Hiking the Blue Mountains

Australia, RTW: 2007-2008 — By on December 30, 2007 4:47 AM

I took a trip to the Blue Mountains with my new friend Ashley. I met Ashley at work and immediately knew we would become friends as she is very sweet, fun, and is a California girl too! She is from Santa Barbara and got her work visa through the same program as me. We decided it was time to get out of the city and see more of Australia’s natural beauty. Just like in San Francisco, driving a couple hours out of the city takes you to a totally new landscape. We saw our first kangaroo! There were loads of them hopping around and we were able to get very close them.

The Blue Mountains earned their name from the distinctive and deep hue of blue haze not found in any other parts of the world. This effect is caused by scattered rays of light coming in contact with fine dust particles and droplets of oil dispersed from the eucalyptus trees in the valleys.

Just an hour drive west of Sydney, Katoomba is the capital of the Blue Mountains. From Katoomba we drove another hour to the top of the mountain at Blackheat where we began our hike. From the top we hiked for 3 hours down into the Grand Canyon and back out again. Inside the Grand Canyon we saw winding streams, waterfalls, caves, rainforest, and Aboriginal sites. We were told the trail was a Level 4 hike and it was very intense but very worth the workout. My clumsy self tripped on a rock and fell into a creek at the bottom of the canyon! My feet were soaking wet the entire hike back up the canyon. My hiking shoes are waterproof, but not when you completely submerge your feet in water! At the end of the hike we got a stunning view of Grose Valley from Evans lookout.

In Katoomba we viewed the Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley. Our tour guide told us the legend behind the Three Sisters. According to an Aboriginal story, the three huge rocks formation were once three beautiful sisters named “Meehni”, “Wimlah” and “Gunnedoo” from the Katoomba tribe. The three sisters fell in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe but their tribal laws forbade their marriage. The three brothers did not accept this law and tried to capture the three sisters by force. This caused a major tribal battle and the lives of the three sisters were threatened. A witchdoctor decided to turn the sisters into rocks in order to protect them and thought to reverse the spell only after the battle. Unfortunately, he was killed in the battle and the three sisters remained as the enormous and beautiful rock formations.

We also did a short hike near Wentworth Falls, which was beautiful and very different than the waterfalls I saw in Costa Rica. I would love to repel down a waterfall! I am definitely going back to the Blue Mountains, as there is so much more to do and see than we had time for this trip. There is horseback riding, mountain biking, canyoning & abseiling, and caves to explore!

To see more of my pictures from my trip to the Blue Mountains…CLICK HERE!

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