“GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK AND YOU CAN EXPERIENCE THE BLUE MOUNTAINS LIKE A LOCAL.”
The region’s history started with the European explorers > Blaxland, Wentworth Falls and Lawson are named after the explorers who crossed this area in the 1800s but walking the Red Hands Cave track near Glenbrook connects you to the deeper past of the Darug people, who, along with the Gundungurra, have been living and exploring here for
AND 3 TRUTHS
The Three Sisters and Scenic World are all there is to see > Most people are familiar with the Three Sisters and Scenic World (scenicworld.com.au) but there’s much more to the region. Take a guided canyoning trip down Empress Falls Canyon (bmac.com.au), find more than 6000 plant species at The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden (bluemountainsbotanicgarden. com.au), do a cooking class in a Wentworth Falls homestead (mtnsmade.com.au), pick your own fruit at Pine Crest Orchard (pinecrestorchard.com.au) or taste local wines at Dryridge Estate (dryridge.com.au).
The mountains look blue > From a distance, the mountains’ ridges appear to have a blue haze because of an optical phenomenon called Rayleigh Scattering, where light passes through dust particles and oil released by the 91 different species of eucalyptus trees in the area, scattering rays of blue light. It’s a World Heritage site > The Greater Blue Mountains Area was World Heritage listed in 2000, partly due to its unique diversity of flora and habitats. Now, it shares this distinction with the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks in the USA and Machu Picchu in Peru. It’s a great place to see native wildlife > You don’t have to try too hard to spot one of the 186 species of native animals and birds living here, such as wallabies, wombats, kangaroos or goannas. You’re bound to find some at Euroka campground at Glenbrook or Dunphy’s campground in the Megalong Valley (nationalparks.nsw.gov.au).
thousands of years. An Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout (bluemountains walkabout.com) tour is the perfect way to learn about Indigenous culture.
There’s nothing to do during wet weather > While the misty phantom falls phenomenon – where mist creates a waterfall effect over the cliff tops – may hide the views, locals will tell you that venturing down into the valleys (including Fern Bower and Leura Forest) on a rainy day is the best time to wander the ancient Gondwana rainforest. If staying dry is your preference, you can head west to Jenolan Caves (jenolancaves.org.au) to shelter underground and see some incredible limestone formations, join in the open mic sessions at the The Gardners Inn Hotel at Blackheath or roll a jaffa down the aisle of historic cinema Mount Vic Flicks (mountvicflicks.com.au).
It’s packed with tourists > It is undoubtedly a big tourist draw but go off the beaten track and you can experience the Blue Mountains like a local. Catch the sunset along Narrow Neck Peninsula or go camping around the ghost town ruins of Newnes to beat the crowds. Wandering markets, checking out the latest exhibitions at the Blue Mountains Cultural
Centre and then eating
gourmet pizzas at Station Bar
(stationbar.com.au) are also local faves.
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