December 27 (Sunday)

We decided to go to Blue Mountain on Sunday to take advantage of the Opal AUD 2.50 Sunday cap. Otherwise, you’d quickly reach the AUD 15 daily cap (a one-way train ride costs more than AUD 15 already!). We were praying really hard that the day wouldn’t be foggy as you wouldn’t be able to see anything if it was! Thank goodness, the weather cooperated that day

Blue Mountain

  • Normally, it’s pretty easy to get to Blue Mountain as there’s a train that goes straight from Central Station to Katoomba (~2 hours train ride). However, during the period we were there, the train tracks from Central to Blacktown was being repaired, so we had to take a bus from Central to Blacktown, then ride the train from there. All in all, a minor inconvenience that added ~1 hour to our entire journey (~30mins one-way). Make sure to go to the train platform toilet once you disembark, as we didn’t see another one until the Echo Point toilet
  • Once we got to Katoomba, we had to decide whether we’d get a Hop on, Hop off bus ticket (there’s one for AUD 40 and another one for AUD 25) or just walk the whole way. It was really cold at this time (~9:30am), so we were worried whether we could walk in this weather (we were only wearing thin jackets) + whether we could walk the entire thing from Katoomba town to the trails! Blogs we’ve read indicated that this was doable, but they were mostly written by fit Americans/Europeans. In the end, our cheapskate side won so we grabbed a map from the bus ticket office and off we went! (and in case you were wondering, we survived and believe we made the right choice!)
  • The walk from Katoomba station to Katoomba falls took us ~45 minutes. Other blogs indicated that they were able to walk this within ~20 to 30 minutes, which I certainly believe as people kept overtaking us along the way and everything was pretty much downhill
  • Afterwards, we started on the Prince Henry Cliff Walk which had a series of lookout points where you could see the Three Sisters, as well as stopping by major areas of interest like Echo Point and Leura Cascades. By the time we got to Echo Point (~11:30am), the sun was shining and we were taking off our jackets! The view of the Three Sisters was great, with barely any fog left – and we sat down and dug into the bread, pastries, and juices that would serve as our mini-lunch for the day, tiding us over till we got to Leura Village (ETA 3:30pm). Make sure to go to the toilet here as well, as you won’t find another one until Leura Village
  • After filling our tummies, we continued on the cliff walk, met a few fellow bush hikers, and was astounded by the beauty of nature (I highly recommend Leura Cascades and Gordon Falls. It’s beautiful – made especially so by the rainbow that could be found over the Gordon Falls). Took us roughly ~3 hours from Echo Point to Leura Village. When in doubt, always check the signs (the entire walk has loads of signage indicating which path you should take to go where) + stick right as you’re supposed to be hugging the cliff. Once you exit the Cliff Walk, go through the Leura Park for a shortcut to Leura Village!
  • Definitely a day to remember. If you’ve only got one out-of-town trip to take, do Blue Mountain! You can do Hunter Valley next time

Lunch at Loaves and Dishes

  • We got to Leura Village at 3:30pm and were famished! So we quickly sat down to eat at Loaves and Dishes – and boy did everything taste so good! No idea if it was because the food was just that good, or it was our hungry tummies talking
  • Afterwards, we dropped by Café Bon Ton for desserts. Tried out their Apple Frangipani (which I liked), and their Raspberry and Pear cake (which my mom liked)
  • Leura Village closes at 5:00pm, so we meandered around and checked out the cutesy stores there, bought some ice cream, as well as some artisan chocolate (the Rocky Road chocolate is to die for, with actual big white marshmallows embedded into the chocolate!)

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Dinner at 80 Proof (along George Street)

  • By the time we got back to Central, it was pretty late (~9:00pm) so we decided to just eat nearby. Our hotel concierge recommended 80 Proof, a pub relatively near our hotel
  • Food was great! We got the Turkey Wrap special, Kangaroo burger, Beef cheek and mushroom pie, and Chicken schnitzel. Proof that the food was yum yum amazing is the fact that I can still clearly remember everything we ordered and how it tasted 3 days later! Another thing I realized Aussies cook really well is fries – so addicting, especially when paired with Hunt’s barbeque sauce (which I tried to find at their supermarket, as I wanted to bring it home – alas it was not meant to be – which is probably what’s best for my big tummy)

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For my other days of travel, feel free to click the links below to read more on specific parts of our 7-day Sydney journey:

Introduction: Tips and tricks on enjoying Christmas in Sydney

Day 1: Airport + Hotel and supermarket + The Rocks Tour

Day 2: Taronga Zoo + Manly Beach + Golden Century dinner

Day 3: City Tour + Fish Market + Paddy’s Market + Darling Harbor

Day 5: Opera House + Rocks Market + Australian Heritage Hotel

Day 6: Bronte to Bondi Coastal Walk + Watson’s Bay + Harbor Bridge + Luna Park

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