My first trip to the Blue Mountains was ruined by some bush fires that were raging at the time. The entire valley was covered in smoke, we couldn’t see a bit of the usually incredible view. The cicadas were going crazy and making the loudest sound ever, when we opened the doors to our van on arrival the sound of a million insects complaining about the smoke was actually painful to the ears. We left, and I returned to the Blue Mountains a few months later with a different friend. All the smoke was long gone and I was shocked at what I had missed the first time.
The first day we embarked on the quite short trail around Wentworth Falls, it is over 100 years old and carved into the side of the mountain. There are old photos of tourists from the 1920s or so along the trail wearing long black dresses and suits. They must have been dying in the heat.
We found a free campsite not too far away from Wentworth Falls, no showers or anything, but we had running water, toilets and a stream where we finally got to use our expensive eco-friendly shampoo. The “baths” we took in the stream weren’t very effective, we must’ve been quite smelly while we were there.
The second day we decided to take a long, three hour hike around the area, it was hot and exhausting but completely worth it. Again, the trail was running along the cliff-face, with sometimes only metal ladders connecting you to the next stage of the trail. The Blue Mountains are an excellent way to start a trip of any length, be it only a month or a year, in Australia. They give you a taste of Australia’s incredible landscape, with the comfort of knowing you aren’t too far away from civilization yet.