At Echo Point, an escarpment and a lookout in Jamison Valley, you get an incredible vantage point to view the storied Three Sisters. Standing proudly on the sandstone bedrock of the Blue Mountains, this rock formation is one of the iconic landmarks of New South Wales.
On the same location, the impressive Mount Solitary, a table-like mountain standing 950 metres high can be seen not far away. Pan out a little farther to the right. Under the azure sky, lies the Narrowneck Plateau within a viewing distance. The plateau consists of a 1,000-metre high canyon and a rugged terrain surrounded by verdure rainforests.
Covering over 11,000 square kilometers of land, the Blue Mountains is a Cordillera region in New South Wales. It is located 50 kilometers west of the metropolitan city of Sydney.
The Blue Mountains area consists of mountain ranges, plateaus, and rocky peaks founded on the sandstone bedrock of Sydney Basin. The highest unnamed peak stands 1,189 metres high and the lowest is Mount Irvine at 850 metres.
Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Blue Mountains is a national park and a conservation reserve region hosting hundreds of varieties of Australia’s endemic fauna and flora. The verdant vegetation of gums and eucalyptus forests made the mountains blue emitting a blue haze, creating a dramatic hue of the mountain ranges.
The rainforests and waterways are home to rare native wild animal species including the elusive platypus, spotted-tailed quoll, yellow-bellied glider, long-nosed potoroo, a variety of reptiles, crustaceans, etc. Koalas and kangaroos are a common sight in the wilds as well as the many different species of colourful and lovely birds.
Other than the amazing views from the lookout, you can also take a bush walk on the Giant Stairway, a walking track connecting Echo Point and the Three Sisters descending into the valley floor.
Conquer your fears by taking a ride of the world’s steepest funicular railway, the Katoomba Scenic Railway. It was built in 1878-1900 as part of the series of interconnected mining tramways.
Try the Scenic Skyway, too. It is an aerial cable car that follows a line connecting one sandstone cliff to another. Or the Scenic Cableway which is Australia’s steepest aerial cable car.
At the heart of the Blue Mountains, there are some picturesque waterfalls such as the magnificent Katoomba Falls. You can view the waterfall from a cable car over 270 metres above Jamison Valley.
The most impressive of the region’s waterfalls is Wentworth Falls, also near Katoomba. Then there are also other equally impressive waterfalls in Govetts Leap Falls, Minnehaha Falls, Vera Falls, Gordon Falls, Leura Falls, and Empress Falls.
Head southwest of Katoomba and follow the trail to the limestone caves of the Jenolan Caves.
Exploring the Blue Mountains is a memorable experience where, other than its stirring hues and fascinating views, there’s a lot of opportunities to learn more about the aboriginal people — their heritage, history, culture, and arts.
We are all travelers in this life. We are not supposed to be stationary or be stuck in a place forever. Exploring the Blue would be a fun start. Well, Australia is a beautiful country and there’s more fun exploring its scenic treasures.