Are Blue Mountains a Must See?

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Aug 20th, 2005, 05:44 AM
  #1
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Are Blue Mountains a Must See?

Hi folks,
I only have a couple more days here in Sydney and really haven't seen anything except part of 'The Rocks'. Haven't seen (up close) the Opera House, haven't walked the bridge, haven't taken a ferry yet, haven't gone to Manly, haven't seen the zoo nor the botanical gardens nor the observatory. Anyway, given my limited time here, does it really make sense to pass a lot of those things up for a day trip out to the Blue Mountains??

I've seen the Swiss Alps, the US and Canadian Rockies, the Grand Canyon, TableTop in Cape Town, South Africa, so unless there's something really spectacular, I'm not sure if it's worth it this trip to see the Three Sisters. What do you think?? You know the old saying ... "you don't know what you don't know."

Thoughts???

type to you later....
Reallyblessed is offline  
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Aug 20th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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It really depends on what you want to see - nature or city. I think the Blue Mountains are great and loved the day out there. You will have to decide yourself what is more important to you.
I did one day on the Sydney Explorer Bus to see all the sites and one day in the Blue Mountains. If you have time left you can do Bondi too.
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Aug 20th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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The ferry to Manly is great and cheap! So that's two in one go! We went to Blue Mountains and stayed in Katoomba right next to 3 sisters. But the ferry was the best!
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Aug 20th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Reallyblessed, in a word, "No". See & experience what you can of Sydney. The blue mountains towns are really charming, but IMO, you really don't have the time to do both justice.
Enjoy your time & do take one of the ferries. You can go to the Zoo on one from Circular Quay.
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Aug 20th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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No, because you already compare to Swiss Alps, the Rockies etc etc and it is nothing like those types of mountains.

The Blue Mountains are perhaps what the grand canyon will be in a few hundred million years, give or take, or another way to look at it is that the blue mountains were like the grand canyon millions of years ago.

Australia is the oldest continent so it is like seeing how the earth will develop if most volcanic and geological development ceases.

So thinking they shoud be majestic comparably young mountains means setting yourself up for disappointment.

I just love them but cannot see how a quick trip to the three sisters would be any great adventure.

Take the ferry and bask in the wonderful winter sunshine!
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Aug 21st, 2005, 10:48 PM
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No Really blessed, give the Blue Mountains a miss and concentrate on some of those other things in Sydney. The Blue Mountains in my opinion are really interesting but wrongly named, especially in view of the real mountains you have seen elsewhere. Have fun!
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:50 AM
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Of course it is ridiculous to waste travel time to mts, if you can see the top 10 things in SYD in the same period for the first time. The SYD harbor area is a wonder of the world.

But to grasp what you are missing: 3 sisters are boring. Tourist clutter at Katoomba's downtown and it's gondola, etc is all tacky. People who made lightning visits to these don't know what they missed.

Walk the entire cliff walk (averting your eyes near 3sis) for the most seductive views - not razzledazzle but oddly overwhelming in a serene way. Stroll quaint and classy Leura downtown, then descend the million stair catwalks that entwine Leura Falls in sort of a micro rain forest.

The closest experience in US is Sedona, but not the valley ticky-tacky that comes to mind. Rather the view on the shoulder of the valley, like where you descend on Schnebly Hill Road on the east side. Maybe only otherwise seen by the jeep trails. To me, that is very special even if just returning from the Matterhorn.

Oddly, Katoomba is twinned with Flagstaff AZ, which is just above Sedona Valley. Blue Mountains are a signature attraction that is almost as memorable trademark of down under as the opera house reflecting on the harbor. Even though they are very mellow and nothing at all in terms of superficial extremism or grossness.

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Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:33 PM
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Hi Viking,
We try very hard to avoid superficial extremeness & grossness (it's our Brit.ancestry, dontchaknow? Don't always succeed - but I'm not going to point out our "Coney Islands" (LOL) !
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:57 AM
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Err, I think I garbled my above post. One more try to describe the strange appeal of Blue Mts. I just realized I may over romantisize them due to the good luck of perfect weather every time I have visited, but...

At first glance you might compare it to grand canyon, but not nearly as gigantic or bold, so what use is it? It is wider, shallower, and and has trees breathing out a blue haze that somehow comes together in a transcendant way. Especially with such a convenient and varied trail access, something that could really benefit Sedona.

Yes, it has certain similarities to the rift valley in Kenya and the Sedona valley when viewed from the rim. Not literally, but a sort of sublime feel is similar. I know I'm not alone in this reaction for all 3 places; witness the frankly over-the-top new age love of Sedona for it's "energy centers". I don't go along with that, but the rarely seen rim view is just enchanting such as on obscure, precarious Schnebly Hill road.

Another approach is to describe BluMts like paintings. They aren't at all touristic "trophies" that you visit because of some extreme but superficial quality. Wow, there's Mona Lisa, the highest rated painting in the world (which maybe does less for you than a dozen paintiings passed along the way). Wow, there Warhol's Marilyn Monroe - doesn't the electric pink hair really give it "attitude" (but you may feel what the world needs is less posturing "attitude"). BluMts on the other hand may be more like one of Monet's more obscure works that just make you sit down and fall under it's spell due to a deep connection to something inside you...

Well, I hated to get all poetic and soft headed; you can see how bad I am at it and why I avoided it at first. But I think it may be a fairly universal reaction - at least enough to put BluMts etc quite promenently on the touristic map. But not what folks expect when hearing the term mountains.
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Aug 24th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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The things you've mentioned not doing in Sydney all more must-see's than the Blue Mountains.
Would you have traveled just to see the blue mountains? No, and Sydney's really something to see. Get out and explore Sydney!

If you really have a leftover day at the end (AND the weather up there will be good) then maybe go. You could also see plenty of nature within the city (and take care of seeing Manly beach and a ferry ride) by doing the Spit Bridge to Manly walk.
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Aug 26th, 2005, 01:37 PM
  #11
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Thanks for the good advice folks. I'm back home in DC now but wanted to say that we decided not to go to the Blue Mtns and instead took the ferry to Manly Beach, visited the observatory for their evening tour and 'hands on' telescope viewing of the southern hemisphere constellations and what's a visit to Sydney without taking the 'BridgeClimb'?? Wound up walking the bridge at night with virtually no wind and no clouds for a crystal clear view of the city and opera house at night from the bridge top. It was a much more fun and relaxing time and as always, we did whatever our hearts desired rather than sticking to a tight schedule of trying to visit everything on the 'list'. We saw what we saw and we missed what we missed and most importantly, we had a GREAT and relaxing time.

Again, thanks for the advice about the Blue Mtns. We'll probably save that for a future return trip someday (if the mood strikes).

type to you later....
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