Relaxing in the Blue Mountains

Relaxing in the Blue Mountains

It was with a plethora of plans that we headed for the Blue Mountains early on Saturday morning. I had landed from Dublin just 3 hours earlier, with my sister landing just an hour after me, having flown in from Perth. My dad and Cassia had also landed less than 24 hours prior, jetting in from sunny South Africa. So we were all jet-lagged, and excited about a rare family holiday, no matter how short it was going to be.

We opted for the longer, more scenic drive up, with our first stop being The Pines Orchard, our favourite apple pie shop, in Bilpin. What was meant to be a quick stop to pick up an apple pie, quickly became an early lunch with Aussie meat pies being consumed all round.

From The Pines Orchard we headed a few kilometres down the road to the Hillbilly Cider Shed, where the non-drivers took part in a quick cider tasting, before loading up the ute with a “few” bottles of cider for the weekend.

Our next stop was at the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens. The original plan was to enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens, however, having just had a pie, we scrapped that idea and instead went for a brisk walk and did a little birding. The gardens were truely beautiful, although they were far smaller than I expected. Surprisingly, there were a lot of South African plants in the gardens, much to our South African guests dismay.

With checkin time fast approaching, we jumped back into our cars and headed for our Airbnb in Leura. Despite having seen a magnitude of pictures online, I was unprepared for the views which absolutely blew me away. We quickly settled into our weekend home, and got ready for a chilly evening. The adults cracked a few beers, while the kids enjoyed a game of boules in the garden.

As the sun dipped behind the Three Sisters, and temperatures dropped, we lit the fire and threw on a pair of impressive tomahawk steaks. Having not seen each other for 18 months, we chatted well into the night over a few too many glasses of wine. Ironically this, along with a few too many sleeping tablets, meant that I experienced absolutely no jet lag what-so-ever from a very short Dublin trip.

The next day we had planned to go to Scenic World, however, with the views and walks on hand, we scraped that idea and instead took a relaxed walk to the Sublime Point Lookout.

It was an easy 1km walk from our doorstep, and was well worth it. On route we came across multiple rock climbers, kitting up for some time on the incredible cliff faces surrounding the area.

The views from Sublime Point were exactly as the name suggests…sublime! The Three Sisters stand proudly over the never ending Blue Mountains National Park. Ironically, the view wasn’t too different to the views we were privileged to have from our Airbnb’s garden. First world problems!

The afternoon was spent on the front lawn playing croquet and boules, setting up a teepee for the kids, and being crushed at the ring toss by Sharon.

Gloriously, on our second evening, we were treated to a far more prolific sky, as the clouds lit up over the mountains. We made use of the pizza oven around the back of the house to cook up some home made pizzas, and then enjoyed a few gin and tonics as we again chatted into the night.

The next morning we arose to a thick, wet fog. Our view was gone, but it was replaced by fond memories of my old stomping grounds, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. We were originally planning to visit the Jenolan Caves, however, due to the inclement weather, we decided to take it easy, pack up slowly, and head back to Sydney, stopping for a lazy lunch on the way.

I’d love to highly recommend this Airbnb, but for now I’m going to keep it as my little secret.