The Blue Mountains is one of the famous destinations in New South Wales. It is also listed as part of the Unesco Heritage Site. There are few ways to get there either by signing up through organised trip or DIY. I have a hard time choosing between the two but one thing’s for sure, I have to get there whatever it takes. So, I had it my way.
I woke up early but still missed the first trip because I was too lazy to move. One of the things I love about traveling solo is there is no time pressure. Luckily, the Central Station is just few minutes walk from where I stayed. Trip View lite was my saviour, it’s a free app that provides real time train, bus and even ferry schedules. It’s very useful (thanks to my host for introducing the app to me) and i used it for my whole trip.
It took 2 hours to get to Katoomba Station. Everyone lined up at the Tourist Booking Office for the Blue Mountain Explorer Bus, a hop on hop off bus for all day. I noticed most of them have tickets to exchange and I have nothing. I was thinking if I am in the right place but it’s a booking centre anyway so I trust my instincts that I can book the explorer bus there. Instead of just booking the unlimited explorer bus, I booked for the unlimited scenic world too for whooping $70. How the hell did it happen? I asked myself while crossing the street. I can’t believe that lady just convinced me to get the unlimited Scenic Sky way, cable way, railway and walkway!
I was given a 72 page guide book, a ticket and a blue wrist band for explorer bus pass, the blue indicates that I am entitled for the unlimited Scenic world ride. The timetable for the Explorer Bus says that I still have 30 minutes before the bus arrive, it was pretty cold so I grabbed a cup of coffee nearby.
The explorer bus have 1 to 29 bus stop locations and I started from Stop 1. Well, logically everyone starts from stop 1. It is an area with few antique shops and cafe’s. Nothing much to see. I jumped immediately to Stop 9, the Scenic World. It comprises of 4 rides such as Cable way, Sky way, Walk way and the Rail way. All except the walkway will give you a panoramic view of the blue mountains. The rail way is my favourite because it gives me this thrilling experience, a ride through a cliff side tunnel. I didn’t expect it to be so crazy. I rode 4 times until i get used to it. I did the most of my unlimited discovery pass.
The cliff tops and valleys are at stop 10 but it is a drive past only. I made my way to Stop 14, Echo point – The Three Sisters. I love the look out there, breathtaking view. Stop 15 is the Honeymoon Look out, I walked through the giant stairway and onto the Three Sisters.
I got lost at Stop 17 (Leura Cascades). I walked through the forest, i saw some trails but see no one and I wasn’t quite sure where to go, I saw a dead end, got tired and went back to a somewhat viewing deck. I found out it was Gordon Falls (Stop 18). It’s funny I didn’t make it to Leura Cascades. I’m really not good at trekking and I easily give up. I however, didn’t regret not seeing it.
I was so hungry I headed to Stop 21, Leura Village and indulged in some fish and chips, not really the best fish and chips compared to the ones i had in Bondi Beach but enough to fulfil my cravings. I find Leura Village so cute and charming with it’s little shops, restaurants, cafe’s, souvenir shops and arcades for home made stuff.
The rest of the stops in the guidebook doesn’t sound appealing to me so I crossed it out in my list. I returned to the scenic world and had fun riding for the last time.
Turns out, it was the highlight of my Blue Mountains Tour.