A day in the Blue Mountains
After three buzzing days at the heart of Sydney, we leave to get some fresh air. Let’s go to the Blue Mountains! It’s only 100 kilometres and 2 hours of train so It would be a shame not to enjoy them!
These mountains are called this way because of the blue color they got from the eucalyptus’ emanations. Honestly, I don’t think they look blue but they are still magnificent.
The landscapes I can see through the train’s windows are beautiful. It makes me eager to discover the Blue Mountains. For the first time I see the australian soil with these red and orange colors. To see this makes me happy.
Once we arrived at Katoomba station, we went directly to the information center in order to be advised about the difference ways of discovering the Blue Mountains with my disability. One solution is to pay 83 dollars to get access to the touristic bus and to the « scenic world » attractions namely Skyway, Cableway and Railway. The Skyway and Cableway are big glazed cubicles. The first one flies 270 meters over the Blue Mountains’ gorges and a part of the floor is glazed too. The second allow you to go on a walk, the Walkway, while watching the landscapes during a steep descent. Both of them are wheelchairs accessible. As for the Railway, it’s a train descent in the forest. This descent is well-known to be the steepest in the world carrying passengers. Unfortunately, it is not accessible for wheelchairs. Neither is the touristic bus. Consequently, the woman from the information center offered us to buy the 83 dollars option for Franck and one at 39 dollars for me which allow me to enjoy the scenic world attractions but not to take the bus. It is actually a goodwill gesture : this way I do not have to pay the bus in which I can’t go if I sit in wheelchair. However, it will be free for me as I’m able to take if I go out of my wheelchair… In the end, she admitted that the city regular buses are accessibles and drive to the same places. So we bought to 39 dollars options (for Senic World) and decided to take the « regular » buses. Moreover, we saved a lot a money : for the two of us we only spend 14 dollars for the buses for the entire day whereas it would have cost us 66 dollars if we choose the full option. So I recommend everybody to choose the same solution as we have choose if you visit the Blue Mountains from Katoomba.
The practical questions being solved, we headed to « echo point », the must-see platform of the Blue Mountains which offers an unforgettable view of the three sisters. These three rocks are standing proudly ahead of the immensity of this mountains plateau. The scenery is very impressive with the plunging gorges and the distant horizon. It is magnificent. I never saw such a panorama before!
We go down the vegetation during a walk close to the cliffs’ rims before to come back to Echo Point because Franck wants to go at the very edge of the three sisters. The path to go there ends with a lot of very steep and uneven stairs which made Franck uneasy.
As for me, I head to the shop which also is a information site and I obtain a list of all the accessible places of the Blue Mountains : walks, shops, restaurants and sanitaries. It is already midday. We grab a lunch very quickly and we pop to the skyway. Crossing over the forest and the gorges is wonderful. I would like to spend more time on this skyway if I could. Just a few minutes and we’ve already arrived on the other side.
Greedy to have a new view of this scenery, we went directly to the cableway. This there is no glazed floor but we settled in the front of the cabin to be able to appreciate the steep descent in the woods in which we will go for a walk.
The walkway is actually a 2.4 kilometers walk through the « bush », in other words into the woods. I am baffled that the vegetation here is so dense and the atmosphere so wet. I imagined something dryer and far more dispersed. I have the impression to be in the jungle! There are so much different trees varieties. Some of them are really huge ! We heard a lot of birds during this walk but we rarely see them. Their songs and whistlings are not the same as the one we can heard in France.
No problem regarding the accessibility. Each excursion takes places in paths made with floorboard. Some slopes are recovered with a carpet to avoid to slip. There is some stairs but it is always possible to find another way. The site is very accessible in general. This is amazing as we are in the mountains. If you want more information about accessibility everything is here.
When we finish the walkway, the night is already upon us and the air is getting colder. We decide to go back to the station by taking the cableway and then the bus. We rush to catch the train to Sydney, just to miss it by a minute. One minute too late! The next train is in an hour… Let’s go to the « Up beet Juice and espresso » , the little cafe that we saw on our way back. Nothing is better than a hot chocolate with a home-made cookie to get warm!
You are looking for more ideas about what to do around Sydney? You will find many great ideas in my other posts about Sydney like exploring Manly. You will even find useful information about visiting Sydney in a wheelchair.
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