Results 1-10of 13 Reviews
Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay
September 30, 2010
From journal Sightseeing in the land down under!
September 24, 2010
London, United Kingdom
October 30, 2009
From journal Things to See in Sydney
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
May 17, 2009
From journal In and Around Sydney
January 31, 2006
The main gateway to the Blue Mountains National Park is Katoomba, located 100km west from Sydney and very convenient to reach by train in about 2 hours. You can stay in Katoomba much cheaper than in Sydney.
The tourist information is a half an hour's walk away from the centre. There is a gorgeous viewpoint here, where you can see why the name of the mountains is blue. Due to the eucalyptus trees the park gets a bluish colour.
You can walk into the gorge from the viewpoint, where you will pass nice rock formations and waterfalls. One of the rocks has got three "heads," hence their name, "The Three Sisters".
From journal Summer in Australia's Biggest City
February 13, 2004
My highlight of Australia was a walkabout tour of the Blue Mountains near Sydney. I hasten to add that it would not be everybody’s cup of eucalyptus tea. The walk is quite strenuous and you will get dirty. But if you want an escape from the frenetic pace of Sydney, see more of the Australian bush than you would in a whistle-stop bus tour and gain a real insight into Aboriginal culture, this is a MUST DO.
Evan Yanna Muru, our tour guide of Aboriginal descent, met us at Falconbridge station, which is approximately an hour’s train journey from Sydney’s Central Station. As a former tour guide myself, I am hard to please, but I can honestly say that Evan is one of the best. He is passionate about Darug (the Aboriginal tribe that lived in the Blue Mountains) culture and his knowledge of it is vast and deep.
As I said earlier, it is physically challenging. Most of the 8km walk is off-track and therefore the terrain is rough. You do not need to be super-fit but you do need to be surefooted. However, there are compensations - our group did not encounter one other person all day. Other than our voices and movements, no other noises interfered with the bush soundscape. How many places in the world can you still say that about?
Along our walkabout, I tasted some of this ‘bush tucker‘; the eucalyptus leaves and wild cranberries were more than edible but I declined the aboriginal delicacy that is wood grubs. Some things just are not worth doing in the name of adventure.
We spotted dingoes and kookaburras but luckily we did not encounter any poisonous spiders or snakes. The aborigines had a holistic worldview – that humans, animals and the land are one and the same. Therefore, Evan explained, all things living and non-living were treated with respect. This meant that natural resources remained sustainable. I felt slightly ashamed that the Irish who settled in Australia were among those who condemned this ancient culture as primitive. I winced at the irony that many of the Irish convicts transported to Australia were driven to petty crime because they were dispossessed but went on to drive the Australian natives off their land. The Darug aborigines occupied the Blue Mountains for 50,000 years. Within two years of white settlement (1788), smallpox had killed more than half of this tribe. By 1860 the last of the full-blood Darug people had died.
Unfortunately, the weather was not conducive to swimming in a billabong. Instead, we had our lunch sitting round a campfire in a sandstone cave where we drank eucalyptus tea and ate toasted marshmallows.
In the afternoon, Evan pointed out some of the aboriginal rock art engravings. He really brought the archaeology to life.
I do not want to give the impression that the walkabout is too highbrow – we chatted and joked and finished the day, weary but exhilarated, in the pub.
From journal 'Earth, fire, air and water'
March 8, 2003
The grandeur of The Three Sisters is overwhelming. You can take short walks from the top of these three craggy mountain tops and look across the panorama of the range. There are picnic areas there and even in the winter you can picnic in a rock cave--take your hot soup and home made pies--yum! A cable car at Katoomba takes you across the top of the range for more breathtaking views. There is a historical railway that takes you around the mountains and gulleys surrounding Katoomba, the main town. For the more adventurous take a 4-wheel drive and go exploring further inland and find the Jenolean Cave with its amazing cave walks to view the stalactite and stalacmite formations. They even do ghostly night walks. The arduous 3-hour walk is more of a slither and slide tunnelling exercise. Rock climbing and abseiling on the Three Sisters is poplular and, for me, scary. A gentle 60-foot drop abseil is sensational--some of these seem to go forever. You can watch them from the top.
All of the little towns have old pubs with roaring log fires and great traditional food and accommodations. In Australia, because it is winter in June-July, we have mid-year yule tide dinners which are a full six-course turkey feast complete with Santa.
From journal Sydney-my home town
by Joe Cool
January 24, 2003
From journal Sweet Sydney
June 14, 2002
From journal Sydney in December