Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains

During our visit to the blue mountains, we spent one afternoon hiking to Wentworth Falls.  

Wentworth Falls was a beautiful place, and a great hike for our family. It was somewhat difficult, so William rode on Stan's shoulders the entire hike. Gregory and George did well. They are both a bit afraid of heights, so they made sure to keep away from the cliff's edge. 

 Here's a view from the top looking down at the beginning of the hike.

This again is the falls from the top. At the beginning of the hike you can see the falls. The hike then takes you down to the base or at the bottom of the falls.

Here is the view of the Blue Mountains right before we began hiking.

Here are my boys! William got the best deal on his daddy's shoulders. He's not too heavy yet, so Stan was able to hike with William without too much trouble. Gregory really enjoyed hiking. He's now eight, and this hike was easy for him. He really enjoyed it and was able to keep up with Dad.

I love taking selfies with my boys!

George! Love this boy! He conquered his fear of heights and completed the hike. I think he was glad he did it too!

Here is a little falls that we found as we were hiking along the trail. The falls came into a small pool of water that we crossed. This pool of water eventually runs off the cliff's edge and forms Wentworth Falls.

Here is the water falling off the cliff forming Wentworth Falls.

We made it to the bottom! Here is the water coming off the cliffs! The wind was spraying the water everywhere. Wentworth Falls is absolutely beautiful.

I love this photo! These people are my world, and what a fun world to live in!

A hiker was happy enough to take this family photo and it turned out well. I love this photo.  

Family selfie!

Gregory posing for the camera at the base of Wentworth Falls. He's adorable!

Starting the hike back up to the top. It was much easier coming down, but we did okay hiking up hundreds of stairs.

These stairs are steep and somewhat intimidating--- But we did it!

We made it back to the top again! We did so before the sun set, and that was our goal. I wouldn't want to be hiking on this steep and slippery path with small children in the dark. The lighting was beautiful for this hike, and the photos don't even do it justice. It was really beautiful. Living in the city, it's important to get away and be in nature when you can. There's something so fulfilling and needed about hiking in gorgeous mountains away from the hustle and bustle of a large city. I am a city girl, and I love Sydney, but it's good to get away as well and enjoy the beautiful nature that God has given us.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jenolan Caves

When Lyndon and his family came to visit, we went to the Blue Mountains. I have been here once before, but just did a day trip, and we didn't get to see much. This time we stayed at an amazing BnB with a huge park-like back garden, it had a large area to play for the kids, and we all used it at night to play night games together, and a fire pit with outdoor furniture which we all enjoyed. I didn't take a photo, which is a shame, but it was very nice. I'm so glad that we got away all together. We really had a good time. 

So after meeting at the Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre and swimming for a few hours on Friday, we packed up and drove up to the Blue Mountains to a little town called Leura in the heart of it all. We got there late, so when we arrived we basically just transferred the sleeping kids from the car to their beds inside the house.

The house itself was set up perfectly for our two families. Lyndon and Christine had a room, Stan and I had another room, and the kids had a room to share with two single beds and a bunk bed. So each child had their own bed, William slept part of the night with Gregory and part of the night with Stan and I, and Rapha slept in a pack n play which left Cosette, Henry, Gregory and George each having their own beds. It was great. Their international sleepover continued up in the Blue Mountains! I thought that they would play all night and never sleep, but they were amazing and without too much resistance slept well and at a decent hour. It was probably because we did so much each day that they were truly tired and ready for bed when it came time.

The first morning there, we all got up and headed off to the Jenolan Caves. It was an hour and twenty minute drive which I absolutely loved. It was nice to drive deep into the Blue Mountains and really get a feel for its beauty. The only sad thing was that I saw so much road kill. I was keeping count until I reached fifteen dead animals, then I just stopped counting. I saw dead kangaroos and wombats for the most part. And these were large animals. I had no idea that wombats were so large, and there were some large kangaroos as well. As we drove deeper into the mountains we started spotting live  wallabies and wombats which made me happy! 

After our drive, we arrived to the Jenolan Caves. We got there just in time to barely make the next cave viewing and it was perfect because it was the right one for the kids and our families. If we had missed that one, we would have had to waited for an hour and the next cave was probably too difficult for all our little ones.

Here is William inside the cave. He wanted to walk around all by himself. He kept making ghost sounds and saying "Ghosts" "Scary!" ha ha! He's very cute.

Cosette and William hanging out in the cave together!

The cave tour guide let Gregory and George hold the crystal and flashlight which made it glow. They were asked to walk around and let all the guests take a look at it. They were pretty happy to be chosen to do this.

Cosette and Henry were able to touch it as well. All the kids thought this large crystal was very cool.

This cave was absolutely beautiful! I really enjoyed seeing all the natural beauty that has taken millions of years to develop deep inside the earth. I believe if I heard the tour guide correctly, this cave was discovered by a runaway prisoner. He hid out in this cave and I don't think he was ever discovered.

The ceiling of this cave was low at many points, but I only hit my head once.

That's so amazing!

Australia has beautiful birds just hanging out all over the place.

These photos were taken as we drove home from the caves back to Leura. It's such a wild, but beautiful place.

This might be my favourite photo of the drive because it became clear to me why they called the mountains "blue". As we drove through the mountains, they were truly blue. The valleys and hills were a deep green, and the mountains were such a gorgeous blue.