February 26, 2012 – Sydney, Australia
Our second day in Sidney included a tour to The Blue Mountains, a range of mountains about 90 minutes to the west of Sydney. This beautiful range of sub-alpine (about 3,500 feet above sea level) mountains is an obvious destination for weekend trips from the city. The area is full of small tourist villages, reminding us of similar areas in Colorado and New Mexico.
Our coach arrived at Scenic World, a sort of National Park facility for visiting the mountains, perched above a smaller version of the Grand Canyon – beautiful rock formations in all directions.
Blue Mountains – Three Sisters
Blue Mountains Mist
We queued up for a train to the valley floor, labeled the steepest train in the world – a 51 degree slope, and descended to the bottom of the valley. The valley floor, unlike the top of the ridge, was a rain forest with palms, ferns and towering trees. A long abandoned coal mine was in the valley, and after a walk through the jungle, we boarded a cable car for scenic ride up from the valley floor.
A walk through the valley
A parrot in the valley
Aborigine Father Statue
Sally and the giant koala
We loaded on the bus for our two hour trip back to Sydney. Apparently we were running late and our guide started receiving calls from the ship inquiring as to our ETA. We got back a little late, but they held the ship for us, since we were on a Holland America excursion
We boarded the ship just in time for a sail away party on the aft deck.
As we sailed under the Sydney Bridge, we could see the waving bridge climbers.
On the way out of the harbour, a world class view of the Sydney Opera House.
Until we visit this great city again!