A Travellerspoint blog

Katoomba - 3336ft above sea level

The Blue Mountains

sunny 16 °C

So we arrived in Katoomba, Blue Mountains yesterday morning, and it couldn't be any different to Sydney!

Feels like we're really in the outback driving through the streets, and the mountains are unbelievable. I was pretty surprised to see that they are actually blue in the distance, I was a wee bit sceptical that they would be, so happy to see they live up to the name. They go on for miles and miles, as far as you can see.

It's a bit cooler up here than in the city, but there's none of the harsh wind so it actually feels warmer, especially when you start climbing up the 900 giant steps at the Three Sisters, like we did today. Going down 400m to the valley floor was easy, going back up not so much!

The first thing we did when we arrived yesterday was jump on the Trolley Bus, a replica historic bus made of wood (including the seats) and quite bumpy, so the ride was as comfortable as you might imagine - loads of fun though, especially to drive about the wild-west style towns of Katoomba and Leura. They're also pretty small, a round trip all over both lasted about 35 mins.
Next up, we went to Echo Point (where we took the pictures of the amazing views from) and you can see the Three Sisters from there (the three rocks in the pictures, pretty famous).

We then walked down and along Prince Henry Cliff Walk, to Katoomba Falls and then over to Scenic World. Scenic world is right at the top of the mountains, and has 3 different ways to see them - the Scenic Cableway that goes down and up the valley at an angle like a cable car, the Skyway that takes you horizontally across the valley and has a glass floor, and last but not least, the scenic railway. Now in my opinion, this should be renamed the railway ride of fear, it's the steepest incline railway in the world, and takes you up and down 415m pretty much vertically (well, it felt like that, the angle is 52 degrees). AND it's over 100 years old. At the highest, steepest point it feels like you're being dangled over the cliff face (and there's no seatbelts, by the way, just bucket seats and the criss-cross roof of the train to hold on to). So after enduring the ride up the mountain backwards, I was made to do it again, going forwards down the mountain, sitting at the very front, eek! (Unusually, it was me and not Shona scared of this one!)

Shona also did her presentations this morning, I went along to watch and managed to follow most of what she was saying, they went really well but she'll be glad they're out of the way now, so we can enjoy the conference dinner tonight and some celebratory cocktails at Champagne Charlie's - the old style bar in the colonial Carrington Hotel where the conference is being held. If only we were staying there and not in the Hostel...!

Gonna try squeeze in a wee bit more sightseeing tomorrow, then next stop is Brisbane. More pics from the past few days will be up as soon as this site lets me!

- Lauren

Posted by LaurenSho 23:32 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Catch ya later Sydney!

Amazing 5 days in a great city

sunny 0 °C

So we're already at the end of our short time in Sydney!!

We've done pretty much everything we could do in this city, we've been to the wildlife centre and the aquarium, spent lots of time (and money) at Darling Harbour, gone on a tour inside the Opera House which was great to see (it's beautiful inside as well as out), and been up Sydney Tower at night and during the day to see the city from up high looking completely different each time.

We've also Jetboated around the Harbour and got SOAKING wet, but so much fun it was worth it - however it was only after we were in a boat spinning around dangerously in the water that we found out about the Tiger Sharks that also like to swim about around there - luckily no one fell in!

We walked along the Harbour Bridge, and took a city sights tour through the beautiful and expensive houses in Vaucluse, the old fashioned but gorgeous area of Paddington, and had a stop over at the famous Bondi beach - a lot smaller than I imagined, and sadly lacking surfers due to the wind and lack of waves...

Aside from all the tourist bits, I wish we had more time just to explore a bit more, and see the non-tourist parts, but there's always next time!

We ended on a super high note today and took the bus up to Palm Beach this morning, or Summer Bay for all you fans! When we got off the bus we weren't sure we were in the right place, but walking a few steps along and it felt like we were in the TV show! We had some drinks at the Surf Club (it actually is called the Summer Bay Surf Club, and on the sign it says the owner is A. Stewart!). We sat on the beach and watched the waves, went over to the other side and walked along the pier and by the bait shop, and had lunch right there in a restaurant. While we were there we met a man called Max that claims to have been a Dr. Taylor in Home and Away once (someone can check that out for us as I'm not 100% sure I believe him!) but he also had the cutest dog ever that could count, true story, we'll tell you about it when we're home :)

Finished off the day in true Summer Bay style and lazed on the beach, the warmest weather we've had since we arrived but still a bit chilly, we definitely caught the sun today though!

I've uploaded a couple of teaser pictures of stuff so far, so you can have a wee look, they're just on the right hand side of the page.

Next stop is the Blue Mountains, taking a bus to Katoomba 9am tomorrow, so next update coming again soon!

- Lauren

Posted by LaurenSho 03:11 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Sydney day 3 - quick update

sunny

Just a wee one tonight, we're just heading out to Sydney tower to see the city from way up high at night, then going for some food, yum!

We did the coolest thing today (literally!) - we zoomed around Sydney Harbour on a Jet boat, and got absolutely soaked! Was so much fun, but might want to leave it untill a warmer summer day next time, it was completely FREEZING!

We also have a temporary Australian phone, if you feel the urge to send a text, send it to 0424256542.

Off for food, update again soon...

Posted by LaurenSho 01:47 Comments (0)

Sydney

Recovering from jetlag, seeing famous sights!

sunny 19 °C

G'day!

So we survived the 30 hours of travelling, and arrived in Sydney in one piece!

Didn't do much last night but had a good sleep and our hostel for the next 5 nights is pretty nice. There's a rooftop pool but we haven't got that far yet, maybe tomorrow!

Went out exploring today and saw the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Opera House is pretty small in real life but still amazing, it's actually three separate buildings, didn't know that before, it only looks like the pictures from one side!

This is a really built up city, but it's amazing, I love it! Loads of skyscrapers but everything looks shiny and new - actually reminds me a bit of USA (even though never been there) with the street signs and wide streets.

One of the best bits is the pedestrian crossings on the road, they take a while to turn green but make the most amazing noise - no screeching beeps, instead they sound like someone playing pacman or space invaders, it's awesome!

There's also a monorail in the sky snaking through the middle of everything, I feel like I'm in a Jasper Fforde novel and there should be neanderthals driving, but where's the Dodos?!

We went for a walk through the botanic gardens, saw weird long beaked birds (someone please tell me what they are - black hooked beaks) and GIANT cockatoos!

Next stop was Cockle Bay Wharf at Darling Harbour, had a huge plate of calamari, then some tasty steak, finishing off with a bottle of wine overlooking the harbour and all the huge lit-up skyscrapers....perfect holiday relaxation!

We're just checking out the weather to decide if we'll be in Bondi Beach or Palm Beach tomorrow, so we'll update again soon!!

- Lauren

Posted by LaurenSho 07:02 Archived in Australia Tagged events Comments (1)

Singapore!

First half of journey over...

Just a quick message from the free internet at Singapore Changi Airport - finished with the biggest part of the journey, just off a 12 hour flight and we're shattered!

7 to go...

Heading off for some Singapore duty free, and looking forward to the next meal on the plane, it sounds tasty (as tasty as a meal in a tinfoil tub can be!).

NEXT STOP SYDNEY!

- Lauren and Shona

Posted by LaurenSho 17:20 Comments (0)

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