There is plenty of other places to go in Sydney but with such a short visit I couldn’t pack everything in but I did manage to go to the Blue Mountains. Usually you can book these trips direct with your hostel / hotel but they get booked up quick but there is always the option of booking yourself online.
We booked with Sydney Tours and ended up with Dave as our tour guide. Dave was mental but in the great adorable sense opposed to the fear for your life axe murderer sense. We were picked up from our hostel and did the tour to pick up the rest of the group. We went down a one way street at one point which was tighter than two coats of paint. There was an involuntary breathe in from the group as Dave trundled down the road regardless and subsequently hitting a car or a wheelie bin. This was the start of many comical moments throughout the trip courtesy of the man Dave himself. Dave had what I would call ‘verbal Diarrhea‘ mostly about fun oz facts but some was just complete and utter drival which occasionally made me ponder if he was talking to us or if he had switched onto inner monologue – either way I loved him even more for this. He was donned in park ranger gear and a full on ranger hat – of course what else. Legendary.
Our bus broke down en-route…. but this was not to deter hero Dave. In amongst his constant chatter he had also managed to radio in the cavalry. Who said men can’t do two things at once? Dave can manage 4 – Dave is a hero. We first of all went to Feather Dale Park. This is a place where you can go if you want to see and feed kangaroos, see koalas, bats, wombats, crocodiles and all things ‘Australian animals’ from a safe distance . Fun fact numero uno Koalas get stoned from eating bamboo – this isn’t the only animal in the world to eat fodder to make them feel narcotic affects – but more on that later – but this is apparently why they sleep alot. Not a bad life!
You cannot hold a Koala, although I believe in certain places you can, but what you can do, is stoke a Koala’s butt. Not something I expected to do when I got up that day but hey… what ever floats the little guys boats and who am I to deny a Koala getting his butt stroked?!
Both my friend and I took this picture of what we thought was a pelican – turns out this one is plastic. We thought he was very still, even for a pelican.
Feather Dales is good but when you are on a whistle stop tour you dont seem to get much time at any one place. I would recommend you go to see these places individually.
For a small donation you can opt to get some grass and pellets to feed the little kangaroos, which was my favourite part of this little place, well that and the kangaroos living up to the expectations that cartoons have instilled in me that they love nothing more than to have a scrap like they are boxing. Stereotype satisfied – the little dudes didn’t disappoint.
You can also see a rather large crocodile which they wiggle a bit of raw chicken in front of to make the croc give chase. Here he is jumping out of the water to grab his feed.
Once we left Featherdale we scooted off to a look out point over the blue mountains. Famous for the blue haze that hovers above the greenery below giving them this blue tinge glow. Also home to my favourite flower the Hibiscus flower that we famously add to champagne drink here in the UK.
There are various look out points but we were also taken to Echo Point. This has one of the best look outs and comes with full over priced restaurants and souvenir shops. Quite honestly I would have liked to have seen this without the cheesy get up and a place which had clearly stamped over what would have been an aboriginal setting before tourist changed it into something commercial.
There is a place where you can go up and down the mountains and across. We paid $35 to basically take an aerial car over from one mountain to another – not something which will be a highlight if you do not like heights like me but my friend somehow managed to make me part with my cash to keep my eyes shut for the majority and hold on tight to anything in front of me. The other thing to note, if you are a heights fobe like me, is to torture you further the middle of the floor turns from opaque to clear allowing you to FULLY take in the height by looking straight down. Awesome. Thank you for that.
Once on the other side there is the usual cafe, souvenir shop, toilets – which if you are like me you will only be glad of the latter. Neither do I feel like eating knowing i have to get down from this ruddy mountain nor do I need a little toy mountain to remind me.
The next hurdle was a cable car that went with gravity and pulled you down to the ground to allow you to wander around the rain forest. However, due to our crazy schedule Dave only allowed us 15 minutes down here which only allowed enough time to walk to the steepest train in the world to get back up to the top.
The rainforest itself was beautiful and I must say worth the pain of heights.
The steepest train in the world doesnt look so scary when you first board, sure it is on an incline and it has a setting on your seat for ‘cliff hanger’ or ‘relaxed’, of course we went with the latter and I am glad I did as once you actually climb the side of the mountain where you seem to pull up to a 90 degree angle of ‘vertical’ that the bar in front of you was to lean on as the train started the accent. Had we had the setting to ‘Cliff hanger’ I am sure I would have been winded and promptly involuntarily vomited on the person in front of me. Regardless of this I think I enjoyed the train the most out of all of these rides and not just because this one took me to ground level.
We saw some beautiful sights driving through the Blue Mountains and it is a trip that I would highly recommend but personally, if I were to do this again, I would hire a car and take my time. I felt I paid $120 dollars for a whirlwind tour. Dave and stroking Koalas butt being the highlight.