Australia – Day 13 – Blue Mountains (part 2)
As if we hadn’t seen Three Sisters enough from Echo Point and the Three Sisters Giant Stairway, we went to Scenic World for even more views of Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, and easy hikes.
Scenic World is a privately owned tourist attraction that gives you some of the best views Three Sisters and the Blue Mountains valley etc. No, it’s not just from one lookout to the next though.
You could visit Scenic World for free and wander around and hike (some hikes also connect you to Blue Mountains National Park for more hikes). But the real experience of Scenic World would be to go on a Scenic Railway, Scenic Walkway, Scenic Skyway, and the Scenic Cableway.
All of the above “Scenic” things (except the Scenic Walkway) require tickets. You can either get individual tickets for each ride or get a unlimited pass to go on the Scenic Railway, Scenic Skyway, and the Scenic Cableway as many times as you wish that day.
The unlimited pass is a (fancy) wristband where you simply place your hand on their machine and it would register your ticket. Kind of nice to not have to worry about losing your ticket.
After studying the map for a little bit, we decided to start with the Scenic Railway. I had read a lot about the Scenic Railway before going to Scenic World.
This is the steepest passenger railway in the world! It’s a simple red train-like thing with glass doors (and roof). And takes you to the very bottom of the Jamison Valley. This is also the train that is recommended for you to take back up to the top after hiking all the way to the bottom via Giant Stairways.
When seated, you can select how you want your chair set: Laidback, Original, or Cliffhanger…
Which one do you think I chose? Which one would you choose?
Since we had arrived at Scenic World relatively early in the morning, there weren’t very many people so we almost had the whole train to ourselves.
Yuntiha and I took took seats in the very very front of the train car.
Because I had read all of these blogs about the train, I was feeling brave and decided to sit Cliffhanger. You select your own level with the lever on the right side of the bench.
It got a little scary when we first started going because it looks like a pretty steep drop at the very beginning, after watching my bag fall to the ground because we were now sitting at a very steep 64 degree incline Yuntiha and I had to hold. But after finally settling in through the tunnel, the views were quite breathtaking.
At the very bottom, the landing area yielded more wonderful views of Three Sisters. And this was where I got super excited to see the Honeymoon Bridge that connected us to one of the Three Sisters.
The Scenic Walkway is a wonderful walking / hiking trail at the bottom of the Jamison Valley at Blue Mountains. It’s an easy hike for anyone.
Even in the rain, you won’t get your shoes all dirty with mud. The 2.4 km Scenic Walkway is actually an elevated boardwalk through a beautiful rainforest.
Random, but I was quite impressed to so a solar-powered rubbish (trash) compactors…haha. Not sure if I’ve seen those things in San Diego before.
We didn’t make it very far along the trail to feel as though we were in the middle of a big forest of some sort, though the boardwalk is a reminder that we are also not far from civilization.
Along the path, there were a few displays that really showed the history of this land. We took the fancy Scenic Railway to make it to the bottom of the Jamison Valley and found a little display of the original Scenic Railway aka the “Mountain Devil.”
Other things along Scenic Walkway were also displays of the a cole mine entrance and a bronze replica of a minor and his pony . I’m standing in front of the miner though. I just wanted a picture with the pony.
It was kind of nice to see that it did not seem that trees were cut down to build the boardwalk since there were holes cut out and trees growing in in the middle of the Scenic Walkway.
And along the sides of the boardwalk, there were plenty of signs that pointed out what kinds of trees, plants, and even a little bit of history sprinkled along the way.
You really can spend much more time here, exploring and hiking along the different Scenic Walkways and even explore off the Scenic Walkway to Katoomba Falls, up the Giant Stairway, etc (outside of Scenic World). But we took a short walk, since we had did not want to stay at Scenic World for too long.
We made our way directly from the Scenic Railway to the Scenic Cableway.
I was originally quite confused to see 2 different types of cablecar like things located at Scenic World. After reading more about Scenic Cableway and Scenic Skyway, the way they each function, the views from each are different.
When we got to the Scenic Cableway from the bottom of the Jamison Valley we were a little confused with where the line started etc. There was no one their but we saw a cableway heading down to the bottom of the valley.
We hopped on, and a family behind us made it just in time for the ride with us. Inside, there are no seats a big standing area that are elevated.
The Scenic Cableway takes you to the bottom and back to the top of the Jamison Valley. It’s a very gentle incline and is the steepest and largest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere (another record).
This was the only thing of the 4 things at Scenic World where we made a round trip. Everything connected to each other seamlessly except for the Scenic Skyway.
From a far, the Scenic Skyway looks kind of scary. It’s literally a cablecar things that takes you from one side of the valley to the other.
This was our view from Scenic World Top Station. The hanging cable make it look quite scary as were boarding.
The Scenic Skyway has a glass window around most of the car, but there are a few sections with no glass just a few cables there to make sure you don’t fall out.
On one side of the Scenic Skyway, you can see some absolutely beautiful and undisturbed views of the Blue Mountains. They do look sort of blue!
The Scenic Skyway actually may stop half way (I think that all depends on the driver/guide). There is a glass floor in the middle of the Scenic Skyway that lets you see the bottom of the Jamison Valley. I didn’t actually walk up there, there were just too many people.
Our view from Scenic Skyway Eastern Station. There’s the Scenic Skyway returning to get us. From here, you can actually walk to the Echo Point Lookout, or go on the Prince Henry Cliff Walk
We took a quick walk in the area, but decided to go back. We really didn’t have much time to really wander and hike because I really wanted to make sure we had enough time what I had planned in the afternoon.
This was the only place at Scenic World where we had to wait in line for. As we were getting ready to head back, a tour bus actually stopped here. So it was a full Scenic Skyway car.
Thank you Dad for making sure to get pictures of us!
So we stood on one side of the Scenic Skyway with views of the Blue Mountains, so this time we stood on the opposite side.
From this side, you can get some of the best views of Katoomba Falls. There wasn’t much water falling that day, but it was still quite relaxing to hear the water falling.
Scenic World is a great place to go to see Blue Mountains with the whole family! They make it very easy and quite exciting to see almost everything there.
You really can spend a whole day here exploring everything taking the Scenic (whatever you favorite was) all day long! Which one sounds the most interesting to you?
We kind of rushed because I asked Auntie to take me to the Jenolan Caves. That is an additional hour drive west, taking us even further away from Sydney!