Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains draw a nice contrast to the coastal walks and flat planes of Sydney. We have overheard some tourists comparing it to the Grand Canyon in Nevada, US, but we think it's a bit of different kind of beast. If you get the chance - rent a car and you can explore the Glow Worm tunnel which I heard is quite fascinating too!

We didn't want to rent a car, so we were left with the only option accessible by public transport - Katoomba. Remember that the train ride will take 2 hours from Sydney, so get up early if you want to see more. There is a public bus to the visitor centre but they shut down at 17:45, so - make sure you plan accordingly if you intend to stay late, it's a 2 km walk to the train station.

The main overview spot is absolutely crowded with tourists and selfie sticks. You can head down to the Three Sisters rock formation, but that one can also be fairly busy with slow people on very narrow steep steps. Apart from a little bridge, there isn't much else there. The fun really begins when you take the Giant Stairway down onto the Federal Pass track. Suddenly all the tourists disappear and you are left alone with the forest.

To be honest, the hike itself isn't that exciting - it's basically a walk through a forest. You'll get to see the occasional big rock or a lizard, but otherwise there isn't much else to be seen. The fun part is climbing back up - you will get to see a really tall waterfall and beautiful views opening up in front of you. All public signs had the walking time hugely exaggerated - the walk they claim takes 40 min took us more like 15-20 min, so don't be put off by the signage. The track and more pictures included in the map below.

The only strenuous parts are climbing up and down the steep cliffs, but there are stairs available. The walk itself is very easy and nice, hidden away in the shade. There are more hiking paths available in the area, so pick a longer one if you want to see more, or drive to the see the glow worms!

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