Another national park that we’ve not visited in a long time was the Royal National Park. And it’s been even longer since I took a walk to the cliffs. It’s time to remedy that.
We started at Wattamolla on a warm summer’s day. The park was already bustling with people even though it was just 10.30am. We crossed Wattamolla Creek and headed north past sparse eucalypt forest. The boulders here were a highlight, marking the edge of the forest and the low coastal scrub.
Much of post-Christmas was spent on the Central Coast, and that meant grabbing a view of Broken Bay. We hadn’t taken the Mount Ettalong Walk in nearly 2 years, so it was good to reacquaint ourselves with the view.
Back home, I took time to paint the scene proper. I quite liked how it turned out.
I hadn’t spent much time exploring Leura before, and so was surprised to discover Sublime Point when we were visiting friends nearby. It has a better view in my opinion than Wenty Falls or even Echo Point, since you can see both valleys.
View to Katoomba.
View to the Kings Tableland.
And because access is via some very quiet suburban streets, there are no walks from it, and parking is limited, it seems to be one of the more secluded lookouts in the Mountains. Bonus!
The Blue Mountains has a wide range of accomodation to choose from, especially in the village of Leura. We stayed at The Greens B&B. It was set in one of the old houses just off the Mall, and each room was named after a classic author or poet. I chose Jane Austen, of course.
The rooms were luxurious, and so were the breakfasts. There was even muffins for afternoon tea.
I liked the little touches, like a set of Jane Austen novels in the room. It made for a very homely stay.
Now that I’ve finished posting about our travels abroad, I can concentrate on catching up on our activities here in the last 6 months. Last August we spent a weekend in the Blue Mountains to celebrate our wedding anniversary. One thing we did was take a walk along the Charles Darwin Walk.
It had been some years since I walked this track, and I was glad to see the pre-spring wildflowers out.
It was always a treat to see the waterfalls.
And of course, the grand view from Wentworth Falls at the end.
What a way to catch up with friends than to enjoy a leisurely 3 course lunch! I met up with N and F pre-Christmas at the Devonshire Restaurant in Surry Hills, where their Prix Fixe Friday lunch was too good to be missed. The menu changed weekly, but we weren’t too pertubed about what we got as we knew it was all going to be very good indeed. We weren’t wrong.
For entree was roasted pork belly croustillant, spiced apple relish, shaved fennel and radish. It was a spring roll that had been well and truly pimped, but with the salad and relish was still light and fresh.
The main was the magnificent seared Ora king salmon, fried calamari, squid ink, orange and chive dressing. With a crispy skin, more-ish sauce and dressing, all refreshed by the oranges (a citrus that you don’t often think of when accompanying fish), it tasted as good as it looked.
The sides of broccolini and twice-cooked potatoes were also amazing. How did they get the potatoes so crispy, I wonder?
We really didn’t have any room left after that effort, but still we managed to fit in a delectable sticky pear pudding, toasted coconut milk sorbet and toffee sauce. The pudding was surprisingly light, and the sorbet creamy without being too rich. A perfect end to the meal.
One place we visited that had nothing to do with volcanoes was Waitomo Caves. The caves were set in dense rainforest, and is famous for their glow worms. I have been to some of these caves before but since then they have opened up some new caves – we were able to visit three of them.
They weren’t the biggest caves I had ever seen, but they did have some lovely details.
One of them you descend into by a giant corkscrew ramp, and had suspended walkways to keep you above the wet floor. Now that’s engineering.
The Kiwis are good like that, very creative, out of the box thinkers, and you see evidence of it everywhere. Sorry to say, but often Aussies seem like square pegs in comparison.
Well, we’ve come to the end of our geological tour of NZ, and all the travel posts too. I’ll be posting about things much closer to home from now on, which isn’t all bad, because 4 months of travelling was very exhausting.