The Blue Mountains Tour and Ferry to Manly

WARNING: there are a TON of pictures on this post!!!  First stop was the Featherdal Wildlife Park…A little bit of history The Park was opened in 1972 by Bruce and Margaret Kubbere on Margaret’s parents’ 7-acre plot, which had previously operated as a poultry farm. Today the Park is owned by Elanor Investors Group and has developed into one of Australia’s finest tourist attractions in Greater Western Sydney playing an important part in the growth of the local and state economy. What you will see Featherdale provides a home to over 1,700 Australian native animals from more than 250 different species and serves as Australia’s largest native collection. Focusing solely on native animals, at Featherdale you will find the largest collection of koalas in New South Wales, 3 open space enclosures filled with kangaroos and wallabies, as well as loads of other iconic Australian animals, such as dingos, echidnas, wombats, bilbies, Tasmanian devils, reptiles and a stunning collection of birds from Australia and around the world.

Koalas: If you’re looking to meet a koala, you can enjoy a Personal Koala Encounter in the Koala Sanctuary, where you will have the opportunity to touch the koala around it’s lower body, have a chat with an expert koala keeper and take home a great photography pack. You can purchase this experience upon arrival or inside the Koala Sanctuary.
Kangaroos: If feeding kangaroos and wallabies is the aim of your game – you’re in luck! For $2 per cone, you can stroll around our 3 walk-in enclosures and enjoy meeting our friendly macropod friends. Please take note of the refuge areas within these enclosures and do not enter restricted areas, as these areas are designed to allow the roo’s to rest. Featherdale is home to 12 species of macropod (kangaroo), including Eastern Grey & Kangaroo Island kangaroos, Agile/Swamp/Tammar Wallabies, Potoroos and the world’s happiest animal – the Quokka!

Second stop, was a quick lookout over where we were about to venture to…

Bere heading to our main attraction we stopped for about an hour in a cute town to have lunch in Leura. Leura is a suburb in the City of Blue Mountains local government area that is located 100 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district in New South Wales, Australia. 

We strolled through this cute town and had our first meal of famous meat pies (Australia is famous for these) and at the suggestion of a local, indulged in Lemington – which he mentioned was the “Apple Pie” of Australia.  I LOVED IT!!  Coconut and white cake, definitely going to try and make this back at home.

Next up was the main attraction…Echo Point lookout.  Part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the Three Sisters is an iconic formation that you must see at least once in your lifetime. There are different versions of the Aboriginal story of the Three Sisters, but what you’re bound to agree with is how truly spectacular it is. Standing proudly in the land of the Gundungurra and Darug People, the traditional custodians of this declared Aboriginal Place, the imposing Three Sisters is best seen from Echo Point lookout, on the edge of the plateau above. These three weathered sandstone peaks, formed thousands of years ago through erosion, are set among the cliffs of the Jamison Valley. From the lookout, you’ll be able to see the Ruined Castle and Mount Solitary. Echo Point lookout is the gateway to many great walks and nature experiences in the area. If you have time, Prince Henry Cliff walk connects Echo Point to Leura Cascades and takes you past many scenic lookouts along the cliff edge. Or try going down the Giant Stairway to get to the tracks below the cliffs.

Third and almost final stop was more touristy but still fantastic!  Less than two hours from Sydney, Scenic World is renowned for providing the ultimate Blue Mountains adventure – from native birdlife and fresh air, to breathtaking views of the World Heritage-listed region including the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls and Jamison Valley.
Journey on the world’s steepest incline railway, glide between clifftops on the glass-floored Skyway suspended 270 metres in the air, descend into the ancient Jamison Valley by Cableway, explore Jurassic rainforest along the 2.4 kilometres walkway – the longest boardwalk in the Southern Hemisphere.

Final stop

Ferry back to Sydney

Ferry to Manly for fish and chips and a beautiful sunset

The Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains’ most spectacular landmark. Located at Echo Point Katoomba, around 2.5 kilometres from the Great Western Highway, this iconic visitor attraction is experienced by millions of people each year. The Three Sisters is essentially an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone. The character of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons as the sunlight brings out the magnificent colours. The Three Sisters is also floodlit until around 11pm each evening looking simply spectacular set against the black background of the night sky. Each of the Three Sisters stand at 922, 918 & 906 metres tall, respectively. That’s over 3000 feet above sea level!

The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and Gunnedoo’ lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.

Three sisters, Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo had a father who was a witch doctor. His name was Tyawan. Long ago there was a Bunyip who lived in a deep hole who was feared by all. Passing the hole was considered very dangerous, therefore whenever Tyawan had to pass the hole in search for food, he would leave his daughters safely on the cliff behind a rocky wall. One fateful day, Tyawan waved goodbye to his daughters and descended down the cliff steps into the valley. Meanwhile at the top of the cliff, Meenhi was frightened by a large centipede which suddenly appeared before her. Meenhi took a stone and threw it at the centipede. The stone continued on its journey and rolled over the cliff, crashing into the valley below which angered the Bunyip. The rocky wall behind Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo then began to split open and the three sisters were left stranded on a thin ledge at the top of the cliff. All the birds, animals and fairies stopped still as the Bunyip emerged to see the terrified girls. As the Bunyip began to approach the girls, to protect them from harm, their father Tyawan used his magic bone to turn them into stone. Angered by this, the Bunyip then began to chase Tyawan. Becoming trapped, in order to flee from the Bunyip, Tyawan changed into a magnificent Lyre Bird, yet in the process dropped his magic bone. Tyawan and his three daughters were now safe from the Bunyip. Once the Bunyip had disappeared, Tyawan returned in search of his magic bone, yet this was never to be found. The Lyre Bird has been searching for this magic bone ever since. Remaining in rock formation, The Three Sisters stand silently overlooking the valley hoping that one day he’ll find the bone and turn them back to former selves.

When visiting The Three Sisters, if you listen carefully you may be able to hear the Lyre Bird, Tyawan, as he continues his quest for his lost magic bone.

Did not have time this visit but here is a great cafe that looks over Echo point

This was actually REALLY scary.  I did not think it would be scary but as soon as it started it felt like a roller coaster.  Really cool yet I was super scared!

After the cable car we walked about a mile plus through the rain forest – it was really cool!! The reason there is a rain forest here is there is a rock cliff that is blocking the development of the eucalyptus trees

Ferry back to Sydney….

America Ninja Warrior camp!!!!!!

The famous Luna Park

We went to 4 Pines which was a brewery we were turned onto the first night in Sydney – great beer!  And a good story.   Basically there were 4 pines that were used to store canons during WWII to protect Manly.

Another fun fact…. In 2010 the company, in partnership with space engineering firm, Saber Astronautics Australia, worked on developing the first space-certified beer.

Ferry back to Sydney!

We grabbed some beers at the oldest pub in Sydney, The Hero at Waterloo and called it a night.  We had an adventure the next day as Derek was going to drive up to the Hunter Valley on the “wrong” side of the ride!  Wish us luck!!

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