The smell of the sea air, the bright flora covering the grounds and trees I have never seen in my life made me want to just cry out of happiness. I had truly landed in OZ!
In a fluke of a travel opportunity that came to me when my ship was based out of Sydney I decided to take myself and also my carry on into an adventure in New South Wales, Australia. It was my first solo extravaganza in OZ and I was devoted to see and do as much as possible. Exploring Australia was a dream for me for a very long time. I can clearly recall sitting in the back of my world geography course in college studying the map of Australia while my professor was lecturing about the Great Barrier Reef. My listening was checked out for a bit as I pinpointed where Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Cairns were on the map. I was stunned to read about the aboriginals who still try to make a living in Darwin, around Cairns, and into the outback.
Heading to the Blue Mountains
With my sights set on exploring the Blue Mountains region I headed toward Sydney Central Train station to begin my journey. With a ticket booked from I was on my way to Katoomba out to explore the majestic Blue Mountains with serene and enchanting scenery outside my window. After snacking on Tim Tams and enjoying the Aussie accents around me my train arrived in Katoomba. Nested in the gateway of the Blue Mountains this cozy town has plenty of impressive cafes, restaurants, shops, and little nooks and crannies you just have to find for yourself. With my big map properly sprawled out and the best cappuccino in the world, I was making my plans.
From Sydney Central head westbound to Katoomba. Katoomba is a place that is very easy to reach via Sydney and the sights there are sometimes compared to the Grand Canyon (just not as big). The town of Katoomba itself has some really nice bohemian style coffee shops, nice eateries, and a few Asian restaurants.
To completely enjoy the Blue Mountains region the best way to see everything is to purchase a hop on hop off ticket next to the train station upon arrival. I purchased the two day pass so I didn’t feel I had to squeeze it all into one day. There are more than a dozen stops with drop off points all around different hiking courses as well as little town centers to enjoy a bite to eat or some window shopping. From hiking around the Three Sisters to Leura Cascade Falls I was truly amazed by the incredible sights. Australia is such a fascinating continent that I hope I have to chance to explore more of one day.