This morning the kids and I caught an 8:18 train to the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains are about 50 km to the west of Sydney. The train took roughly two hours to get to the Blue Mountains. We rode the train to Katoomba. I love riding trains as you really get to look at the scenery.
While on the train I started researching transportation to Scenic World from the train station. Scenic World's website mentioned two different bus companies that one could take from the station. I went to both of these companies websites and discovered both of them were going to be over $44 AUD for myself and $22 for each of the kids. It seemed a bit high for us who just wanted to go to one site. These buses were more like hop-on, hop-off buses. But I knew that we weren't going to be doing any of that. I then noticed that Scenic World was not too far from the train station. It was 1.5 miles away. So my thoughts were we could walk there. Finally, I noticed the public bus went there. It was actually super convenient. The bus stop was right across the street from the station and we arrived at Scenic World eleven minutes later.
Scenic World is a tourist attraction at the top of the Blue Mountains. They have a cable car, skyway, and incline train. You can take those to various hikes. We took the incline train down to the valley. The incline train is supposedly the steepest one in the world. Without moving your seat it is at a 54 degree angle. Moving your seat you can make it a 64 degree angle. So of course we chose that option.
In the valley there are boardwalks everywhere. We had a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk and tried to walk quietly so we could try to observe the wildlife. We saw one large bird, but besides that we just saw smaller birds. It was interesting to see the differences between their Mountains and ours. The Blue Mountains are comprised mostly of eucalyptus type of trees.
We took one of the longer walks in the valley floor. Then we took the cable car back up to the top. The kids decided they wanted to ride the incline train again so we rode it back down and then rode it back up again. After that we rode on the skyway and then we caught the bus back to the train station. We ended up catching the 2:14 train back to Sydney.
I'm not sure if it was worth the experience in the end. The kids enjoyed it, but it was four hours on trains to get out to the Blue Mountains and a whole day. We could have spent the extra time exploring Sydney. However, we did get to ride on the world's "steepest" incline train. We did get to experience some of Australia outside of the city of Sydney. We were able to make comparisons of their mountains compared to our local mountains. And the kids seemed to have fun. I think it was one of those things that if I did not do, I would have regretted it…but having done it now, it was not one of those things that I needed to have done. Another thing we got to see which I neglected to mention above was the Three Sisters rock formations. I do love to look at rock formations (seriously).
We got back to our rental a little after 4:30 PM. We took a short break to freshen up, and then headed to an Italian restaurant on the water, due to the fact that they had a gluten free dinner. We finally had a dinner out! We enjoyed our dinner, then came back to our rental for about fifteen minutes before we headed to the Sydney Observatory for our 8:15 PM night show. Rachel lasted about half an hour for this, and then I needed to bring her back to our rental. Fortunately, our rental was right next door to the Observatory so it was not that long of a walk. My husband reported to me that Jonas fell asleep during the planetarium part of the tour but perked up after that to view Saturn up close.
The *plan* for tomorrow is to sleep in, and then go to the Taronga Zoo, and then figure out what we want to do after that. Tomorrow is our last full day in Sydney. I am really going to miss Sydney. It is now up there with my other favorite great cities of the world – San Francisco, Paris, and Berlin. I honestly can't figure out which one I would put as number one and which one I would put at number four. The thing I love about Sydney is that I still don't see a lot of traffic for a city so large, and I love the harbour that I see everywhere I look. I've also been loving the transportation options.