Blue Mountains

This post is coming about a month late, but we went to the Blue Mountains over a long weekend…and we should probably do a post about it. The Blue Mountains are about two hours west of Sydney. You can actually take the train straight there from Central Station, but we opted to rent a car for the weekend.

We left early on Saturday morning and, unfortunately, the weather was pretty terrible. We arrived in Katoomba, the main town in the Blue Mountains area where our hotel, the Mountain Heritage Hotel, was located. We’d reserved a “room with a view” for a few extra dollars, but again – the fog was thicker than San Francisco fog. The hotel was nice though – not fancy, very old fashioned, but clean and staff was friendly. Very cozy with fire places everywhere you looked throughout the hotel.

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As with all of our vacations where we encounter bad weather (and also just generally) we decided to forgo our original plan of hiking all weekend and just eat really well instead. We had dinners at two amazing restaurants which I will write up separately – Darley’s at Lillianfels (which was also the most expensive dinner we’ve ever had) as well as Ashcrofts (which was amazing).
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Aside from all of the eating, we had to find something else to do that was sort of outdoorsy while avoiding the rain. We decided to drive another hour and a half north to the Jenolan Caves. It’s a nice drive up to Jenolan, though beware – the road is VERY windy and I’m pretty sure is not actually fit for two cars going in opposite directions. Regardless, we made it the caves in one piece. The caves are a great place to bring your family – and let me tell you there were loads of families and children and old people, etc. It was a good alternative activity, but wouldn’t be my first choice if we were to go to the Blue Mountain area again.

There are several tours to choose from at Jenolan (most of them an hour plus) and as we were hoping for a hiking-filled weekend, we opted for the Lucas Cave Tour – one of the more popular of the limestone cave tours and also dubbed “fitness level:strenuous”. I don’t know who came up with the fitness level guide because the 70-year-old woman on our tour as well as the troop of 9-year-olds were keeping up just fine… Needless to say, we skipped ahead of our tour and snuck into the the group in front of ours. It was fun though, definitely worth the drive.

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Lasting impression of the Blue Mountains: DO OVER! The rain sort of foiled our plans, we didn’t even actually get to see these alleged Blue Mountains – it was THAT foggy. Food-wise though – A+!