Kevtoberfest #12 Blue Mountains Part Three
After scaling the heights of Prince Henry Cliff Walk and negotiating 900 steps on the Giant Stairway, you might think we’ve had enough adventure for one day. But at Scenic World there are four record-breaking options for seeing the Blue Mountains from completely different perspectives – our day is not yet done.
We arrive at the Scenic Railway just in time to see the shiny red train departing Bottom Station on its way up the mountain. The 310 metre track goes through a tunnel in the cliff at an incline of 52°, making it the steepest passenger train in the world.
We join the crowd on the platform and don’t have long to wait; the train runs every ten minutes and it’s soon back at the bottom again.
We take our seats and, while Glen would have liked the front row seats, I’m secretly relieved we’re sitting further back. Like the other passengers, we hold on tight as the train begins its steep ascent.
Next we ride on the Scenic Skyway, which we’ve already seen gliding across the Jamison Valley at the start of the day. Travelling 270 metres above the valley floor, the cable car is the highest in Australia.
As we leave the station, the glass floor beneath our feet changes from opaque to clear. Far below, cockatoos rest in the treetops. The water of Kedumba Creek drops over the edge of the escarpment and tumbles over rocky outcrops on its way to the forest floor.
As we come to Skyway East Station, it’s easy to see how close to the edge the walking path and lookouts we’ve been to earlier in the day really are.
After returning on the Scenic Skyway, we take another ride in a different direction. The Scenic Cableway carries Australia’s largest cable car from the top of the mountain, over the edge of the escarpment and down 545 metres into the Jamison Valley. On this ride we pass close by Orphan Rock, once accessible but now closed to walkers, and wonder how they ever got to the top.
Instead of returning in the cable car, we decide to walk back to the Railway via the Scenic Walkway, 2.4 kilometres of elevated boardwalks through the temperate rainforest. We’re hopeful of spotting one of the lyre birds which live in the forest but it’s late afternoon and they’ve gone into hiding.
We waste no time searching because the last train leaves Bottom Station at 4.50 pm – and we don’t want to walk back up those steps!
Join Jo for more Monday Walks
#MarchSquare slideshows – March Squares with Becky