Thursday, November 8, 2018

Blue Mountains and Featherdale Wildlife Park Tour, Australia

Australia's Blue Mountains are in New South Wales.  The foothills are about 50 km (31 miles) west of Sydney.  The Greater Blue Mountains Area is about 10,000 km² (3900 sq miles) and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

Our group tour began with a stop at Featherdale Wildlife Park.  The park opened in 1972.  With over 1700 animals from more than 250 species, the park is home to the country's largest collection of native animals.

Every state in Australia has its own rules about koalas.  In New South Wales it is illegal to hold a Koala without the proper accreditation.

Most places don't let you touch them at all.  At the park, you are allowed to take a photo while touching the koala's lower body.  I hear that in Queensland you can hold a koala during a photo which last about 30 seconds.  

There are plenty of kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, emus, dingos, lots of snakes, and the crocodile.  Unfortunately, the Tasmanian devils weren't out while we were there.  Australia is home to some pretty dangerous wild animals.

Then it was on to Scenic World Blue Mountains which is about 100 km (62 miles) from Sydney.  Aside from great views of the mountains, there are a number of nature walks, a scenic railway, a skyway, and a cable way.

Panoramic view of Jamison Valley
The Three Sisters rock formations are are one of the best known landmarks.  They are named Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo.

There are plenty of walkways to explore and several waterfalls.  Even a bit of rain didn't spoil the views.

The Skyway was is a cable-driven cabin that takes about 70 people across the gorge.  Part of the raised floor inside the cabin is goes transparent during the ride so you can really appreciate how high up you are.

Spectacular views, waterfalls, and I got to touch a koala...definitely an awesome day trip!

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