Jamie McHale

Sydney & The Blue Mountains

The first destination of my Australia-New Zealand trip was in the Blue Mountains, a couple of hours west of Sydney. This week is family week as we travel to my wee brothers wedding. We stayed in three places: Mount Tomah, Hampton and Wentworth Falls.

We had a quick lunch in Bondi, and took in some of the "Sculptures by the Sea" exhibiton that runs from Bondi to Tamara

Mount Tomah

Our first Airbnb was a woodland retreat at Mount Tomah, two hours up the main highway north of the Blue Mountains. It was just a few minutes away from the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens, a peaceful place to spend a few days adjusting to the new timezone. There were beautiful red parrots in the garden, Bower and a Lyre Birds in the botanics.

We did some walking locally - including a stroll out to Pierce's Pass. There were beautiful views over large cliffs, with a bush-covered valley below.

Hampton

Our second Airbnb was at Wicketty Bank on Wicketty War Road in Hampton. This was to the west of the Blue Mountains park, with rolling hills and farmland. The Airbnb was excellent - a lovely house on the edge of a farm. It was great for reading, walking, and pottering about with my parents. I would highly recommend staying there!

There were walks down by the creek, with kangaroos hopping around, a wombat and an echidna:

The dawn chorus and sunrise were beautiful (sound on for the video!):

I took a GoPro video of my sunrise run down Wicketty War Road.

Kanangra-Boyd National Park

We drove south the the Jenolan Caves through some windy roads with steep drops, and then after a quick visit, further south again to Kanangra-Boyd National Park (including 30km of dirt track). We walked to see the Kanangra Walls Lookout and then down a track to the waterfall.

I managed to get a good photo of the waterfall and fallen trees using my new variable ND filter for my camera. Pleased to be using this trip to learn new photography skills.

Wentworth Falls

The last stop of the trip was in Wentworth Falls, towards the south of the Blue Mountains park on the route back to Sydney. We stayed at an Airbnb just a few minutes walk from the falls tracks. Despite rain on the first day we managed a nice walk. The second day was much improved, starting with a fresh morning run down the trails:

We then drove over to Katoomba to see The Three Sisters formation, and visit scenic world. The experience there was quite touristy - good for people with accessibility issues or children - but not quite the same as the trail walking.

Later in the day we walked back through the trails and saw the waterfall at Wentworth Falls. The light was beautiful, and it was well worth the visit.

Next

The last day we drove back to Sydney and wandered around by the Opera House and Botanics. My parents are off to my brother's in Wellington, and I'm off for a drive around Tasmania.