Along the Away

travel, dream, create, inspire, appreciate

When we woke up on the last day of our Blue Mountains getaway we heard the patter of raindrops on the roof and saw a misty nothing out the windows. We were planning on driving to nearby Katoomba, to visit the part of the Blue Mountains National Park where Scenic World is located. It’s a commercially operated tourist park featuring a scenic railway, cableway, skyway and skywalk – four unique opportunities to see the national park in a different way from hiking it. But – in the rain and fog, was there much point?

We figured it would eventually clear so off we drove through the mist, the trees appearing one at a time a few metres ahead.

Throught the Blue Mountains Fog

We got there early to qualify for the earlybird rate you get if you arrive before 9am, plus the added bonus of not having long queues for the attractions.

Scenic World Map

We hopped straight onto the Skyway which gave us really awesome views of… mist.

In the fog - Scenic World

Ha! It looks a bit like a giant let down, but actually it was really beautiful. The mist wasn’t a constant sheet of nothing, it swirled upwards and around us, showing us sneak peeks of the mountains before shrouding us again. Having spent two gorgeous sunny days bushwalking it was really lovely to experience the mountains in their ethereal glory.

Our friendly Skyway guide pointed out to the left to let us know where the three sisters were situated… supposedly! He promised we’d see them… and after a few minutes as the Skyway car traveled across and up we saw them peeking out.

I have fond memories of visiting the Three Sisters as a kid when we had family visiting us from England, my maternal grandparents and my uncle; so being here with my sis had a cozy nostalgic feel.

Scenic World - in the fog

After we got off the Skyway car we followed the path through the mist to find the Katoomba Cascades.

Katoomba - waterfall

We could have walked back and caught the Skyway back to the Top Station but the track allowed us to walk there by foot so we carried on and stopped along the way to poke around and explore.

The next attraction was a ride on the Scenic Railway – the steepest passenger railway in the world I’ll have you know, it travels at 52 degrees! The railway has recently been upgraded and now offers a fully enclosed car with incline controls – you can tilt your car back 10 degrees to ride at 42 or tilt it forward 10 degrees to ride at 62. You can guess which one we did after a quick conference with the two guys we were sharing our car with (crank it forward baby!)

My sis and I were a little nostalgic for the older style cable car. After a quick call to my mum, I can confirm I was 3 years old the first time I rode it and 5 years old the other time. Back then it actually did feel quite risky traveling on it; you had to hold on for dear life because there was no cover – you did kinda feel like you could topple out. I asked Mum if she had any photos of us two little twinnies riding on it and she said “uh, no! I was holding on to my babies for dear life so they wouldn’t topple out“. Ha, thanks mum!

My uncle was not so lucky, he dropped his camera and it slid down on the floor of the train past everyone’s feet to the front – oops!

Anyway, while waiting in line we commiserated about everything being over-safety-proofed everything these days, ruining perfectly good risky fun. Then the train pulled up and on we got and up we looked. Oh good, not too safe then!

Scenic Railway

Scenic Railway

After we got off we watched the train head back up the 52 degrees to get the next lot of passengers. Then we saw a memorial to the last railway cars – see what I mean??

Scenic Railway

The version before that was even less comfortable – but that’s OK, the only passenger was coal from the coal mine.

Scenic Railway

Next up was the Scenic Walkway, a 2.4km elevated walkway through the rainforest – so beautiful!

Scenic Railway Bush

Katoomba Bush Walk

We were given a sneak peak at Orphan Rock as the mist lifted:

Blue Moountains

I do appreciate how the walkways were built around the trees :-)

Katoomba Scenic World Sky Walk

A Miners Cottage still stands here, offering a peek into the life of miners who lived and worked in the Katoomba Coal Mine during 1879-1945.

Katoomba Scenic World Sky Walk

One final attraction remained, which luckily is located at the end of the walkway to take us out of here! We caught the Cableway back up to the top into the mist.

Katoomba Scenic World Cable Car

And that concludes the Blue Mountains Getaway – a wonderful four days in such a beautiful part of the world. I’m lucky to live close enough to make it a day trip which I vow to do as we drove back to the big smoke.

 

The following two tabs change content below.
A traveler, dreamer, designer and optimist sharing all of the above.

Latest posts by Donna (see all)