Around the World by Train: Australia
20319 · By Katie Shaw
Episode 4 of Channel 5's Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson sees the Blackadder actor head down under to uncover the unique quirks and incredible railways of Australia.Read more
Travelling to New South Wales offers you the chance to enjoy part of your holiday in the Blue Mountains. The mountain region, located just 30 miles from Sydney, has UNESCO World Heritage status and actually appears to be blue when viewed from a distance, thanks to the oil from eucalyptus trees which disperses the sun's rays and creates a blue hue.
If you take a holiday in the Blue Mountains, you can visit Katoomba, the largest town in the Blue Mountains. As part of the Great Rail Journeys tour 'Australia & the Ghan', we travel on the Katoomba Scenic Railroad,the world's steepest incline track, on a journey ancient rainforest surroundings.
Visiting the Blue Mountains by rail allows you to explore a region of unspoilt natural beauty which was once the barrier between early settlers and the inland regions of Australia. Highlights of a tour of the Blue Mountains by rail include the Three Sisters rock formation, which according to legend is where three sisters were imprisoned by their father to protect them from a "bunyip" (a large, mythical creature which lives in swamps).
The Blue Mountains are part of a National Park inhabited by a diverse range of wildlife. When you visit the Blue Mountains by rail you will have the opportunity to see the beautiful lyrebird and a variety of other native birds including the rufous fantail and the golden whistler. There is also chance to see the famous duck-billed platypus, skinks and water dragons, all of which are known to live in the Blue Mountains.
A journey into the Blue Mountains by rail allows you to travel on the superb Katoomba Scenic railroad, which was originally built to service a coalmine located in the Jamison Valley. Although the mine was closed in 1945, the railway has continued its operation as a tourist attraction.