We stopped at Echo Point to have a look at the spectacular Three Sisters rock formation. The first sister’s name is Meehni (922 meters), the second Wimlah (918 meters, and the third Gunnedoo (906 meters). They tower over the Jamison Valley, part of the Blue Mountains National Park, below. The lookout allowed us to have a great view of the National Park and sat at the edge of the cliff. The only thing separating the lookout from the drop to the floor below was a simple guardrail; I wasn’t too fond of this part. After taking a few pictures from Echo Point, we decided to take the trail closer to the rock formations. After around 400 meters of walking under gum trees, only a few meters from the cliff.
Once we arrived at the next lookout, just next to the Sisters, I decided to take the Great Staircase down to the first sister. The Great Staircase descends 300 meters via 800 steps to the forest floor. I only took a few of them to get to Meehni where I took a bridge over to the first sister. The tranquility was so astonishing and I could have spent the entire day there just looking out over the ledge at the lush greenery below.
After trekking back to the car, we took the road along the cliff over to Scenic World. Lucking, we left early and beat all of the tour busses to one of Katumba’s largest tourist attractions.
Scenic World allowed visitors to the Blue Mountains to take a cableway 545 meters into the rainforest of the Jamison Valley. Once in the rainforest, three kilometers of walkways took us throughout the canopy of the Jurassic looking rainforest full of many eucalypt and fern species. I had never seen anything like it in my life!
At the end of the walkway, we arrived at our ride back up to the center at the top of the cliff, a railway. We ascended the 415 meters back up to the center at the top of the cliff in the steepest railway in the world. At the steepest point, the railway was at a 52˚ incline! After assuring that we didn’t wet ourselves on the way up, we headed back to the car and made our way deeper into the Mountains.
We decided to head to Mt. Victoria to take the long way back to Sydney via Bells Line of Road (Route 40) through Bilpin, where we had lunch at a local shop. The views of the mountains were astonishing and we were even given brief glimpses of the coast through the trees, separating the road from the cliff.
Once we made it back into the city, we decided to take a detour prior to going home to Kirribilli. We were really keen on seeing the Sydney Olympic Park, just west of Parramatta. When we arrived, we took a drive around the large complex and parked just up the street from the Visitor’s Center. We got out and paid for an hour’s worth of parking. Little did we know, we wouldn’t need it…at all. We walked in and out of the Visitor’s Center and then up the street to see ANZ Stadium, the largest in Australia, with a capacity of 110, 000 spectators. The stadium was home to the opening and closing ceremonies as well as many of the track and field events during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
We walked around some more and decided that we really weren’t too impressed with what we were seeing. The sidewalks were dirty and everything just seemed bland. Had we been here 12 years ago, I may have had a different opinion. To me it seemed like the area was rundown and not well kept. Disappointed, we decided to go back home.
After a few hours at the apartment, we headed down to the Luna Park ferry wharf to catch the ferry over to Circular Quay where we had dinner at the oldest pub in Sydney, the Fortune of War, dating back to 1828.
Exhausted, we headed back home, where we are now, sitting on the couch enjoying the beautiful views out the window watching fireworks in the harbor…can’t get much better!
Tomorrow, it looks like we will be heading back over to Darling Harbour and then over to the Fish Market to check out the daily catch, and possibly have a few oysters (definitely not at restaurant prices).