Saturday, January 12, 2013

Scenic World

Off to Scenic World, a park with a sky tram, a crazy train,  and lots of walking through the forest.

 The iconic Three Sisters

From  "The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, 'Meehni', 'Wimlah' and Gunnedoo' lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.  These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry.  The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle.

As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come."

The Scenic Railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world, with a 52° incline.  The ride down was pretty exciting, though not super fast so it didn't bother me too much. I don't do roller coasters! According to Scenic World's website, the train "descends 310 meters through a cliff-side tunnel, emerging into ancient rainforest at the Jamison Valley floor. Operating since 1945, the Scenic Railway has thrilled 25 million passengers on just under 700,000 journeys."  We had one of the last rides on the railway as it is being refurbished and updated.

Yes, please watch your limbs!

I couldn't really get a good photo through the chain roof, but here you go.

I loved these interesting trees with long, looping moss-covered branches.  The forest contained a wide variety of eucalyptus trees (I had no idea there were so many different kinds), coachwoods, sassafras and turpentines, among others.  The most common were the Blue Gum trees.

We road the train down into the rainforest, hiked around for a good little while, and rode the sky tram back.  After a fun and full day, we drove back to Katoomba and Leura for dinner and a good night's sleep before the next day's adventure. 


Anonymous said...

Wow! Look at all those trees, Jane. Isn't it amazing how different our environment is? I appreciated the Three Sisters story; it gives life to the land feature and binds everyone closer to the earth.

Gigi said...

I know, there were huge trees everywhere! We are not used to that! I love those stories and wish we would have had a chance to visit more of the special places of the first Australians.

Suzassippi said...

Oh, the Blue Gum trees--the ones that tried to kill me in South Africa due to an allergy attack. LOL