maps of things to do, showing all of the attractions and activities in an area on a global interactive map. We are lucky enough to live near the beaches, and a fairly active family, and the seas around Sydney are chock bang full of great white sharks (or at least this was the naïve understanding of my young daughters!) so when we started looking for our ‘out of Sydney’ experiences, we looked for some inland fun. Clicking on the activities in the inland NSW locations, Katoomba looked to have some great experiences. A quick chat, and a spot of facebook messaging, to several friends who live in the Sydney area confirmed the Blue Mountains to be an excellent destination. Job done let’s get a car and go there then!
The Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley (the subject of another future blog!) were chosen as our ‘Out of Sydney’ destinations.
The key reason for visiting Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains was to visit Scenic World. Four great thrilling attractions in one place, and a host of stunning scenery, nature and wildlife thrown into the equation. It looked great! Picking up a hire car in the centre of Sydney was no problem, and we were soon heading out east into the Blue Mountains. The trip out to the Blue Mountains was a nice drive on, by UK and European standards, pretty empty roads (even though this was one of the busiest days in the peak holiday period) and after a few hours we arrived in Katoomba and headed to Scenic World.
So of we headed and made a start with the Scenic Skyway, the Skyway cable car was just making its way back across the valley so we had a few minutes to wait. We got soon chatting to the girl who was taking tickets as we waited for the ride. Then it was all aboard the Skyway, where we met Andy the ‘driver’ for our ride, and we soon knew Andy like a long lost travel friend.
The Skyway itself was initially a disappointment, as the glass floor was all fogged up. I put this down to it being early morning dew. A Homer Simpson 'Doh moment' followed shortly after!! Andy encouraged us up onto the glass floor, and then turned on the electro-glass panels once we were at an appropriately dramatic point in the journey! At which time the floor went crystal clear, immediately opening up the scary views down to the forest and the valley some 270m below our feet. The electro-glass is a great feature, especially mounted, as it is, inside Australia’s highest cable car. An amazing ride, the Scenic Skyway takes visitors some 720m across the valley, with great views of the Katoomba Falls, the dramatic Three Sisters rock formations and the Jamison Valley.
Having been puzzled by the Australian road signs on route warning us of ‘crests’ (what’s all that about – surely Aussies can spot a crest – its where the road looks like it’s going into the sky, but probably doesn’t) I had finally found a few great spots for some useful ‘Crest’ signs. The 310m route takes two real steep drops over two great crests! Great ride, and the screams and nervous giggles, seem to prove this is probably more roller coaster than your average train journey!
From here we departed onto the Scenic Walkway, in the rain forest at the bottom of the valley.
Then it was on to the Scenic Cableway, where we bumped in Andy, our driver and old travel mate from the first ride on the Scenic Skyway. Andy managed to entertain and chat to pretty much everyone on the cable car, which I would estimate to be about 60 people, in around 20 languages! A tough task for Andy given the fact he is talking to everyone on board Australia’s largest cable car! Great fun, and great views to take in during the 545m journey, over the Orphan Rock, the Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley.
From here we stepped out to the main visitor centre and the girls hit the shop! A few souvenirs later, we were sadly due to leave Scenic World, and our new mates! The people of Scenic World really do help to make your visit special. Each and every one that we met made you feel special, and showed great enthusiasm to their activity, your day and your background - your trip, why you were there, where you came from, etc. At a busy attraction like Scenic World
The above covers our day at Scenic World, you can choose any combinations of the attractions on offers, and do these is the order you choose, at your own pace!
From Scenic World we then headed over to the Echo Point Visitor Centre, which also offers great views out over the valley, and had a quick look around the town of Katoomba before heading back to Sydney for the evening. Maybe next time we will stay a few nights in the area, and discover some more the great things to do in the Blue Mountains.
Get yourself out of Sydney and go visit the Blue Mountains, and say ‘hi’ to Andy, Patrick and the Three Sisters!