Once you leave Perry's Lookdown travelling back through the Blue Mountains
you come to Katoomba where, once again, the stunning views, well placed walks, lookouts and Echo Point make this a tourist mecca and the next stop on your road trip.
, in the beginning of 1813 was an area for coal mining. The townspeople of the day also recognized the great opportunity to create a tourist destination. They utilized their surroundings, creating a place for people to come from Sydney, who would also enjoy the cooler temperatures at the higher elevations.
The area is also steeped in Aboriginal history. The Three Sisters is a stunning trio of rock spires immersed in legend, though there are a few variations. It is told of 3 sisters who were turned to stone by a witchdoctor (possibly their father) to protect them. The spires are magnificent and lit at night.
the Three Sisters!
From this point you can carry on and take the Giant Stairs, almost 900 of them, down to the bottom. They afford amazing views and photo opportunities. You find yourself perched above the valley as you descend.
Stairs carved out of stone!
Not for those with health problems, the stairs are steep, uneven and have been repaired a few times. When you take pictures make sure to stop and do so, while holding on.
You won't believe you are finally at the bottom when after twenty minutes of winding your way down, knees shaking, you get to the ground. You can't help but wonder how the men of the time managed to carve out the stone portions that still stand in place today.
At the bottom it is a 2 1/2 kilometre walk along a rain forested pathway, full of bell birds that chime for you all the way to Scenic World.
Rain forest walk!
Here sit the remains of the old coal mine. Scattered relics along the 2 kilometre boardwalk are on display with information plaques regarding artefacts and trees native to the area.
remnants of the coal mine!
At this point you can choose to take a cable car to the top or walk up another set of stairs. The cable car is quick, holds 84 people and shows the valley you have been in, the easier option for your knees.
You can see Scenic World by arriving at their parking lot, choosing the train or cable car to descend. Once again, the boardwalk is long and sloped and not for ailing grandparents.
You can take the cable car to the top!
At the top you can walk back along the ridge, a most scenic experience that takes you back to Echo Point.
The ridge walk!
Be warned, this trail has spots that are close to cliff edges and have no railing. You travel these at your own risk and the town warns you of this all along the way.
At the end you can reward yourself with an amazing dinner at Echoes Restaurant where the sun goes down in spectacular fashion, the food is scrumptious and the view is to be savoured while you congratulate yourself on a day well spent.
The view from the top!
Now it is time to come down out of the mountains, to the coast where your next stop is the Myall Lakes National Park.