Mo and I finally got some fresh mountain air this weekend! It’s amazing the things you take for granted when you don’t live in a city. Being able to breathe clean air and casually walk on a sidewalk are just two of those things! Living in Sydney has been a great experience, but it was nice to have a couple of days to slow down and relax. The Blue Mountains are about an hour and a half outside of Sydney, which makes for the perfect day or weekend trip. If you are considering taking this trip, there’s a great loop that will take you to many of the small towns with trails and lookouts nearby.
Fun fact: The Blue Mountains get their characteristic blue haze from the mixing of sunlight with drops of oil released by the eucalypts that blanket the region’s vast tablelands and valleys.
Our first stop was at the Information Centre in Glenbrook. We picked up a couple of maps and continued on our way to Leura. This cute little town was established in the 1920’s and has a main street with little shops and cafes. The Cat’s Meow, Mrs. Peel and Josophan’s Chocolates were a few of our favorites, but Josophan’s came out on top. With chocolates made onsite, you walk in and immediate smell what can only be described as heaven on earth. We ate dinner at the Leura Garage, a tapas style casual restaurant that I would highly recommend, with a great atmosphere and some of the best food we’ve had yet!
Even though it rained on and off all weekend, we did as much hiking (or “bush walking” as they call it here) as we could and decided we’ll just have to come back in the fall to hike the trails we couldn’t do… which is just fine with me! We were able to do the hike to Wentworth Falls, saw the Three Sisters in Katoomba, took the scenic railroad down the Katoomba Falls and hiked back up, and stopped at Echo Point lookout in Blackheath. We continued our drive up the loop and stopped at the Botanical Gardens in Mt. Tomah before heading back to Sydney. Even though the weather wasn’t the greatest, visiting the Blue Mountains is something you can do rain or shine and we’re excited to come back in the fall (late February/early March) for more bush walking!
Charles Darwin Walk to Wentworth Falls
Found a “fun guy” on our walk (pun intended)
Katoomba Scenic Railway – the steepest railroad in the world and Katoomba Falls
Chocolate cappuccino at Josophan’s
Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens
In addition to our trip to the Blue Mountains, Mo and I have celebrated two big holidays in the past couple of weeks- Valentine’s Day and the Chinese New Year. It was our ninth Valentine’s Day together (whaaaat), but particularly special being able to celebrate it here! Love was literally in the air for Valentine’s Day weekend and we celebrated with Nutella pancakes for breakfast, a movie at the open air cinema, foam koalas on our coffee and dinner at Kingsley Steakhouse. Lots of great food! Luckily, we had a chance to walk it off by walking to and across Sydney Harbor bridge for an amazing view of Sydney.
We live right next to Chinatown and wouldn’t be able to escape the New Year’s celebrations even if we wanted to! One of the main attractions in Sydney for the Chinese New Year is the “Lanterns of the Chinese Warriors.” These colorful lantern warriors are modeled after the terracotta army that was hidden underground in China for 2,000 years until discovered by a group of farmers in 1974. Sydney’s Lanterns of the Chinese Warriors | The real terracotta warriors.
If you’re thinking about making a trip to the Blue Mountains, I hope this post was helpful to you. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about where to go and what to do!