Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hiking in the Blue Mountains

Every day we were in the Blue Mountains we would get up, eat breakfast, and go out walking for 4-5 hours. There are so many trails and we could walk to a lot of them from the cottage we rented. The weather was mostly sunny and cool, the perfect weather for walking.

We were staying in the small town of Katoomba which is where the famous rock formation the Three Sisters is. The first thing we did was go to Echo Point where you can look out at them and over a huge vista of forest.

Three Sisters and us

Over the next few days we walked as much as our legs could handle! We would walk all day and then go home and soak in the tub to ease our aching muscles.

Walking on the path towards Leura, things would change, transforming the dry woods into lush rainforest. It was fascinating to see the transformation over just a few bends of the path.

on the path southwest of Leura
We saw all kinds of animals but mostly birds and butterflies. Australia has some beautiful birds!

Eastern Yellow Robin

sulfur-crested cockatoo

Bell Miner (Bellbird)

Swordgrass Brown (tisiphone abeona)

Crimson Rosella

Pied Currawong

People have yet to flock back to the mountains after the big fires up there earlier this season but Katoomba and the surrounding areas were not affected by the fires. They are now, though, effected by the lack of tourists. It was nice for us to have trails with fewer people and the ability to enjoy vista points and attractions on our own.

We hiked down to the Pool of Siloam, where we had the place to ourselves.

making rock stacks at the Pool of Siloam
One of my favorite places we visited (we actually went twice!) was the Bridal Veil Falls Lookout. It was so beautiful to see the waterfall from up so high and the cliffs and forest all around was just epic. I could have stayed there all day watching the water fall and the bright white cockatoos fly over the trees.

view from Bridal Veil Falls Lookout
When Australians talk about anywhere in nature, it's called "the bush" and hiking is called "bushwalking." I don't know about you, but when I think about "the bush," I think scrub land, desert, or basically something barren or without trees, at least. Oh, how different this was and I'm so glad for it!

We were so happy with our trip that we barely got off the train back in Sydney without booking another stay!

Leura Cascades

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