drive to Blue Mountains

Jun 29th, 2004, 07:53 PM
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drive to Blue Mountains

Some time back, Alan posted information on how to get to the Blue Mountains by taking a train to the outskirts of Sydney and then renting a car. Alan gave the names of the cities and numbers of car rental agencies. Could someone help? Thanks.
audrey is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 09:38 PM
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Hi Audrey,

You can rent a car from Redicar in Leura. We were advised not to drive back and forth on the last weekend of Easter vacation because of heavy traffic.

If you come from the States as we do this was bad advice. The train line parallels the road. There was congestion for about 3 stations and then it cleared. Everyone who drove was on their third beer in town when we finally arrived 2 hours later in Sydney. I guess traffic is relative.

A car is useful in the mountains if you are trying to catch up with Alan or going out to Jenolan Cave ( highly recommended for caves and drive over)


PS In the end we were driven up to the mountains by a gracious friend for breakfast w/ the Kangeroos at Euroka Clearing ( the kangeroos appear if you whistle " Danny Boy"
AndrewDavid is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 01:30 AM
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Audrey, I respect Alan's advice - it's been 20 years since I lived in the Blue Mountains - but renting your car in the city is not necessarily a scary option, IMHO. Depends on how you feel about driving on the left side of the road in an unfamiliar city.

I think Alan gave the options of getting off the train and renting at (a) Emu Plains, at the foot of the mountains, (b) Valley Heights, halfway up, or (c) Leura. If you do some furious searching on this board you're sure to find his posts.

On his visit to the Blue Mountains (by train, as it happens) Mark Twain observed that it's a great mistake to believe anything a local tells you. I think he was referring to a fellow-traveller's story that the mountains are blue as a result of the decomposition of the millennia of kangaroo excrement they're made from.

Be that as it may, it's looking like the advice of visitors from marsupial-free Santa Fe, NM, may also have to be treated with suspicion. When I was there the kangaroos would come only if you whistled "The Wearing of the Green". I understand that this is a product of marsupial genetic memory, their ancestors having been adopted by the Irish convicts who built the first road over the mountains. Others, whose forebears were adopted by the convicts' English guards, respond only to a drunken rendition of "Pretty Little Polly Perkins of Paddington Green".
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 02:10 AM
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Jeez - no wonder I had problems seeing da roos! I can't whistle
margo_oz is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 02:42 AM
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In my experience it doesn't really matter what tune you whistle but rather you whistle at the highest possible pitch.

Like dogs,Kangaroos have an audible range higher than humans.
johhj_au is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 05:06 AM
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John, please don't confuse us with the facts. They're almost always short on entertainment value. Just ask AndrewDavid.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 04:39 PM
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Hi, audrey!
I think that, with all the advice above, you have just about covered everything that could be said on this subject. The two best places to rent a car en route to the mountains are Emu Plains (Budget Rent-a-Car)and Valley heights (Redicar), simply because you can't miss the rental offices: they're right at the station (to be honest, at Valley Heights there isn't much else). I guess which is best depends on the cost of what you want, and this is best learned by direct inquiry. Phone numbers are: Budget, Emu Plains: 02-4731 5000; Redicar, Valley Heights: 02-4751 8920. Redicar have another branch in Leura (only about 3 km from Echo Point, where all the best views are) on 02-4784 3443. I am not sure, however, how close this is to the station; anyway, choosing one of the other options allows you to go to nearby (Glenbrook)Euroka Clearing, which is a great place to see kangaroos in the wild, especially if you go early in the day.

AndrewDavid was most unlucky with his traffic experience; there are usually major delays on the highway at the end of a weekend or holiday. I guess he must have chosen one of the many weekends where the delays on the trains are even worse. My advice to everyone on this forum is that if you are going by rail to the Mountains, try to avoid the weekend, as the trains often terminate at some intermediate point due to "track maintenance" which is scheduled to annoy as few commuters (and as many visitors) as possible.
Have a great time!
Alan is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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Thanks to all for the information, it's just what I was looking for. Alan, based on your advice, I think we'll take to train just to the outskirts of Sydney & then rent a car. Thanks for the phone numbers.

We are really looking forward to the trip, it will be the first time.

audrey is offline  
Jun 30th, 2004, 08:26 PM
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Au contraire; the point I was trying to make was the difference in perception of road traffic between you lucky commuters and we poor souls over here.

Actually the train was spot on schedule. It was the auto traffic that was moving quickly.

We even found Sydney rush hour and downtown traffic relatively light compared to US cities. Luckily here in Santa Fe traffic is like downtown Hobart!

best to you and family

AndrewDavid is offline  
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