Together with five more people, we drove into the Blue Mountains, about 60 km west of
Sydney. They got their name from a blueish haze on top of the trees. The haze is the
evaporation of the volatile oil of the gum trees and could therefore only be seen during sunshine. Unfortunately,
the weather wasn't warm enough while we were there.
They do day trips from Sydney to the Blue Mountains; still, if you'd like to see - beside the beautiful scenery (59 kB) - animals in the wild, you should stay at least one night.
On our way to the Blue Mountains we stopped by a zoo where we saw
koalas (55 kB) and
kangaroos (36 kB) for the first time. Even a
baby kangaroo (54 kB) was looking out the
bag of his mother. Kangaroos are active at night. Only at dusk and dawn may they be observed when
feeding grass at the edge of the forest. As our
lodges (68 kB) were located right at a clearing,
we could watch them laying there from our terrace.
During a night trip we also discovered oppossums, apart from kangaroos. Had we stayed out there just a little bit longer, we would have had the chance to see a wombat as well. Unfortunately we didn't. This is why 'Mathilda' (42 kB) in the zoo was the only wombat we ended up seeing.
You'll find the visitors center of the National Park in Katoomba. From here, you can enjoy a spectacular view from the 'Echo Point' over the hills and its best known formation, the 'Three Sisters' (50 kB). This place is very popular with freeclimbers. You can take the 'Scenic Railway' - assumed to be the world's steepest railway - to get down to the farns (98 kB).
Another thing worth seeing are the Jenolan Caves, the biggest and most spectacular dripstone cave in
Australia. Kanangra Boyd National Park with the auburn sandstone cliffs of
Kanangra Walls (31 kB), is in about a
30 km distance of the caves.
In a camping area we were very lucky to see a kookaburra (30 kB) from a very close distance. It may grow up to 45 cm and it's nickname is 'Laughing Jack', which is due to his hoarse croak which sounds like a laughter.
last update: 24.11.1999