On Saturday, December 6th it was our third day in Sydney and my 32nd Birthday. It felt a little strange given the time change as it really wasn’t my birthday at home in the States. It was only December 5th. But in the land Down Under, today was the day so why not celebrate? (I was still at the age where I enjoyed my birthday and still felt relatively young…ha).
It was a free day ahead and I got to pick what to do. Of course I wanted to do something outdoors, athletic and meaningful. Thus we decided to take a train to the Blue Mountains, a place known for its spectacular scenery and fabulous hikes. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than bushwalking (as the Aussies say). Hiking is one of my favorite sports.
The Blue Mountains are roughly 3,000 feet high and are considered a cool area rainforest. I had read that it is not only a mecca for Sydneysiders who love to do day trips to escape the heat and crowds, but it is also one of Australia’s best known playgrounds with tons of opportunities for adventures sports. The guide book recommended a couple of days. We only had an afternoon, so we decided to make the best of it.
We took the two-hour ride to the mountain town of Katoomba hoping that the unusual cloudy and cool weather would pass. We wanted to experience that fantastic perfect summer weather that Sydney is known for. All I had were shorts since I had expected it to be summery weather. Little did I know, it was going to be freezing as soon as we stepped off the train in the Blue Mountains. It was even colder there than the mere 60 degree weather in Sydney. Brutal.
We arrived at our stop at the town of Katoomba, freezing cold and hungry. It was perfect grazing weather so we decided to test out a couple of the delightful bakeries lining the street. After loading up on pastries and treats, we headed for the trails to do our bushwalk and work it off.
We tramped around the rainforest for awhile, marveling at all the beauty and sights. It was the perfect way to spend my birthday: Doing something I love and being with my dad.
After fully exhausting ourselves and using up all our sugary-induced energy, we headed back to Sydney for one last hurrah at the fabulous restaurant looking right out at the Opera House. We indulged in a huge, gourmet pig out with two bottles of wine and cake. It felt great to be 32. I was looking forward to the rest of the trip.
Here are some photos from the day:
The Blue Mountains were absolutely stunning even in the cloudy, cool weather. The hiking trails are awash with ferns and gorgeous trees. You pass many waterfalls and scenic viewpoints such as the one below.
Birthday girl in the Blue Mountains….if only I could be 32 again!
Bushwalking in the Blue Mountains with my dad:
Deeper into the rainforest it was as dark as night. There were also many waterfalls along the way plus loads of my beloved ferns.
A dinner to remember right next to the Opera House and a show at the Opera
Stay tuned…next post I’m off to the Great Barrier Reef for my first dive!