Riding into the Blue Mountains

One of my favorite days of our whole honeymoon was our Blue Mountains day trip in Australia, for a few reasons. First of all, we got there via motorcycle, which was so fun. We usually love taking rides on my husband’s motorcycle at home, but being so busy with wedding plans meant it had been a while since we had taken one. Secondly, after the craziness of the wedding, nearly two days of airplanes, a beachy town full of tourists, and a big bustling city, it felt so good to get back into nature!

We started the day by taking a very early bus ride to a very early train ride and then walking to the Eagle Rider rental center in Burwood, a Sydney suburb. We rented a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic, a bigger, smoother, more powerful, and overall better bike than what we ride back home. After a quick tutorial by the wonderful staff, we put on our helmets (also rented) and set off into traffic- which was a little scary! My husband ended up logging a considerable number of hours driving throughout our honeymoon, from automatic cars to manual offroad vehicles, but this motorcycle was his first foray into driving on the “wrong” side of the road. The first few turns were quite nerve racking but felt it natural in no time.

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It took about an hour to get from Burwood to the Wentworth Falls trailhead in the Blue Mountains. The signs there indicated that the bushwalks were organized in a series of loops distinguished by color, so we combined a few different ones to make a route with an estimated two hour return time. The trails were mostly carved out steps through the trees, with openings every so often to catch gorgeous views of the valley and the waterfalls. Once we reached the top of the falls, we found even more beautiful hidden spaces covered by trees and set into the rocks. Exploring there was a great way to regroup after the hike.

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I will never quite understand, however, the way some people just ignore steps that are taken to keep them safe. There is a barrier between the trail and the top of the falls, and signs indicate that going over the barrier will leave you subject to very slippery conditions that could risk you going over the edge of falls and down the cliff. A rather large group of people were happily splashing in the shallow water and walking around the rocks on the opposite side of the barrier. We were happy to stay on the safe side, marveling at the amazing birds that kept crisscrossing overhead. I really don’t know anything about birds so I have no idea what they were called, but some of them were positively stunning.

After exploring around the top of the falls we returned to the trailhead and realized that we had actually finished with plenty of time to spare, so we got back on the bike and headed for Scenic World in Katoomba. This attraction is basically just a building with a series of different avenues available to enjoy views of the surrounding scenery. We enjoyed the time here, but I felt it was a little bit expensive for what we got. Our day started with a round trip on the glass floor skyway. The glass floor was only a small part of the gondola and was actually a bit dirty, so I enjoyed the view more looking out the open windows.

The railway was up next, and this super steep, one way journey would have been epically thrilling had we been traveling faster. We took it down to the forest floor where we then enjoyed meandering on the boardwalk trails and reading the signs identifying the different trees and plants. We were able to use the cableway to get back up to the main building and do a little shopping in the gift shop. There was a lot of merchandise featuring the prominent three rock formation called the Three Sisters, so naturally I bought something for each of my two sisters (we are so clever).

We took a very scenic route back to our hotel in Bondi, soaking in the atmosphere of the Blue Mountains and then getting stuck in rush hour Sydney traffic. Usually traffic on a motorcycle is a total bummer but oddly, I didn’t mind this. We do so much of our motorcycle riding in rural, scenic spots that being surrounded by other cars and cutting between skyscrapers was really unique and super cool. Overall the day was a truly beautiful one and I would easily recommend it as a day trip from the city of Sydney.

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