As the parents came to visit, we drove them for a weekend in the Blue Mountains. It rained. But then it's springtime and it does that.
|From Echo Point|
We took Dad for a walk along the National Pass. The plus points are that it is incredibly scenic and regarded as one of the finest bush walks in Australia with plenty of historical merit. On the downside there are a lot of steps. They also go up. It's only a six-kilometre round trip but, according to all the guide books, it is "generally agreed to be a three-hour walk for anyone with reasonable aerobic fitness". Those with dodgy knees may have a slightly different perspective.
|Princes Rock Lookout|
|Not for those with vertigo|
|Walkers descending the Grand Staircase in 1910|
|Dad descending the Grand Staircase in 2016|
One hundred years after the track was first opened, major restoration works were completed in 2008 by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. The outstanding restoration, working with historic stonework specialists, was recognised in 2008 when the work on the National Pass won a prestigious UNESCO Award of Distinction for Culture Heritage Conservation.
|Queen Victoria Lookout|
After our exertions, we were ready to be fortified with pints of beer and scones at the Carrington Hotel.
The next day we went for a much more sedate walk along the tops of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Starting at Scenic World, where we left poor heights-afraid mother in the cafe sitting firmly with her back to the view, we set off past the Katoomba Cascades to the Wollumai Lookout over Echo Point and the Three Sisters.
|From Wollumai Lookout|
|The Three Sisters|
The Scenic Skyway is suspended 270m above the ancient ravines of the Jamison Valley. Stretching 720m across the clifftops, it has a glass bottom for people to look down at the forest floor from a great height. Naturally we didn't embark, but we watched it swinging gently in the breeze and shuddered.