Blue Mountains National Park, Sydney

June 23rd, 2018. Saturday.

This was the first weekend in Sydney, on my first ever trip to Australia. Cold winter had its icy grip over Sydney and surrounding areas. If Sydney was cold at around 6-7 degrees, it was close to 0 at Katoomba, gateway into the Blue Mountains National Park.

The Blue Mountains National Park is a protected national park located in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, Eastern Australia. The 267,954-hectare (662,130-acre) national park is situated approximately 80 KM west of Sydney. Despite the name mountains, the area is an uplifted plateau, dissected by rivers.

Wish I had figured out the train system in Sydney earlier. By the time I had figured out the local trains v/s trams and trains going out of Sydney city and the usage of Opel cards, it was almost 8 am. Took a train from Sydney Central to Katoomba, but unfortunately missed getting down at Katoomba and ended up going to the next station and having to wait for 30+ mts to get a train back to Katoomba. So what was supposed to be a 2:15 mts journey, ended up taking a bit more than 3 hours and I ended up starting my visit to Blue Mountains only at around 11:15 am.

Was pleasantly surprised to learn that the train from Sydney to Katoomba costed me just AU$ 5.95 and once in Katoomba, decided to take the Red Explorer Bus, that allows you to hop on / hop off at any point and explore points of interest on our own.

Did the Scenic Railway, Cable-car, Rope-way and the walkway, a great way to get a sense of the scale of the Blue Mountains. Then spent the afternoon in search of the Lyrebird, with no such luck. However, the time spent wandering in a remote part of the park, in the thick valley floor and amidst thick foliage, with not a human in sight for about 2 hours, was quite an experience. With sunset fast approaching and with temperatures beginning to fall, decided to call it quits and came back onto the main road to get onto the next bus back to Katoomba and catch my train back to Sydney.

To my fellow travelers, who are planning on going to Blue Mountains, here is some advice: If possible, plan at least a 2 day trip to Blue Mountains, if not three. Definitely leave Sydney early as well and getting down at the right stop will also help. Only then you can do justice to this national park and will be able to visit many of its many points of interest.