Scenic World

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The Scenic Skyway gliding out over the valley

Katoomba, everything is called Scenic..Railway, Skyway, Cableway and Walkway but it lives up to its name, situated on the clifftop, scenic world is the access point to the valley below. It gets VERY busy just to get into the car park and as we found out its best to book ahead online. Never mind, we logged on  and bought a ticket for a 4pm entrance into the park, which left us with a long wait but an opportunity to climb down the Furber Steps to see the main attraction the Katoomba Falls.

Katoomba Falls

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Orphan Rock
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Katoomba Falls

Its a steep climb down in the heat of the day, we keep catching glimpses of the distant sandstone rock formation of the Three Sisters from across the valley. Below us we can see the rock ledge of the Katoomba Falls, its not very clear how we can climb down to reach the ledge as a number of people are milling around and looking confused. We find the right way and come out to a small viewing area next to the Falls, even though there is a barrier to stop people from walking over the ledge there is quite a crowd already on the ledge. Above us the waterfall sprays over the edge of the cliff into a higher pool then drops again over the lip and down the rock escapement and over the cliff edge.

This is a selfie spot for go-pro and Facebook fans, as we watch a number of people stand on the very edge of the ledge to take selfie photos. There is no safety net…

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Beneath the Falls
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Katoomba Falls
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Weeping Wall
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Over the Edge
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Selfie Spot
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View out over the Jamison Valley
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The Three Sisters hidden behind the trees
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Dappled light across the staircase
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The Blue Mountains
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The top of the Katoomba Falls
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Katoomba Falls without tourists
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Real View with tourists

Jamison Valley

At last we are allowed in, the centre is still full of people but we just go for it jumping on the railway that shoots us down a 52° incline into the valley below head first. The track follows the miners route down to the base of the cliff, its narrow in places but provides a fast hair-raising route down into the rainforest below. So good in fact we jump back on and head back up sat in reverse.

At the base we wander along the raised walkway through the ancient rainforest at a number of point we come across the remains of the mining operations. In the centre of the rainforest is a small rainforest room used as a chapel. Below the trees the evening is closing in and the temperature is beginning to fall, we climb back up to the bottom railway station and take the reverse trip back up to the top station.

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Descent on the cable car down to Jamison Valley
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Walkway in the valley bottom
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The abandoned coal mine entrance

The Skyway glides between the cliff tops, 270m above the valley below. We travel across to the east station then take a walk along the cliff path in the falling evening light, the views of the Three Sisters from here  is spectacular, the rock formations stand promenade against the skyline. The views out over the valley are vast, the eucalyptus oil from the rainforest trees means the air is full of particles  giving the air its distinctive blue hue.

As the evening encroaches we travel back across in the glass bottom Skyway cable car to the top station on the other side of the valley. The car park is emptying by now and the travel back is completed in the dark as we travel through the all encompassing rainforest back down the twisting mountain roads to Sydney.

30.12.2015

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Approaching the Three Sisters
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The northern rock escapement
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Evening light
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The Three Sisters
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Heading down into the valley
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The Three Sisters in the evening light
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Blue Haze
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Down below, looking through the Skyway glass floor

Travelling Notes

Check out the visitors website : Scenic World in Katoomba, everything is called Scenic..railway, Skyway, Cableway and Walkway but it lives up to its name, situated on the clifftop, scenic world is the access point to the valley below. It gets VERY busy just to get to the car park and as we found out its best to book ahead online. Blue Mountains City Tourism head for Echo Point, here is the information centre next to the views out over the Three Sisters.

Where : The Blue Mountains, Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia.

Travelling : from Dural in the northern suburbs  of Sydney its straight forward to reach the Blue mountains, just head west into the hills ! W joined the M7 west towards the M4 then headed out of Sydney and climbed up into the hills to Katoomba a journey of  93km. 

Camping or CampervanSydney Hills  An Active Holidays site near Dural.  It takes 45 minutes to reach the centre of Sydney by jumping on the bus, which stops just outside the camping site. Alternatively park at Pennant Hills Station and take the train straight into  Sydney jumping off at Wynyard Station, this takes 40 mins and you get to go over the Harbour Bridge.    

Don’t tell anyone: The Mountain Blue Cafe, Glenbrook, stopped at this cafe for breakfast in Glenbrook on the way up the mountains to Katoomba, provided a good start to the day.

Next up: Taronga Zoo, Sydney

pjbourne is a full time architect, urban masterplanner and sustainability designer. In his free time he’s outside with a camera, running, hiking or mountain biking through the Alps where he lives or indoors in front of the iMac planning another long road trip in a campervan to the other side of the world.

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