Porters Pass

Porters Pass

For the last 6-10 years in England (depending on which of us you talk to) we have always gone down to Cornwall with the climbing club for the long Easter weekend on a trip called Splosh. There is climbing, tea shops, pasties, chips, the pub, card games, camping, mead (lots of mead), chicken and chips on a wooden plate with no cutlery and lots of awesome fun people!

This Easter we couldn’t go to Splosh for obvious reasons, so decided to go to the Blue Mountains instead. We left it a bit late to look for a hotel, as it turns out to be quite a popular place. Luckily my boss offered to lend us his tent, and we had roll mats and sleeping bags as they have been our bed for the last 2 and a bit months anyway!

So, Friday morning, we went and got the train to the mountains with a couple of massively heavy bags. It was about 2 hours 20 mins on the train, and cost $8 one way – yes $8!! That’s about what a glass of wine costs here!

We camped at a place called Blackheath, a couple of stops up the line from the main tourist centre of Katoomba. On Friday we stuck the tent up and went for a walk in the mountains, past  Centenial Glen, Shipley Upper and, Porters Pass. these places have climbing so of course Matt checked them out for future reference.

Centenial Glen

Centenial Glen

Having been about 25-28 degrees in Sydney, the temperature dropped off a fair bit on the first night and we were actually pretty chilly. By the next morning the weather got its act back together.

BBQ Breakfast

BBQ Breakfast

The good thing about the campsite was they had BBQs you could cook your food on, so in true Easter camping tradition we made bacon sandwiches for breakfast! Sadly I didn’t have a mug or any tea supplies, so no tea – tragic. Over the trip I actually went about 52 hours without a cuppa!!

Grose Valley

Grose Valley

On Saturday we went for a longish walk, past Popes Glen, to Govetts Leap and Evans Lookout. I hurt my knee so we didn’t get to the Grand Canyon, but will save that for another time. Although they are called Mountains, the Blue Mountains are actually canyons – you end up at the top, looking down over the cool scenery, rather than up at it. The trees and rolling terrain goes on for aaaages. There were loads of weird sounding and strange looking birds, and not many other people about at all. The scenery has a definite blue tinge because of the eucalyptus.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Grose Valley

Grose Valley

On Sunday we did the tourist thing and went to Scenic world in Katoomba. You pay to go into the park, with the worlds steepest railway (newly refurbished), a cable car and skyway (horizontal cable car). This was all good, but totally over run with tourists (not like us ‘locals’ – humm).

Scenic Railway

Scenic Railway

From the cable car was a good view of Katoomba falls which you could also walk around too.

Katoomba Falls

Katoomba Falls

We walked from Scenic World to Echo Point, a famous lookout where the Three Sisters rocks are. These were pretty cool, but had even more tourists than Scenic World itself due to the close proximity of the coach drop off and free view! We didn’t walk to the bottom because of my dodgy knee, but no doubt there would have been far fewer people at the bottom of the 900 steps to the valley floor!

Three Sisters

Three Sisters

After a quick fish and chip pitstop, we headed back to Sydney on Sunday night as it was due to be wet on Monday.

Overall verdict: Excellent trip, lovely place with epic scenery and a total bargain on the train. Getting around would have been easier in a car, and we will be back when we have one, if not sooner. Scenic World is one to see, but not really anything better than the rest of the mountains. Would have been improved by: pasties; cream teas (or any tea); mead and koalas!  Next year I think the USMC should have Splosh in the Blue Mountains!

1 Comment

  1. glad you enjoyed it, we loved our weekend there.

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