Early rise this morning in order to meet Graham Russel at 7 am for our road trip to the Blue Mountains, about an hours drive from Paramatta. Drove through lush green landscape as we gradually got higher into the mountains. We arrived before the onslaught of busloads of tourists, so were able to enjoy the spectacular scenery all by ourselves. We marveled at the vista looking over the sandstone mountainsides and lush rain forests of Katoomba. We hiked to the 3 Sisters rock formation, via the "900 stairs" trail...not bad going down but a bit more work coming up! As we walked we listened to the bird talk from the flocks of white cockatoos flying around us. We even saw some beautiful multi colored parrots fly by.
Next we drove to the historic Katoomba coal mine region and rode a tram (reported to be the steepest incline in the world) that was originally used by the coal miners to get down the cliff. We then proceded to walk for an hour in the lush rainforest to the floor of the valley, marveling at the unique Australian vegetation and the perfect sunny weather we were experiencing...pretty unusual for a rainforest! We returned to the top via a hanging tram and got back into Russels BMW and headed off to Bathhurst to see the Mt Panorama Raceway.
Arrived at Bathhurst and were blown away that the raceway is an actual roadway, open to all traffic with houses on both sides of the raceway! Graham drove us around the hilly 4 mile track, while I studied all the curves and angles. Perfect weather with beatiful vistas that went on forever! Finished our day with lunch in Bathhurst, before a 2 hour drive back to Paramatta..and the rain finally caught up with us.