Saturday, May 7, 2016

Katoomba and The Three Sisters

Leaving the Kangaroo Valley on our way to Katoomba, we stopped at Fitzroy Falls. My photos don't do justice to this lovely landmark, with its jaw-dropping views from the top. I just couldn't get the whole waterfall in my photo. (We were in a bit of a hurry, and I think if we had more time, I might have found a better vantage point.) But it is a beautiful area, as you can see.

Because we were heading to the Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters rock formation, at a higher elevation, we expected we were going to a remote area. But we found both going out and on our return to Sydney that suburbs meld into small towns all the way there. However, once you get to Katoomba and the viewpoint to the Three Sisters, the landscape is breathtaking.

We hiked along the rim of the canyon and down to the Three Sisters to take in the view.

See the overhang down there in the walk? We clambered down to it.  And I have a fear of heights!

We made it though--both down and up!
The beauty wasn't confined to the view. Many of the rocks themselves, although naturally patterned, look almost painted.

Katoomba is also the home of the Waradah Aboriginal Centre, which is run by the local Dharug and Gundungurra tribes. It features performances, exhibits, and an art gallery with art and artefacts from throughout Australia. 

The prominent canvas in the front depicts the Australian Aboriginal flag, one of the official flags of Australia.

The toilets at the visitor center provide helpful signs for international visitors on how to use the facilities:

Should you go to Katoomba, don't make the mistake that one visitor did. She went to the information desk and asked, "Where are the Blue Mountains?" She was expecting the mountains to literally be blue. But Australia's Blue Mountains, like our own forested lands in the Pacific Northwest, only appear blue in the distance, because of the way different wavelengths of light scatter in the atmosphere.

We only spent a couple nights at Katoomba. While there, we explored some forest trails and walked along a peaceful lake. Soon, we were headed back to Sydney.

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