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Location: West of Sydney along the Great Western Highway, Katoomba
The Blue Mountains is one of Sydney's favourite retreat. There is something magical about going to the mountains and breathing its fresh eucalyptus air. Standing at the lookout point, you could almost see the outline figures of the Three Sisters. The three peaks of sandstone and granite is the highlight of the Blue Mountain and is named after the Aborigine tale of three women sisters who walked the earth in during the Dream Time. The best view of the sisters is located at Echo Point.
See Legend of The Three Sisters to learn more about The Three Sisters.
Interesting enough is the name given to the mountains. The Blue Mountains appear to be a hazy sea blue color which appears the bluest during the summer months as a result of high oil concentration in the eucalyptus' leaves evaporating in the heat. The excess oil also produce a high fire risk area and bush fires are not uncommon in the hottest part of the month.
The walks included in the park have been especially chosen for their variety and value and include some of the best sights you will ever encounter. For the adventurer at heart, there is a daring spiral stairs drop to the bottom of the mountains. To go around the mountain would require at least three to four hours of stamina and persistence. Look for the Ruin Castle Walk signs to mark the start of the journey. For something a little different, try the Scenic Railway which is located about 1km west of Echo Point which is one of the steepest railway lines in Australia.
Two hundred metres above the gorge is the very popular Scenic Skyway which allow an arresting view of Jamison Valley, Orphan Rock and Katoomba Falls and is definitely not for the weak hearted. Both the Skyway and Scenic Railway will take you to the Blue Mountains Information Visitor Centre at Echo Point which has a good collection of maps, information, opals and souvenirs.
TIP: It is probably best to drive to the Blue Mountains. Drive west along the Parramatta Road past the University of Sydney and right onto the M4 Highway. It is then a straight forward drive following the signs towards Katoomba.
You will need a full day to explore the Blue Mountains. Bring plenty of water and packaged food. Wear a cap, sunglasses, sun block and most importantly, comfortable shoes or boots. Stick to the path and do not stray off it.
See Bushwalking in Sydney for more details.
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