Sydney: Blue Mountains – Three Sisters Track

Travel Period : 1 May – 7 May 2014

{ Previous Post:  Sydney: Blue Mountains – Echo Point }

Morning 

“Rise and shine!” I said to my two companions after turning off the beeping alarm.

Breakfast timing at the motel was between 7.30am and 9am, so we woke up early to be in time to fill our stomachs before the start of our second day at the Blue Mountains!

Buffet options were lesser than expected, with the usual fare of bread, juices, tea and coffee. I was expecting a sumptuous international buffer breakfast like what we have read from travelers’ comments, but that wasn’t really the case. Peering at a neighbouring table’s spread, we then requested for three plates of omelets with bacon and toast. We weren’t told we could order them. These were then served to us freshly made after about ten minutes. [Cat: I didn't find them to my liking]

Finishing our breakfast, we were ready for our first destination of the day — the Blue Mountains Chocolate Company, which was just within short walking distance. According to its official website, it opens at 9am daily. We arrived there at 9.15am.

We Are Closed’ Those were the words on the signboard that welcomed us early in the morning. What a great start to our day…

Beside it, a notice indicated that the place only opens at 10am instead! Time for someone to update their website. :(

To The Three Sisters Track 

Fortunately, we had a backup plan in mind – to attempt the Three Sisters Bushwalk.

We did not manage to do this walk the day before due to lack of time, so this was a golden opportunity since we still had slightly less than an hour before the first Explorer Bus would arrive at Echo Point (Bus Stop 14) at 10:19 am.

The Echo Point Lookout was just a 10-minute walk away and we soon reached the starting point for the bushwalk, located between the toilets and the tourist information centre. There appeared to be an older path on our right but it was sealed off, probably due to safety reasons.

Just outside the tourist information centre stood a list of bushwalks available and their difficulty etc. The staff at the centre are probably too overwhelmed by the number of queries on bushwalks from visitors and decided to come up with this Do-It-Yourself list. ^^|

Day6BlueMountains_BushWalk

There was also this large board with detailed information on Blue Mountains’ geography and its surroundings, explaining it as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day6BlueMountains_Three Sisters BushWalkWorldHeritage

Passing through a stone gate, we began our walk and was glad that the place was void of other visitors due to our early timing. This made our walk a very serene and enjoyable one, since it seemed we were the only ones in this natural environment! The nice, cool air also helped made our walk towards the Three Sisters a relaxing one (another advantage of coming early ^^).

Dar was also very energetic (he loves walking/running/climbing!) and I had to grab hold of his hand so that he wouldn’t wander off himself and get too ahead of us, where we couldn’t see him. Though this Three Sisters Walk has been classified as ‘Easy’, the sides of the pathway were not fenced so there’s still the danger of falling over the slope, or him tripping over the sometimes uneven ground.

Day6BlueMountains_BushWalkStart

Day6BlueMountains_BushWalkDown

Cat: Reluctantly Going Down…and knowing later it would be tough to walk up.

Along the way, we could see some interesting rock structures with the roots of the vegetation sticking out. This was a good opportunity to reinforce on the anatomy of trees and plants to Dar. Not forgetting doing a little educational stuff when traveling! ^^

After about 400 metres from our starting point, we arrived at a Cross Road. One of the ways led to the Leura Cascades, which was 3 km away (!). The Leura Cascades was one of our planned bushwalks for the day, but we would be taking a bus ride there via Bus Stop 17 later instead (read about our experiences here), saving ourselves 3000 metres worth of walking/climbing.

Day6BlueMountains_Three Sisters BushWalkCrossRoad01

We then continued walking along our main path, which would soon bring us to the Three Sisters and Giant Stairway. Only 100 metres away now!

Day6BlueMountains_BushWalkThreeSistersTrack

Three Sisters Lookout Point 

True enough, 100 metres later, we arrived at another stone gate, this time bringing us to the Three Sisters Lookout Point. All three of us were in high spirits and full of energy, since we had a filling breakfast and the walk so far had been relaxing with nice sceneries and weather. What a great walk it had been so far! ^^

Day6BlueMountains_Three Sisters LookoutPoint

Giant Stairway

Just beside the lookout point was the Giant Stairway. Peering down, we immediately understood why it was labeled as a ‘giant’!

This was a really long and steep stairway, and each of its steps was narrow. Fences were erected on the side to prevent climbers from falling to their premature deaths (on second thought, probably the thick eucalyptus jungle below would help cushion an otherwise fatal fall ^^|), the climb down still looked rather precarious to us, especially when we had a child with us.

But were we going to abandon the climb and give up our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete the walk and get closer to the famous Three Sisters? Of course if it’s really dangerous, we weren’t going to risk our lives just for that. However, we were sure that with proper safety precautions, we would do just fine! ^^

With a common understanding and agreement, we started to make our  steep descent, making sure to hold Dar’s hand tightly. We sandwiched Dar between us and I walked in front of him so that in case he slipped, I would be there to support him (or at least cushion him if I fell with him too ^^|).

Day6BlueMountains_BushWalkGiantStairway

They might as well just build a steep slide down ^^

Day6BlueMountains_BushWalkGiantStairwayThreeSisters

Beautiful sceneries as we climbed down

While we were making our slow and steady walk downwards, we were admiring the views as they were simply gorgeous! We felt like we were walking on clouds and peering down onto the cliffs! What a sensational experience this was!

Day6BlueMountains_Three Sisters TrackRock

As we neared the bottom of the stairway (yeah! We were all still in one piece ^^|), the first rock of the Three Sisters started to reveal herself before us, motivating us further to complete our climb.

“There! The first rock!” Dar exclaimed and he wanted to rush forward to cross the wooden bridge to reach that first rock.

Seeing that this area was safely fenced up, we felt it was safe for him to lead the way and let him be the first to touch the rock. :)

We then crossed the bridge and stood on the rock with him too. It was a nice feeling to be standing on what seemed so far away when we were looking at the Three Sisters from Echo Point earlier. More importantly, we felt accomplished to have made it this far together as a family!

Day6BlueMountains_BushWalk Three Sisters

#Self-Timed Family Portrait

Since we were the only ones there at that time, we could have the opportunity to use our Gorilla tripod to take a self-timed family portrait with no ‘moving backgrounds’. This is yet another advantage of being the early birds (spare the yucky worm part though! ^^|)

Day6BlueMountains_Three Sisters Rock FamilyPic

The rock is enormous!

#Scenery From Three Sisters Rock

Contented with our accomplishments and not wanting to overstay the first sister’s hospitality, we started to make our way back. We still have a bus to catch, lest we forgot.

Unfortunately, there is only one way to go back, so we had to push ourselves up that long and steep stairs! What made it more difficult was that our leg muscles had not fully recovered from last night’s chilly walk from Katoomba Town to our motel

Day6BlueMountains_GiantStairwayClimbUp

Cat and I were panting after the climb while our little boy was still all energetic! *bows* Note: Sign says Strong Walkers Only

Despite our tired legs, we had to quicken our pace for the rest of our walk back to Echo Point (in case you have forgotten, it’s a long 500 metres away…) so that we could catch the Explorer Bus that was arriving soon in 10 minutes’ time.

{ Next Post:  Sydney: Blue Mountains – Leura Cascades }

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