This was our second time in the Blue Mountains. The first time was around Christmas with my Mum and visiting friends during the high season of bush fires. It still was a beautiful trip, but the smokey air and nearly no view made it kind of hard to enjoy it to the fullest.
So we went back last weekend and it was magical. The Australian winter is the perfect time to visit the mountains. It’s usually perfect weather for hiking. Blue sky, refreshing winds, and the UV Index is still low (4 ~ roughly Berlin summer levels).
As we recently bought a new/old car with a rooftop tent we decided to do some camping. It was nice, as most of the people don’t go camping during winter. No crowds, empty campgrounds, and freezing nights.
We left Sydney on Friday afternoon and arrived late evening on the campground. We were pretty nervous, as they said “first come, first serve” on the campground’s website. But in the end, there were only two other vehicles on that campground, so there was no need to worry at all.
First night in our tent was freezing cold – I was more than happy that we took a hot water bottle with us 🙂
The morning was very calm. Beautiful weather: blue sky and mild temperatures. After the first coffee, we headed out to grab some breakfast in Blackheath, a nice little town with plenty of small shops.
Strengthened from the coffee and breakfast we decided to go for a hike. I have heard many good things about the grand canyon walk, so we aimed for that one.
The Grand Canyon
The grand canyon walk is a magnificent and unfortunately very popular walk in the Blue Mountains. It’s a 2,5-3h walk, with medium intensity. It starts at the Evans lookout and goes down for approximately 30min. You enter a completely different landscape. It’s like a rainforest. Plenty of green ferns and small waterfalls. It’s colder, as the sun has a hard time breaking through all the lush green plants. You follow a nice little path along the waterfalls before it goes back up to the car park.
This was an amazing loop track and we can recommend it to everyone, as it’s not very difficult. Make sure to bring some water and sun protection.
Leura & 3 Sisters
We spend the afternoon in the small town of Leura before we went to the famous 3 Sisters and enjoyed some other nice lookouts close by.
After one more freezing night on that cute, little, and very empty campground, we decided to explore the Wentworth tracks a little bit. But first things first: Coffee on the campground, second coffee in a hidden hipster coffee place in Katoomba, and some takeaway treats from the local bakery.
After breakfast with a view, we went for the Overcliff-Undercliff walk. It’s a short 1,5h walk, which is very easy to do, as it’s not much going up or down. This walk is not very popular, as the close by Wentworth Falls are the main tourist attraction. So we had that walk mostly to ourselves and were rewarded with stunning views and remote lookout points. This was the perfect hike for a Sunday and relief to some slightly sore muscles.
Before we went back to Sydney, we followed yet another cafe recommendation. It was supposed to be a super awesome German-style bakery with authentic German cakes. We went there and it looked good. Lot’s of wood, a bit of Schwarzwald flair. Excited, we lined up to get a table and ordered some “Kaffee und Kuchen” (coffee & cake). However… we left that place fairly disappointed. It was ridiculous expensive (over 10AUD for a piece of cake) and the cake was far from being authentic (too dense and heavy, not light and fluffy) and the coffee was mediocre at best. Overloaded with sugar, we went for a short walk in a nearly park before we drove back to our home base in Sydney.
It was still a wonderful weekend. The national parks in Australia are very beautiful and it sparked the idea of exploring the country a bit more. We already have our next trip planned for the upcoming weekend. Stay tuned…