The Blue Mountains

by Mia Campbell, University of New South Wales, Australia

Less than a two hour train journey from Sydney Central you digress from the cosmopolitan city life to the Blue Mountains. Here lies vast tropical forests and extensive scenic views of the mountain peaks. I asked myself what gives this national park this name, when surely the leaf green and vibrant coloured birds (which on this day decided to be particularly vocal by the way) I would consider as a better fit. The Blue Mountains are renowned for its eucalyptus trees which emit a blue haze. Standing at Echo point lookout (three sisters) my presumptions concerning the name were well and truly conquered.

There are many trails, of all sizes, and a variety of terrains. Myself and friends I made at my university and the hostel I stayed in for the first week, decided to adventure on the Gold Canyon Circuit, which approximately takes 2-4 hours depending on the pace you hike. Six kilometres later, I had walked under waterfalls, through narrow caves and the depths of the ‘jungle-like forest.’ To me it resembled the jungle in ‘Pirates and the Caribbean: on Stranger Tides’ the pirates missioned through to find the hidden treasure. Unfortunately, there was no dashing Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom to gaze upon- or hidden treasure undoubtedly- however the trail was a national treasure all by its own. Just on my doorstep. It can be said with full confidence, I will visit this national park again to see what other trails it has to offer. In fact in winter (June- August) there are even ski runs in higher altitudes, which is bizarre for me to admit when only yesterday I was sunbathing at the famous Bondi Beach.

This trip revealed to me the rich and dynamic activities within the state New South Wales which are not from a far proximity from one another. Even if hiking is not something for you, I am positive you can find a national treasure of your own here which will not leave you feeling blue.

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