Autumn clad trees at the Everglades Garden, Leura
There are few sights as beautiful or as invigorating to the soul as a parade of Autumn trees and the Blue Mountains is one of the best places for such a treat.
Blackheath in Autumn
Although you will find autumnal hues splashed throughout the mountains, the best locations are Leura
and Mount Wilson
. Drive or walk around either town, soak in the atmosphere of the season, then stop for lunch in one of the many cute eateries.
Particularly recommended is the small copse at the bottom of the Everglades Garden
in Leura. The Everglades is at the end of Everglades Ave, about 5 minutes drive from Leura village (as they so quaintly call it these days). You can walk there from the station in 20 minutes or catch the Trolley bus.
There is a small admission fee to the garden – which might make you baulk - but is worth it. You can make a day of it, picnic on the grass or on one of the conveniently located benches. There's also a tea-room and gallery on site.
The Copse at the bottom of the Everglades Garden, Leura, in it's autumnal glory.
For something more visually dramatic, take a drive to Mount Wilson
. This tiny, English heritage style village of about 200 citizens, is sequestered in the midst of gum rainforest and jungle style ferns. It can only be accessed by car.
If coming from Sydney take the M2 and M7 taking the Richmond Road Exit till you get to Richmond. From there follow the signs towards Lithgow passing through the townships of Kurrajong Heights, Bilpin and Mt Tomah along the Bells Line of Road. Between Mt Tomah and Bell take the Mt Wilson turnoff.
If coming via Katoomba, head West towards Mount Victoria, a 20 minute drive. Turn right at the towns lights into Station Street. This road changes into the Darling Causeway which leads you to the Bell's Line of Road.
Bring food if you want to eat and water to drink while at Mount Wilson. Supermarkets and shops don't exist in this neck of the woods.
This is a place to park the car. Stroll through the corridor of elms, beeches and linden trees. Spot the fairy-tale like mushrooms that crop in the grass, for this place is far from the conveniences of modern life. It's a place to dream, escape the hustle and bustle, and touch place with another part of ourselves.
Mount Wilson in Autumn
Timing is everything when it comes to viewing the fall colours in their prime. Mid-March to mid-April is generally the key window of opportunity, although that depends on the oft unruly weather. Bear in mind Autumn tends to commence slightly earlier in Mt Wilson, although I couldn't tell you why.
My final, yet most important advice is to rug up. Pack a scarf, gloves and winter jacket. Chances are it will make all the difference between a chilly power-walk and a pleasant amble. When that icy wind blows, a forerunner to impending winter, you might thank me.
The beautiful Everglades Garden