A little R&R in the Blue Mountains

From the hustle and bustle of Sydney life, the constant gasps of urban heat and stress of the masses in the streets, the seedy streets of Kings Cross and the comments made by men walking by, as soon as I left my hostel on that Wednesday morning I had a smile on my face. I was leaving it all behind.

I'm not a city girl. By any means. I love visiting cities short term and heck I adore the charm of some of the old European cities I've visited with their gothic and baroque architecture (Prague, I'm looking at you!) but with any other city within a couple of days I just get bored. When I realised I had to spend yet another day in Sydney after developing a pretty intense case of tonsillitis that required three penicillin shots to the bum (ow!) it actually put me on a bit of a downer. My first setback, a) I was trying to keep to a pretty tight schedule to get me to Airlie Beach and b) one more day in this bloody city!! As it happens it was a good day but I still wanted to get out in the wilderness and see some of the beautiful forests I'd missed...

The Blue Mountains, a literal breath of fresh air away from the hectic city lifestyle. It's so bizarre that within two hours you're transported from the dirty air of central station to the clean, fresh, and energising atmosphere of the mountains. I chose to stay in a little down called Katoomba, an area that's classed as being an excellent base for visiting the mountains and obviously the home of Echo Point and the Three Sisters, one of the most iconic views that springs to mind when someone mentions the Blue Mountains.

I arrived at about 3pm, my first impressions of the area good although tainted by the heavy cloud cover - never mind. The train felt old and abandoned, not a lot of money has gone into their upkeep but it kind of added to its charm, but the station itself welcomed me with open arms; bright colours and fancy iron work - Hello Katoomba.

My first day was unfortunately a bit of a wash out. I dropped my bags off, got myself sorted out and threw on some leggings since the temperature had dropped substantially since leaving Sydney, grabbed my camera and went on my way.

As soon as I arrived to Echo Point (approximately 1.8 miles from the backpackers, I thought it said it was 1km away?!) I felt the first droplet of rain and cursed under my breath, I needed to get a decent picture before the heavens opened since my DSLR isn't snazzy enough to be weatherproofed. I had a wander down to the bottom, asked a bystander to take a photograph of me (a downside of travelling solo) and went on my way to try and get most of the way before the rain came crashing down. Um. As soon as the thought crossed my mind the heaven's literally opened. I was drenched.

The day after the wash out I thought I'd take a trip to Wentworth Falls, walk the famous Charles Darwin Walk, and see how I felt about going to the bottom of the falls. Firstly, I didn't realise how many steps there were. Secondly, I really should've brought some more water with me. Thirdly, how incredibly beautiful are the Blue Mountains, the waterfalls, everything? I have never before been quick so taken back by the beauty of a place. I just couldn't believe it. So leaving the backpackers I beelined for the station. Technically you could jump on the train without any problems and get off at Wentworth Falls without having to pay a cent. Me being the nice person I am (and avoiding any subsequent bad karma) paid the $5 return journey and went on my way. Getting off at Wentworth Falls, the start of the Charles Darwin walk was clearly signposted. Seriously, so many people do it each year it's such a well known track. It isn't difficult in the slightest and is marked "easy" on the trails website so take it as you will. It's extremely easy to follow, just keep going forward and you'll have no problem.

It's approximately 5.5km from start to finish but, if you did what I did, then take into consideration the very steep decline and climb of the Grand Stairway of the National Pass - that added on a lot of time to the day. In my usual style I'll let the pictures do the talking, sometimes natures beauty just doesn't need any words.

Unfortunately, my body just isn't used to exercise. Having not been to the gym for many, many months, eaten exceptionally crap food, and picking up some bad habits along the way, my fitness just isn't what it used and, along with the very sore back/ass from those bloody injections, I was feeling worse for wear the next day. I did have a little wander to the Three Sisters again to try and get a photo around sunset... It wasn't exactly the greatest (weather was a downer!) but still a nice little walk anyway and a much nicer view than day one. 

I did also manage to get myself out into Katoomba, have a little explore down the main street, visit a wonderful little cafe called The Yellow Deli, and purchase some adorable blue earings from a little hippy shop called The Rainbow Collective (one has now been lost....).

As I'm sat writing this (goodness knows when it'll get published - you could probably hazard a guess at sometime next week) I'm waiting ever so patiently for the rain to stop, for 8pm to come so I can catch my train to Sydney, and then for 11pm to come so that I can jump on my coach to Coffs Harbour... And so the next adventure begins - east coast style.



  1. I loved the Blue Mountains, the blue haze from the eucalyptus is just incredible and you realise the vastness of the land as you look out across it x



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