Blue Mountains

My cousins and I visited the Blue Mountains, driving west out of the greater Sydney area. The Blue Mountains are so called for the many eucalyptus trees which grow in the rainforest climate on the slopes, which give off a blue haze to the region when viewed from afar. The weather was very changeable that day, cool enough to wear a cardigan but with a sun fierce enough to make the top of my head burn. From our high vantage point we could see shadows moving over the landscape where the clouds rolled by.

The shape of the mountains are like that of Ayers Rock, tall plateaus with sharp, cliff-like edges that fall into deep, flat valleys covered with lush vegetation. The most famous sight is the Three Sisters, a tripartite rock formation

Known as the Turpentine Tree for the smell produced when its leaves are crushed, this tree is native to New South Wales and its wood is so hardy (it resists termites and is one of the most difficult timbers to ignite) that even when the tree is dead, the stump can remain for hundreds of years

We visited the part of the mountains that used to be a mine in the 19th C, but since the 1920s it has been a tourist attraction. As I mentioned before in Viewing Sydney , Australian tourism has highly developed ways to see tourist attractions, and here was no different. The Katoomba Scenic Railway is the steepest railway in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, with a maximum gradient of 52 degrees. This was originally constructed with the mine. In addition, there is the Scenic Skyway, a glass-bottom aerial cable car that crosses the valley, and the Scenic Cableway, the steepest aerial cable car in Australia. You could buy combination tickets for these cablecars and for the boardwalk that was suspended among the rainforest in the valley below. Despite having a fear of heights, Catriona managed to endure the rides, and I must say the railway was extremely steep. When we got in, the seats were reclined because once it took off, the car tilted forward so far to make us be sitting upright.

This is my last post about Australia, the next one will be back in Japan.

1 thought on “Blue Mountains

  1. Good on you for getting those blogs done considering how much time has passed since you were there. now looking forward to seeing some more from Japan.

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