Being incredibly intrigued by mountains, fresh air and waterfalls, the Blue Mountains located just 50 km. from the center of Sydney were calling my name from the moment I got to Sydney. After so much time spent in concrete jungles, I knew that I had to go there. Since Naufar had the day off work, he decided to join me and we had a great day hiking the beautiful National Pass together.
On Sundays, public transport in all of Sydney and the surrounding areas only costs 2.50 AUD for the entire day. It’s crazy cheap! I decided to take advantage of that and go on a trip to the Blue Mountains, which was my number 1 must-see in Sydney.
The Blue Mountains is a range of mountains, plateaux and escarpments in extension of the Great Dividing Range, a mountain range that stretches more than 3.500 km. through the eastern coastline of Australia. The mountains in the Blue Mountains actually do look blue because of the characteristic blue haze in the area.
The town of Katoomba is the main town in the Blue Mountains and a great starting point for many of the amazing hiking trails. It’s located 110 km. from Sydney. This was where we chose to start our Blue Mountains adventure. We caught the train to Katoomba and set off to the famous rock formation called The Three Sisters located just outside Katoomba. The rock formation towers above the Jamieson Valley, which creates a beautiful view that is highly popular with tourists.
Unfortunately, when we got to the viewing point, it was VERY misty. To begin with, we couldn’t see a thing and I was really disheartened. I was hoping to get these amazing views of the mountains, but instead I got thick fog. Thankfully, the fog started lifting a few moments later and we were able to see a bit further.
We decided to walk down to The Three Sisters on a so-called bushwalking trail. There were a lot of tourists, but when we got there and were actually able to see something, as the fog wasn’t as thick near the rocks, I understood why. The rocks are enormous and the views from there are simply amazing. I finally got what I had come for!
When we got back to the viewing point, the fog had cleared a bit more and we were actually able to see some of the rocks. We then chose to head off to our next stop: The Conservation Hut, where we would begin the National Pass hike!
The National Pass is a 6 km. bushwalk, where the paths and stairs are built into the cliffs. The track was built between 1906 and 1907 using picks, shovels, crowbars and dynamite. The hike is graded as hard and the suggested time is 3,5 hours. Although, more time is definitely needed if photography is your thing – and it should be, when you go to the Blue Mountains!
The hike offers unrivalled views of the numerous natural wonders of the Blue Mountains, including many dramatic waterfalls.
The hike begins at Conservation Hut where it’s possible to get supplies for the walk. Since we had been shopping before going there, we didn’t need anything and immediately started the hike. The first part of the hike was very easy and basically just went downwards for maybe 3-4 km. On the way, there are quite a few great lookouts, such as the Queen Victoria lookout where you can view the Valley of the Waters and sandstone cliffs, while listening to the dramatic roar of the waterfalls below.
The Valley of the Waters is where the trail really starts to get beautiful. There are stunning views to be seen from all angles and beautiful waterfalls all over. Walking downwards at the same time made this a very pleasant experience.
The track then took us to the beautiful Wentworth Falls, where we decided to stay for a bit to eat our lunch and have a chat. From the waterfall, there is a breathtaking view over Jamieson Valley, which is a part of the Coxs River canyon system in the Blue Mountains.
After spending some time at Wentworth Falls, we continued on to the Grand Stairway, which was built by hands over 100 years go. This was where the hike started to get hard. There are many steps to climb and it goes up a lot! In fact, my ears started popping at one point. But the views were very worth the climb. I would do it again and I would recommend it to anyone who’s in good shape and isn’t afraid of heights!
We then came to the end of the National Pass track and decided to walk another 2,2 km. to The Village of Wentworth Falls, where we would catch a train back to Sydney. On the way from The Grand Stairway to the village, we walked through a beautiful sub-tropical rainforest before finally arriving in the village about 5 hours after we had started the hike. It was a great way to end a great day!
I was quite surprised by how cold the weather in the Blue Mountains was. Being European – and naïve -, I always believed Australia to be extremely hot and dry – everywhere. But the Blue Mountains were the opposite. They had just the right temperature for me to feel comfortable when hiking. It almost felt like hiking in the Faroe Islands again. While it did get quite cold at times, I really enjoyed having some “European” weather for a day!
The day in the Blue Mountains was one of my favourite days in Australia. While I enjoy big cities, I absolutely LOVE spending time in nature, especially in the mountains. And I’m glad that Naufar was there to make the day even more special.