The reason why I made such a statement that I wish I came to Blue Mountains earlier is because I had an absolute wrong impression about this place. 6 years ago, I visited Sydney from Melbourne. As what other people would do, I asked a friend who have lived in Sydney for a while that what I should not miss. I heard about Blue Mountains, because brochures of day trips to this place were everywhere, from the Information Visitor Centre to the hostel where I stayed. What is still fresh in my mind, even now, is what the friend said: “the place just has 3 little pieces of rocks, and that’s it!”.
In the mood of finding a place for a weekend retreat, I decided to go to Blue Mountains, and realised that what I thought about it earlier was completely wrong.
Katoomba is a nice historical town, right where visitors came to visit for a day trip or a weekend getaway. It’s about 100km and 1.5 hour driving from Sydney. I think the whole town is beautiful, quiet and peaceful, with several restaurants that serve different tastes. I tend to put comparisons to places I’ve been to, and to me, Blue Mountains in Sydney is like Ballarat in Melbourne and Fremantle in Perth, if this makes sense.
The reason why Blue Mountains being called with that name is because of the fact that “when atmospheric temperature rise, the essential oil of various Eucalyptus species evaporates and disperse in the air, then visible blue spectrum of sunlight propagates more than other colours. Therefore the reflected landscape from mountains seems bluish by human eyes” (Thanks wikipedia!).
Echo point is probably the most popular spot to view the Three Sisters and that’s why all tour buses drop visitors here. Luckily, on the day I went to Blue Mountains the weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. At Echo point, there are two observation floors. The picture below is the floor right on the ground level.
The second one is below the ground level. Both floors expose the nice view of the mountain ranges. However, the second one seems to be a bit closer to the Three Sisters, helping visitors to get the nice background when they taking photos…of themselves
From Echo point, we can also see the ‘Skyway’, one of several rides you can take (Cableway & Walkway) if you buy the ticket at Scenic World http://www.scenicworld.com.au. I didn’t buy the ticket because I feel like I don’t fit the target market. But I’m sure they offer good views too.
Yet, my biggest 3 highlights of the trip were about the hotel I stay, a nice spot to view the ranges without any tourist distractions, and visiting the oldest cafe in Australia
This video clip here might give you a snapshot of what inside of the hotel looks like
Lincoln’s Rock (i.e., Flat rock) where I can quietly take amazing photos.
Paragon cafe (since 1916)
Outside of the cafe looks like the antique store but, in fact, there is a cafe inside. The food (I had burger as I was hungry!) was amazing, I especially like the milkshake, not only the taste is good but also the portion is huge (like large drink at McDonal’s in US).