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  • Writer's pictureRobert Lainhart

Blue Mountains and Sydney

So I almost didn’t get off the train this morning… After waking up at 5:00 AM to eat breakfast, I went back to bed. The next thing I knew, we were at Sydney Central Station and I had yet to put all my belongings back in my suitcase. It was a mad dash to get off the train before it headed back up north.

After that debacle I joined the Blue Diamond tour group and began an hour and a half long drive up into New South Wales’ Blue Mountains. Along the way we stopped for a quick morning tea, which for me obviously meant a morning diet coke. We continued up the mountain and reached SkyWorld at around 10:00 AM. SkyWorld consists of 3 scenic rides to show off the beautiful landscape of the Blue Mountains. First we rode the Scenic Skyway over the Katoomba Falls which cascade several hundreds of feet down into the valley below. This was followed by the Scenic Railway which at a 52˚ grade is the steepest passenger railway in the world. Finally we rode the Scenic Cableway back to the top of SkyWorld where we took in the great vantage point of the Blue Mountain’s most famous landmark, the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters are a rock formation in which three sandstone peaks sit atop of a cliff that descends into the Jamison Valley.

After lunch we made out way to the Fetherdale Wildlife Park. I would have called this park amazing but as I visited the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary just a few days earlier, Fetherdale was a bit of a let down. It was a great park, but it wasn’t even comparable to the exceptionalism of Lone Pine (and yes, I know “exceptionalism” isn’t a word…).

After departing the park, we were dropped of at a nearby ferry dock to take a boat ride down the Parramatta River. This did not go as planned as a torrential downpour hit us as we were waiting for the boat. Although the storm passed in just over 10 minutes it was still intense. Finally our ferry arrived and we set sail down the river. Unluckily for us, the moment we docked in Sydney Harbour, another storm-front hit with the same ferocity. It was quite interesting trying to hail a cab when the rain was falling so violently it was difficult to keep your eyes open. Anyway, I made it to my hotel and decided to call it a day. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

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