A day out of the city is just what was needed after a week of tight deadlines and too much time in front of the computer. The Blue Mountains, 75 km west of Sydney, is a veritable treasure trove of walking tracks, good coffee, places of historic significance and a wonderful high tea. Head out early—yes, I know it is winter—for some crisp mountain air and a couple of hours hiking to clear your head. Start your day with coffee from the team at Cassiopeia (79 Lurline Street, Katoomba) before heading out to explore any one of the numerous walking tracks in the area.
Previously, we explored the Red Hands Cave walking track where you can see 1,600 year old aboriginal cave paintings. This time we headed along the Cliff Top walking track from Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath. To get there, turn off Great Western Highway at Blackheath traffic lights onto Govetts Leap Road. Drive 2.5km passing through the national park entrance to Govetts Leap lookout. The track takes in most of the best views on this side of the mountain range along with descents to paths which wind along the mountain stream. The walk is medium/hard due to the steepness of some parts of the track. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes, pack plenty of water and of course, be prepared for the changeable mountain conditions.
Following a three hour cliff top walk and absolutely famished, we had a hankering for high tea at the recently refurbished Hydro Majestic. Inappropriately attired, and frankly a little sweaty, the wait staff seated us discretely tucked away from the other diners and brought out a gratefully received multi-tiered tray of scones, sandwiches and sweet treats. The views from the high tea room are magnificent overlooking the mountains and one I look forward to taking in next time while more suitably dressed. All in all, a nice day out.