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Tag Archives: Katoomba

Scenic World and the ‘scenics’ of Katoomba

Katoomba is a quaint town at the heart of the Blue Mountains about 100 kilometres from Sydney. The tourism town boasts of many impressive attractions popular with tourists. One of these spots is Echo Point, a lookout on an escarpment. At the lookout, you can view the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, and Jamison Valley. From this vantage point, you can also see Mount Solitary and Ruined Castle. On the far right is the Narrowneck Plateau.

 

From Echo Point, the Giant Stairway connects the escarpment down to the valley floor, the route to the base of Katoomba Falls. 

 

With tourism as the town’s main industry, Katoomba is undoubtedly a famous Sydney tours stop. People take nature hikes (or what the Aussies call bushwalks) on trails and boardwalks. But if you want some more fun and excitement, the town has more to offer.

 

Welcome to Scenic World, a tourism complex that operates all the scenics in Katoomba. For the bird’s eye view of the valley take the Scenic Skyway and the Scenic Cableway. For the thrill up and down the terrains of Jamison Valley, the Scenic Railway is for you. This funicular railway is the steepest in the world.

 

A cable car built in 1958, Scenic Skyway travels over Jamison Valley. You can see the magnificent Katoomba Falls and Orphan Rock from a higher elevation. The Skyway is 270 metres above the ground over Jamison Valley. It can carry 72 up to persons. See the valley below through the cabin’s glass floor.   

 

The Scenic Cableway is a cable line connecting Doppelmayr and Jamison Valley. Its cable car can carry 84 passengers, passing over the valley above 510 metres high. Spectacular views of the rainforests below and the panoramic Jamison Valley landscape. You will have great views of the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, Orphan Rock, and Mount Solitary.      

 

The Scenic Railway, cable-driven funicular railway, used to be a rail facility for mining coal and oil shale back in the 1880s. Mining in Jamison Valley closed down in 1945. Today, the railway gets another usage. It is now a tourism facility carrying people up and down the rocky and rugged terrains of Katoomba. It can ferry up to 84 passengers per run. It has the steepest incline of 52 degrees on a 310-metre distance.    

 

For people weak enough for the thrills of the train ride or having the fear of heights there’s another scenic. Take a bush walk on the Scenic Walkway, a 2.4-kilometre elevated boardwalk. Walk through the rainforest amongst ancient trees on a higher elevation. The boardwalk is also friendly to persons with disability.

 

After the fun train ride and the terrific views on board the scenic skyway and cableway, chill out and relax. Terrace Cafe offers a relaxing ambience and wonderful views of Jamison Valley. Grab a nice blend of espresso or an alcoholic beverage and enjoy the scenery of the Blue Mountains.

 

At Scenic World, you sure have fun either up above or down below. The cable cars provide you wonderful vistas of the World Heritage-listed national park. And for adventures on the ground the railway give you some thrill. The safest and the healthiest though is the scenic walkway.

The ranges and peaks of the Blue Mountains

Couple watching the sunset from the Three Sisters, Katoomba

A rugged mountainous region of New South Wales comprising of canyons, sandstone formations, plateaus, rocky hills, peaks, and mountain ranges, the Blue Mountains is located 50 kilometres northwest of Sydney. It has a total area of 11,400 square kilometres and is famous for its natural scenery. Covered with ancient eucalyptus forests and dotted with waterfalls and waterways, the World Heritage-listed national park is also home to a rich biodiversity and wildlife. 

 

Over 3 million tourists visit the region every year to see the iconic Three Sisters, a unique rock formation in Jamison Valley near the tourist town of Katoomba.

 

The greater Blue Mountains area is part of the Great Dividing Range sitting on the sandstone bedrock of the Sydney Basin. Surrounded by major waterways, the eastern boundaries are the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers, on the west are the Coxs River and Lake Burragorang, and to the north are the Wolgan and Colo rivers.     

 

Several towns are within the Blue Mountains region. They are Katoomba, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, and Springwood with the local government areas including the cities of Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow, and Oberon Shire.

 

In 1788, Artur Phillip called the north Carmarthen Hills and the south Lansdowne Hills. Today, the region gets its name the Blue Mountains because of its azure hue. One explanation for this phenomenon is the Raleigh Scattering. Lights with shorter wavelengths refracted by the tiny particles in the atmosphere. They allow the eyes to see the bluish-grey colour from a distance. The second explanation pertains to the eucalyptus forests. The huge amount of oil the eucalyptus forests emitted under the scorching Australian sun created the blue haze. Either explanation is valid. There is only one thing that is certain: under the azure sky, the mountains are blue.     

 

The Blue Mountains consists of two major mountain ranges and five smaller ones. The Bell Range and the Explorer Range formed the major mountain ranges. The Bell Range extends to the north of the Grose River near the Bells Line of Road; to the south of the Grose River is Explorer Range stretching towards Mount Victoria in the west. The smaller ones are the ranges of Caley, Erskine, Mount Hay, Paterson, and Woodford.

 

The peaks within the Blue Mountains vary in height with an average of around 1000 metres of which the highest is an unnamed peak standing at 1,189 metres high and the lowest is Mount Irvine at 850 metres. Peaks above 1000 metres in height are mounts Piddington (1,094 m), Boyce (1,093 m), York (1,061), Banks (1,049 m), and Wilson (1,008 m). The Kings Tableland and Narrow Neck Plateau both stand at 1,000 meters. Below the 1000 metres are the mountains of Solitary (950 m), Hay (944 m), and Irvine.

 

UNESCO listed the Greater Blue Mountains Area as a World Heritage Site citing the region’s geological formation and its eucalyptus forests, biodiversity, and endemism.    

 

Today, the Blue Mountains is a major tourist attraction near Sydney. Adventurers climb the rocks and mountains; hikers explore the wilds. Guided tours are also available. The most popular scenic spot is Echo Point where you can have wonderful views of the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, Mount Solitary, Narrow Neck Plateau, and Jamison Valley.