Planet View: S33°43.536’ E150°18.163’
Street View: S33°43.536’ E150°18.163’
The rain continued as we headed into the Blue Mountains, unfortunately no views of the famous escarpments stretching into the distance as we cruised the highway from Penrith to Katoomba. With the rain pounding down we opted to stay at the Katoomba caravan park instead of braving the bush. With some fresh clothes we caught the town shuttle to the main street to explore some of the more noteworthy drinking and eating establishments (thanks for the tips Matty!). We ate dinner and enjoyed a few beers at the Old City Bank pub at the end of Katoomba’s main street, as well as sampling some of the interesting menu items at the alternative-styled Common Ground cafe.
We woke on Thursday to stunning blue skies without a single cloud in sight, talk about timing our day of hiking through Blue Mountains National Park! We got an early start from Echo Point with amazing panoramic views of the Blue Mountains escarpment and the famous Three Sisters, an awe-inspiring view with such clear skies thanks to the previous days of rain. Our hike took us around the Prince Henry Cliff Walk from Echo Point, past the Three Sisters and toward the Leura Cascades. Lookouts dot the top of the cliffs all the way to Leura, panorama after panorama made the walk a journey through some amazing vistas all the way to the cascades. After taking in the picturesque Leura Cascades we trudged down the escarpment along an interconnected series of steep stairways through moist temperate rainforest, having to stop a few times along the way to clear our shoes of leeches that we picked up in the dark and damp confines of the undergrowth. It was a beautiful walk: striking cascades and waterfalls, amazing views and so many different climatic zones along the way. We took a bit of a shortcut on the way back to Echo Point, instead of walking up the escarpment we took a ride on the Scenic Railway, the steepest funicular railway in the world. It was definitely a hair-raising trip, we were seated in the front of the carriage as it was pulled backwards up the cliffs, the rail line becoming almost vertical a number of times along the way. By the time we reached the vehicles back at Echo Point we’d been walking for almost four hours, one of our favourite hikes of the trip for sure.
After a brilliant day exploring the hiking trails of Katoomba we headed down the mountains to the Euroka campground near Glenbrook, with a mandatory stop-off at Schwarzes Bakery in Wentworth Falls for lunch (thanks again for the tip Matty!). Euroka (S33°47.989’ E150°36.962’) is located in the westernmost area of Blue Mountains National Park, a welcoming grassy clearing across the Nepean River from Glenbrook. The girls found a hiking trail from the campsite to the Nepean River, we enjoyed the 30 minute walk to a great swimming spot in the river before returning to camp and enjoying a hot shower courtesy of The Tank. An awesome spot to spend the night before returning to civilization in Sydney.
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