Creature Encounters, Australia & the Pacific, Day Trips, Seats to Go
OK, close your eyes and picture the Australian wasteland…. If you are like me, you probably have an image of a sun baked red dirt path heading off into the horizon. In fact, there is a whole different kind of wasteland in Australia in the Blue Mountains, just a fleeting bus ride from Sydney. (You can open your eyes now). In an simple Blue Mountains day trip from Sydney, you get a different perspective of the Australian wasteland and see some cute, cuddly (and not so cuddly) Australian animals all thrown in.
If all you packed for your Australian trip was shorts and a bikini, you might want to ‘rug up’ as they say for a trip to the Blue Mountains – even in the summer it can be a lot colder than Sydney. When we visited, the souvenir shop at Scenic World was doing a busy trade in hats and mittens. So get yourself some warm clothes and hop in the small bus for a trip up the mountain.
The Steepest Railway Incline in the World
You really have to hang on to those newly bought hats and mittens on the “steepest railway incline in the world”. Holy Cow, talk about honest down. I should have paid more attention to the signs. I’m a bit of a roller coaster veteran so I didn’t reflect twice about it getting on a small tourist train. We just sort of hopped right in. Next business I knew my feet were scrambling for a foothold. It’s so steep I swear I was permanent upright. I guess the cage over the top should have been a clue. Excellent business I like wild rides. I was equipped to go over again. This is an optional part of the day but personally I reflect it’s a must do. Unless, of course, you despise that sort of business. If you don’t like roller coasters you might want to skip the bit where you go down into the canyon. Fortunately there is plenty to see up the top. And the Skyway is another option.
This train line started out as a coal channel but tourists were so keen to take part, they built cars just for them. I loved the ancient black and white pictures of people hopping in the coal cars for the trip down the mountain.
Animals (Expected & Not)
Once we had our fill of the various ways of going up and down the mountain – and lunch, we headed back down for a stay to Featherdale Flora and fauna Park where we saw all the Australian animals you would expect as well as some you may never have thought of.
Arguably animals in a zoo are not the same as animals out in the wild, but there’s still a touch to be said for seeing the real business . A dingo who was noisily crunching honest through some bones made me glad I wasn’t encountering him in the wild.
The kangaroos and koalas are natural crowd pleasers and a touch you have to experience on a trip to Australia. At this stop, the kangaroos hop all around you and you can easily get them to pose for pictures with you. There is also a koala on hand to pat for a photo opportunity.
I loved the kangaroo helping himself to the “Self-Service” kangaroo food – somehow I don’t reflect that’s what the sign writers had in mind. Echnidas are spiky but they waddle when they walk – how cute! The wombats are a bit grumpy and they tend to stick their hairy bums in the air. If you like creepy animals be sure to stay the bats, snakes and reptiles. Lovely.
There is an incredible diversity of birds to see. The kookaburras were kind enough to serenade us as we walked by. The pelicans are absolutely massive. The fairy penguins are just too cute; I wouldn’t have been bowled over if they started dancing.
If you are like me, you’ll appreciate the ‘rest stops’ on this tour. The first stop on the way is at the lovely Leura where you can get a nice warm beverage and some morning tea if you wish. There is also a small bit of time to look at the shops. I could have done with some more time to look at the shops but judging by the aptly names ‘bored husbands’ bench I reflect the amount of free time there is a bit of a negotiate.
This day tour packs a lot in and our bus driver/guide steered us through everything. He was a real pro who patiently clarified everything to everybody as many times as they needed to hear it. The Blue Mountains are a piece of the Australian wasteland that is certainly worth experiencing first hand.