the Blue Mountains. Our first destination was Echo Point, Katoomba where we saw the 3 sisters 'Meehni', 'Wimlah' and 'Gunnedoo', the unusual rock formation, who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone. From the Echo Point lookout we had an incredible view out over the bright blue that radiates over the mountinous horizon.
From there we descended down the Giant Stairway which takes you down to look up at the 3 sisters. This Giant Stairway is the story of Australia. Steep, trecherous, scary and unstable walking tracks that make you think you will fall and die, or be killed by a snake or spider. Australia's National Parks are beautiul, probably some of the most beautiful places i've ever seen, but they come with a cost of dehydration and forceful workouts.
After Echo Point we had lunch in Lorne, and headed to Scenic World. In my eyes this is the best way to see the Blue Mountains. The walking tracks go on for days in the Blue Mountains, it's just not possible! Scenic world has the best of these walks, the steepest train in the world which takes your down to the forest floor and cable cars that take you from cliff to cliff with stunning views of waterfalls. We had so much fun there. We got the cable car from Scenic World to to Prince Henry's lookout and we decided walk back. This took us down to be level with Katoomba Falls.
After speaking to guides of the Blue Montains they advised us that Jenolan Caves is a great place to go. We didn't think this would take long but it was a further 2 hour drive (this is a theme that runs with Australia, people and maps lie to you about distance!). The Caves are located in a deep crevas in the moutains. The drive down the winding mountain was worrying in our car, but we believed in him. We made it safely but hadn't seen civilisation for over an hour, and were told there also wasn't anything for another hour after the Caves. The only thing there was a creepy old hotel that had no mobile reception or wifi. At least we made it in time for bed and the breakfast was delicious!
Jenolan Caves are the oldest caves in the world, they're over 340 million years old. There is constantly cave divers and researchers there which was cool to see. In the morning we did the Ribbon Walk where we saw all different types of beautiful crystal formations, as well as stalagmites, stalactites and helectites. To break for lunch we took a walk round the Blue Lake, which it's bright turquoise colour comes from all the minerals in the caves (never thought i would get to see something like this in real life!). Remarkable. In the afternoon we did another cave walk in the Diamond Cave before heading home. Our drive home was suspect after the car started to smell like burning and made funny sounds. We have now hired a campervan to drive the East Coast, i'm not sure the Golf will make it!