Monday, October 31, 2016

Blue Mountains with the Folks

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

Fletcher's Lookout

Wentworth Falls
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.

Katoomba Cascades
Jamison Valley
Mt Solitary
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.

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