Tag Archives: Katoomba

Christmas road trip : Katoomba – Oberon – Jenolan Caves

As mentioned before in my post, we went for a road trip during Christmas with my parents and my brother’s family. It has been a hot summer this year, so it was a perfect escape from the heat to the mountains where the temperature is cooler than Sydney.

Katoomba

Our first stop was Blue Mountains in Katoomba. I have written about our previous trip here.

As it was a public holiday, there were lots of people there and families enjoying the long weekend. We were there for a while, took a few photos and decided to have lunch.

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Being Christmas Day most of the restaurants were closed. We had researched and found out that there would be an Indian restaurant open nearby so we stopped there before heading on ahead.

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Lunch was quick and OK. Then we headed back to road for another 100 km toward our next stop.

Oberon

Oberon is a small town around 180km from Sydney. The drive was pleasant with a lot of greenery and open spaces. The drive remained us our New Zealand trip as the landscape was so similar with small hillocks and lots of farms.

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It was our first time in Oberon and we liked the tiny town.

Our hotel was clean and quiet and had a big garden at the front where the kids could run around.

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After we reached the hotel, we rested for a while and went for a drive around the town. We went to a nearby park and to the Oberon damn. As it was summer, there were lots of flies at the damn but the park was fun with lots of flowers, a pond with ducks in it and a kid’s play area.

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After a while we headed back to the hotel so we could have some rest for our trip the next day.

Jenolan Caves

Our destination for this trip was Jenolan Caves, “the most spectacular and most famous cave in Australia”.

Jenolan Caves is considered the world’s oldest known open cave system (aprox. 340 million years) the cave system counts more than 40 km of passages, and is still being explored. For now, 11 caves are open to visitors to enjoy the magnificent limestone formations of astonishing beauty.

The road from Oberon is very challenging with many unsighted tight, steep chicanes.

We booked the Imperial Cave tour (the easiest one as we had kids and elderly) for 11 am.

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We wandered around until it was time for the tour. Our guide met us at the entrance of the cave and gave us some rules to follow while inside the cave. We were all excited including the kids.

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The group contained many kids and very elderly people as well so we knew we would be alright.

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The cave was cool but was perfect for summer. The entire path inside the caved was properly done so, we felt safe walking inside the cave. There were many stairs but they had a railing on the side for support.

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It was a fun experience as the knowledgeable guide gave us the history and geography about the cave. It was so much interesting to see the entire natural formed limestone and their very interesting patterns.

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The cave features include ‘The Sinkhole’, ‘Ridleys Shortcut’ (with a story on how it got its name), ‘Lot’s Wife’, the ‘Alabaster Column’ and the dramatic’ Crystal Cities’ which looks like an ancient fortress. And as its name suggests, the ‘Shawl Cave’ is filled with delightful cave shawls.

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Halfway through the trip, Chhhori fell asleep. Not her fault as it was her nap time but I had to carry her for rest of the tour.

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When the floor of the Imperial Cave was excavated in 1975, bones were discovered. The bones of a Tasmanian Devil (long extinct on the mainland) and a Wallaby are on display. As you walk through the cave, you can also see marine fossils embedded in the limestone roof and walls.

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We felt that an hour was not so long when you were enjoying every minute and it was the end of our tour.

We had lunch at the cave café after the tour and we headed back home.

Take care everyone.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S.Please vote for  Nepaliaustralian Blog Award

https://nepaliaustralian.com/2017/01/10/nepaliaustralians-blog-award-2016-nominations-announced/

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Trip to Blue Mountains

Last Saturday, we decided to take a day trip to Blue Mountains and we had an awesome time. I went there with my husband, my brother and his wife, my cousin, her husband and her 4 years old son and a friend of mine with his wife.

Blue Mountains are around two hours drive from Sydney and it is one of the popular tourist destinations. It is one of those destinations where you can drive from point to point in a car stopping at different view points for stunning views or you can bush walk for hours to get from one great location to another. The roads are also very scenic.

The Greater Blue Mountains Area was unanimously listed as a World Heritage Area by UNESCO on29 November 2000. The area totals roughly 10,000 square kilometres (3,900 sq mi), including the Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd, Wollemi, Gardens of Stone, Yengo, Nattai and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks, plus the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve.

One of the visitors we met there asked me if I knew why Blue Mountain is called Blue Mountains so I did my research and here is the explanation.

The mountains in the Blue Mountains look blue and their blueness comes from the way that the light hits the mist which rises from the eucalyptus trees which cover almost every inch of them.

On the way to Blue Mountains, there are lots of ice parks, lakes and falls. One of them is Wentworth Falls. When we got to Wentworth Falls, we were hungry so we decide to take a break in Wentworth Falls Park before bush walking. We ate our nice homemade lunch and went to the Conservation Hut to start our bush walking.

The track signs said an hour for the trip but I guess we took longer as we took lots of photos on the way. The walking tracks were really well maintained so even my 4 year old nephew easily walked without any help. We saw some amazing views on the way to the fall. Along with spectacular views, we saw kookaburras, parrots, lizards, spiders and colourful songbirds.

Once we were at the bottom of the waterfall it looked just beautiful. It looked like it came out of the National Geographic Channel. It was so cool and refreshing. There were lots of tourists enjoying the view.

After resting for a while, we made our way back to the car and went to see the mountains. The most famous piece of the Blue Mountains can be found in Katoomba as Echo Point. When Oprah was here shooting her final shows, it was one of the place she visited.

As the day was sunny, we had a great time going around the lookouts and taking some really nice shot. The Three Sisters looked beautiful from the view point but for those of you who love walking, you can actually hike down to the base of one for a dizzyingly spectacular perspective.

Ever time I visited Blue Mountains before, I took the Scenic tour which consists of

  • Skyway – The Skyway takes you on a 720 metre journey, 270m above ancient ravines and dazzling waterfalls.  You are suspended over Jurassic rainforests as you glide smoothly across the sky.
  • Cableway – The Scenic Cableway takes you on a 545 metre ride into – or out of – the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the Jamison Valley.
  • Railway – The 415m descent railway will take you through a cliff side tunnel down into an ancient rainforest.  The Scenic Railway can carry up to 84 passengers and operates every 10 minutes.
  • Walkway- Discover over 2.8kms of boardwalk through the ancient rainforest, including 380 metres of wheel chair accessible walkway

It is a must do if anyone is going to Blue Mountains for the first time. This time we skipped it and decided to walk most of the places.

Overall great day with plenty of exercise. 🙂