While Sydney itself has quite a few great hikes available, it doesn’t have any real mountains to explore. But just 90 minutes west the landscape changes from coastline and rolling hills to slightly higher hills in the form of the Blue Mountains.
Tam and I came here for our last weekend together before I headed off to Tasmania on my work relocation, and we made the most of the fabulous scenery and weather by hiking a lot! There are quite a few notable hikes in the region so we focused on 2 very different and beautiful hikes. The first was named the Grand Canyon. The morning fog only gave us glimpses of views that awaited.
The hike began easily enough, with a descent. The Blue Mountain area averages about 1000m in elevation above sea level – nothing spectacular height wise, but they do have a very diverse and fantastic cliff and canyon makeup that makes hiking wonderful (and canyoning, rock climbing, rafting, etc!). Not to mention that many hikes such as the Grand Canyon hike are quite easily accessible and make for a great 3-4 hours outdoors.
The descent was already gorgeous and verdant green everywhere. This place sees rain…a LOT of rain.
Even on a dry day there were plenty of waterfalls to be found. And in this spot the track actually takes you behind the waterfall.
Not to mention that you get some great effects with the light this deep in the canyon. The hike mostly entails climbing down in the canyon, a descent of over 200 meters, and then following the river and canyon as it carves it’s way through the mountains and cliffs above.
We came across all sorts of unique areas on the track, walking beneath huge boulders and along streams.
Cliffs would tower on both sides and close in a bit at times, and water continued to stream down in spots (on the far left in this picture below).
Remember that part about having descended 200+ meters? Yes, we have to climb back up that. It was a good and sweaty climb.
But eventually we gained enough elevation to see through to the other side.
And now that the fog had cleared, what a view that climb provided!
The Grand Canyon proved to be a fantastic 4 hours or so of bushwalking, and Tam and I would finish off the day by taking in some of the Blue Mountains most famous sights next…the 3 Sisters and Katoomba.