Australia

Escape Sydney for a Blue Mountain Adventure

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Julia Clites is a student at Stevenson University and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sydney, Australia.

Home to five million people, Sydney is Australia’s largest city. From iconic landmarks to beautiful beaches, it is a city that has something for everyone. If you love the mountains like I do, though, sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city and explore nature. Luckily, the Blue Mountains National Park is just over an hour drive from Sydney and it definitely doesn’t disappoint!

The beginning of the hike on the ISA excursion to the Blue Mountains.

The beginning of the hike on the ISA excursion to the Blue Mountains.

When you first enter the park, it’s hard to believe how breathtaking it is. We began our hike on the Charles Darwin Walk, a picturesque trail famous for hosting Charles Darwin himself in 1836. As I walked through the vivid green hills, over streams and surrounded by waterfalls, I felt like I was in a dream. It’s hard to believe that a place this natural is so close to a city as large as Sydney.

The views from the bridges were incredible. Especially this one that went right over the top of a waterfall!

The views from the bridges were incredible. Especially this one that went right over the top of a waterfall!

One of the best moments of the Charles Darwin Walk was when we walked around a corner and onto our first lookout point of the day. Even though I expected to go to lookout points and see the mountains, I couldn’t have expected just how beautiful they would be until I saw them in that moment. The mountains go on forever and with nothing but natural beauty in front of you, it’s hard not to feel at one with nature.

There's nothing better than a good lookout point!

There’s nothing better than a good lookout point!

Whenever we finished the Charles Darwin Walk, we continued to our second hike of the day to see the famous Three Sisters.

The Three Sisters - unusual rock formation or something more?

The Three Sisters – unusual rock formation or something more?

You may be thinking, “Sure, they are three rock formations side by side, but why are they called The Three Sisters?” According to one the legends told by Australia’s Aboriginal people, long ago three sisters lived in the area with their father who was a witch doctor. Deep within a secluded valley lived a dangerous creature called a bunyip that everyone avoided. One day, one of the daughters threw a rock at a centipede, but the rock rolled over the hill and into the bunyip’s valley. The angry bunyip came after the daughters, but their father used his magic bone to turn them to stone so that they could be protected. The father then turned himself into a lyrebird to escape the bunyip’s wrath but lost his magic bone in the process. Ever since he has been searching for the bone, but the Three Sisters remain.

Even on a cloudy day, the waterfalls and mountains were breathtaking.

Even on a cloudy day, the waterfalls and mountains were breathtaking.

All in all, the Blue Mountains National Park is the perfect day trip for nature lovers studying in Australia! Grab your friends, get on the road, and prepare for an amazing hike – you won’t regret it!

The world awaits…discover it.

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