Odometer: 6154 km
Katoomba is in the heart of the Blue Mountains. It is home to the most spectacular views and the famous three sisters rock stacks. Their names are Meehni (922 m), Wimlah (918 m) and Gunnedoo (906 m). The story goes that these three sisters fell in love with three men from a neighbouring tribe, but marriage was forbidden. The men kidnapped the sisters, and a battle ensued during which the sisters were turned into stone.
Walking across the Honeymoon Bridge to the first sister and touching the stone is supposed to provide you with eternal love. Mike did this 31 years ago during our honeymoon, I was too scared to cross the bridge at the time.
As we arrive in Katoomba, we walk down to Echo Point and follow the easy walk along the rim to the Three Sisters. The weather is starting to close in and the magpies and cockatoos are circling around the rocks, an eerie sight! As the wind is picking up I bravely cross the Honeymoon Bridge for the first time, before we head back to our cottage.
I need to mention the noise we are walking through. I don’t think I have ever heard cicadas this loud! The males make a lot of noise as they shed their nymphal skins, sprout wings and call for a mate in the few weeks that they will live about the ground. But this years “bumper crop” is of plague proportions following the bushfires, according to the Blue Mountains Gazette of 9th Oct 2020.
Thankfully the noise stops as the clouds roll in and it starts to rain. Rain then turns into fog, low hanging clouds which swirling over the road and garden.
Saturday starts sunny and very pleasant. After our morning coffee we do a little bit of shopping and admire the Katoomba Street Art that we happened to walk past. Several plain walls have been painted in a range of styles and truly capture our eye. They are in the centre of town on Waratah street and definitely worth a visit!
Katoomba town itself is looking a bit tired, impacted by the slowdown in business as everywhere in the country. However, the recent developments around the Scenic rim have made accessing the views even easier. Even the Honeymoon Bridge has been upgraded.
As the sun is shining we walk again to Echo Point, and down to the Three Sisters. We descend the steep stairway from the top of the escarpment, and cross honeymoon bridge to touch the first sister. The blue sky makes for much nicer photographs!
We climb back up, walk back to Echo Point and then continue on the Prince Henry Cliff walk, which takes us around the rim on a relatively easy track. We first walk to the Katoomba cascades, and then to a view of the Katoomba falls. There are a large number of lookouts at various points along the walk.
From this point you can walk on and descend the rim further via a well defined path and sets of metal stairs and ladders to the scenic railway which takes you back up comfortably. I did that last year when my niece from the UK came over. However, Covid restrictions are capping the numbers on the Scenic World attractions (railway, skyway and cable car) at the moment and we head back to our cottage for a leisurely afternoon, before catching up with friends for dinner in the evening at the Thai Silk restaurant in Blackheath (which was lovely).
- Best coffee in Katoomba: Cassiopeia (about 7/10)
- Accomodation: Our Secret Holiday Cottage, booked via AirBnB, it is halfway between the Katoomba town centre and Echo Point. A small rambling cottage set in a large garden in a cull de sac.
- Tip: Bring some comfortable walking shoes, and check the NSW National Parks website for facility and track closures (covid and landslides have impacted this area).