Not so Blue Mountains - A Tourist Experience

For a tour guide, it is good sometimes to see life from a tourist's perspective...

You get up in Sydney at 6am in order to be at another hotel in time to catch a coach that takes you to a further hotel to wait for the coach that is your coach for the day. By this time you are back near to your own hotel.

There are other people waiting. They are bedraggled, as it is raining. They have empty faces. This could be through tiredness or jet lag or both.

A coach arrives for the Blue Mountains. You wait for your names to be called.You look pleadingly at the driver. He does not call your names. You are on the next coach. Your coach arrives two hours thirty minutes after you got up. 

The driver guide is unremittingly cheerful. Fighting against his commentary, you manage to doze off until the first stop, a comfort break.

After the comfort break, the coach ascends towards the Blue Mountains. It is still raining. And it is very misty. But the driver is confident that the mist will clear.

You stop at a "Scenic World". It offers a "range of experiences". You take a photo of the mist. Somewhere beyond it are the Blue Mountains.

You now descend to the valley floor via a steep railway. The railway has a theme park quality about it. 

On the valley floor you follow a boardwalk. This takes you to a cable car that will return you to the top station. On the boardwalk there is a deep puddle straddling its entire width. You cannot avoid stepping into the puddle. It is not clear whether this is part of the range of experiences. 

A local guide on the cable car enthusiastically tells you about what you would have been able to see had there not been so much mist.

Sitting back at the top, waiting for the coach, you reflect on your sensations of cold and damp. However, there is a nice video to see, with beautiful shots of the Blue Mountains.

Next stop lunch. The driver asks if the group is looking forward to lunch. There is a cheer, the most positive response of the day.

On the way the driver detours slightly to a panoramic spot with a normally great view of the mountains. He is optimistic about the mist clearing, but if anything it is now worse.

For lunch you are herded on to trestle tables at the appointed restaurant. You make conversation with your fellow diners. Some of the conversation concerns the weather. 

After a post-lunch doze back on the coach you wake to find yourself at a billed wildlife park. It is a small wildlife park. In fact it is a zoo. 

In the zoo you see wallabies, koalas, wombats and kangaroos. It is good to see a live kangaroo, as the others you have seen so far have been dead ones on a country roadside. (Photo below not a kangaroo).

You retreat to the zoo cafe. The rain has stopped and the mist has cleared, but by now the cold and damp have set into your bones. The thought of changing socks is appealing.

After some driving, you are disgorged at a waterside location where you catch a ferry back down river to Sydney. Despite everything the driver did his best, and so you give him a tip. 


You stay in an inside cabin on the ferry. There you are warm and dry. You feel good about this.

Back in the hotel you note that you are due to do a similar outing in a couple of days' time. You decide to review your position on this.

The author is a professionally qualified tour guide and sometime traveller.