While researching my trip to Australia one of the places I definitely wanted to see was the Blue Mountains which are located a short drive west of Sydney. Not having a car and travelling on my own I didn’t fancy making my own way there, although I found out later that it is easy enough to head out there on the trains but I am not sure how good transport around the Blue Mountains is when you get there.
I chose to do a day tour with the aptly named Sydney Tours R Us, I was attracted to them as they also went to some other places on the way out and they use small mini buses. Not being the most sociable of people I’ve found it easier to make friends with your fellow travellers when you’re on these smaller group tours than if you are in a group of over 40!
I was picked up nice and early a little before 0800 and was the first person to be picked up, after visiting a few of the other hotels and hostels our small group of around 10 people headed out to our first stop at Sydney Olympic Park for a quick toilet stop and photo taking opportunity, we then headed to Featherdale Wildlife Park on the outskirts of Sydney. Here we were treated to some up close encounters with some of Australia’s native animals including Wombats, Tasmanian devils and emus. I also got the opportunity to cuddle a Koala (although I went for clapping it as it didn’t look too friendly) and to hand feed baby kangaroos. We only stopped off here for a little over an hour and you could easily have spent much longer there so if you’re staying in Sydney it’s somewhere to consider going for a bit longer but I think a lot of the tours heading out to the mountains stop here as there were quite a few buses.
Once we arrived in the Blue Mountains we were treated to many breathtaking views, I can’t remember the order we visited the various places but we went to Wentworth Falls, Cahils Lookout, Megalong & Jamison Valley and Echo Point to see the Three Sisters which is a rock formation so named as there are three of them and apparently they are sisters. This is also where you can see over an area knows as Australias Grand Canyon.
We were given the option of heading to a restaurant or being dropped off in Katoomba for lunch, we went for being dropped off and wandered the streets of this beautiful town grabbing lunch from a cafe.
In the afternoon we headed to Scenicworld, home of the Scenic Railway, Skyway and SceniSender. After visiting the Three Sisters we boarded the cable car which stretches across the valley to the main complex. From here you descend down to the valley floor in a cable car before walking through the forest and returning back up the mountain on the worlds steepest incline railway.
Throughout the day our guide was extremely informative and approachable with many little stories and anecdotes. Our day ended when we were dropped off at a ferry terminal on the outskirts of Sydney for the trip back to Circular Quay – this is where you say goodbye to your guide for the day as you board the ferry for the trip back which takes a little over an hour and gives you some amazing views of the city as you head down river, eventually passing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Important to note – it is stated in the tour description but as I, and some of my fellow travellers, didn’t realise it at the time of booking – this tour ends when they drop you off and put you on the ferry on the outskirts of Sydney, the ferry takes you back to Circular Quay ferry terminal and train station – it’s right next to the Opera House and was a short walk from my hotel so wasn’t an issue for me but some of my fellow travellers were staying quite a distance from here so had to make their own way back to their accommodation.
I visited the Blue Mountains with Sydney Tours R Us, at the time I don’t think they had an online booking system and being in the UK I didn’t want to phone, so I emailed and could not have had a more pleasant or helpful experience, they even refused to take any money in advance and I just paid cash on the day. I do highly recommend them if it’s something you’re considering doing please do head over to their website.