Along the drive we had called the Avalon in Katoomba as recommended, but they are only open Wed-Sun, and for lunch only Sat-Sun, so no luck there since it was only Tuesday. We kept heading for the Blue Mountains anyway since they sounded worth the view...and we were not disappointed!
The local information center had recommended the highlights since we needed to be in Sydney by the evening, so our first stop was Wentworth Falls. The falls themselves were only a trickle due to being autumn and far down the mountain, but the red cliffs in the afternoon sunlight among all the green trees and the blue haze was gorgeous!
Next was Leura, driving through the town center where all the shopping was, then finding Leura Cascades for some nice photos, then along Cliff Drive to Echo Point. That reminded me a lot of Glacier Point, with the nicely-built lookout points, gift shop & convenient parking, and stunning view. The Three Sisters are interesting rock formations that were just fading from afternoon sunlight when we arrived. There is a lower lookout point so you can look straight down the cliffs, and we even took the walking path down a bit to see them closer but from the end.
We left Echo Point, drove up through the center of Katoomba, then continued to Blackheath, since the info center recommended that view looking back on Grose Valley. We tried Evans Lookout but found Valley View Lookout first...well worth the effort! The light had mostly gone from Echo Point, but here the sun was still just above the hills...and I wrapped the GorillaPod tightly around the railing to get a great photo of Amy and me with the view. :)
Our breakfast was bakery fruit bread bought the day before, and our lunch was our cheese & crackers bought in Yarra Valley, so we were very hungry by 6pm and decided to eat before leaving the Blue Mountains. We settled on the Savoy Cafe, next door to the Avalon, and I had kangaroo sirloin in red wine sauce with mashed potatoes. I'm not a huge steak fan, and I would compare kangaroo to a slightly tougher steak, but it was tasty enough I ate the whole plate.
We called ahead to let out hotel know we'd be late, and the drive to outer Sydney was uneventful and fairly quick...it was one wrong turn and nowhere to turn back that led us the entire outer-city circuit all over again! Frustrating for me as driver, but we got there in the end, even finding parking close enough to the hotel to unload our bags fairly easily. The drive to the airport was fine, and I checked in the rental car about 20 minutes before they closed the desk...then it was finally relaxing time as we took the train from the airport to Circular Quay!
The Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House are beautiful at night of course, so we took lots of photos & strolled around. We found the Opera Bar barely open for one last drink order, so we had a yummy but expensive cocktail each while enjoying the view.
We strolled to the bridge side of the Quay by the museum, then my feet were finally pooping out around 12:30, so we walked back to the hotel. Sleeping in a bit is the plan, then the bridge & opera house, with other city wanderings, then the ferry to Manly Beach on Thursday. We only have 2 full days in Sydney, so we need to plan our time well!