dh_profFor the inside scoop on what to do in the Sydney CBD and at The Rocks, please feel free to ask Professor Harold Short for any tips. If you are interested in visiting Newtown and the Haymarket, Professor Willard McCarty would welcome sharing his local knowledge of the area. Harold and Willard will be at DH2015.

The Blue Mountains | Photoset

The Blue Mountains are a perfect day trip for the adventurous and those who wish to see spectacular scenery. It is also worth spending a weekend in the mountains.

Self-guided

There are numerous walks. The best known starts at Katoomba, with a view of the Three Sisters and from there relatively gentle walks. More challenging are the walks from Wentworth Falls and Blackheath. One can reach the mountains by train (the Blue Mountains Line) from Sydney, Central Train Station (circa 2 hours). On the weekends it is only $11.90 return. It is worth getting a very early train (there is a train departing Central at 7.18am or, for early risers there is a train at 5.48am). After the two-hour train journey you should allow another 30-60 minutes to get to a starting point. It can be significantly colder in the mountains than in Sydney so check the weather. The following walks offer stunning views:

Three Sisters Walk (1 km, easy). Take the train from Sydney Central Station to Katoomba. From Katoomba, there is a local bus that goes to the Three Sisters.

Wentworth Falls – Overcliff/Undercliff walk (6kms, hard). Take the train from Sydney Central Station to Wentworth Falls Station. From there either walk or take a local bus to the lookout (2 km) to start the walk.

Echo Point/Prince Henry Cliff Walk/Katoomba Falls (4 km, easy). Take the train from Sydney Central Station to Katoomba. From Katoomba, there is a local bus that goes to the Three Sisters.

Govetts Leap to Evans Lookout (6 km, medium). Take the train from Sydney Central Station to Blackheath. From Blackheath train station, there is a local bus that goes to Govetts Leap.

It is also possible to travel to Katoomba by train and simply get on a tourist bus which  takes you to all the major lookouts (Wentworth Falls, Three Sisters and Govetts Leap).

Organised Tours

Hop On Hop Off Blue Mountains Explorer Bus
All day every day, with all the main stops
http://www.explorerbus.com.au

Hop On Hop Off Blue Mountains Trolley Tours
26 Great Stops, and other tours available
http://www.trolleytours.com.au

Blue Mountains Wildlife Day Tour and River Cruise
Ultimate wildlife encounter and scenic discovery
http://www.fjtours.com.au

Anderson’s Tours in the Blue Mountains
All inclusive personalised small group tours
http://www.andersontours.com.au

Sydney Boutique Tours
Small groups, flexible, personalised, away from the crowds
http://www.sydneyboutiquetours.com.au

Day Tours from Sydney
Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley
http://www.activitytours.com

Sydney Day Trips
Blue Mountains, Canberra, Hunter Valley, South Coast, Jervis Bay, Port Stephens and more
http://www.colourfultrips.com

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Wine and the Hunter Valley

Australian wines are very fine. The better ones tend not to be exported, so if you enjoy good wine consider bringing back a bottle or two, sealed up in a padded plastic envelope called a “wine skin” that allows one to transport bottles without fear of breakage. For advice on wine, the Australian Wine Centre in Circular Quay is one very good place to go. Expect a good wine to cost at least AUD $30.

One of the best wine-growing regions in the country is the Hunter Valley, near Newcastle, on the Central Coast north of Sydney. To visit this famous wine region it is best to book one of the numerous day tours. These trips tend to be aimed very much at the tourists but they do allow one to sample the goods in some of the wineries.

Day Tours from Sydney
Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley
http://www.activitytours.com

Sydney Day Trips
Blue Mountains, Canberra, Hunter Valley, South Coast, Jervis Bay, Port Stephens and more
http://www.colourfultrips.com

Sydney Boutique Tours
Small groups, flexible, personalised, away from the crowds
http://www.sydneyboutiquetours.com.au

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