Although the name Katoomba is used as a name for a crater on the planet Mars, it is not specifically commemorating the town. Kedumba or Katta-toon-bah is an Aboriginal term for “shining falling water” or “water tumbling over hill” and takes its name from a waterfall that drops into the Jamison Valley. I’m sure it was this waterfall we saw from Juliet’s Balcony and Rainforest Lookout yesterday. Today, after a nice lie in and breakfast we went off in search of more ‘shining falling water’. We headed back down to Echo Point and saw The Three Sisters more clearly than before. We went down to the Honeymoon Bridge Lookout which is a small joining bridge between the headland and Meehni. Then plodded down The Giant Stairs to the valley floor and the start of a more relaxed, quiet adventure. We followed the Dardanelles Pass in to the Leura Forest. With occasional views of the cliffs above us and the dense temperature rainforest around we soon reached ‘Lady Carrington Dining Hall’. The original tea house built in the late 1800’s was destroyed by a falling tree, but walkers can still enjoy the historic rotunda, foundations and enjoy a picnic in the area. We carried on for a bit off the beaten track. We planned on going as far as Wentworth Falls on the routes marked on MapsMe. With none of these paths becoming apparent, even after crossing streams, we gave up and went back for a spot of lunch. Under the shade of the lilli pilli and coachwood forest we were watched by some magpie-like birds for any tid bits we may have dropped.
On a less adventurous, but significantly more signposted route up to the cliff top, we went past a number of quaint little waterfalls and through an area named Fern Bower. Protected from the heat and providing a great environment for fern trees, bracken ferns and moss to thrive, the area was different shades of lush green with moisture in the air. It was a beautiful area to discover and with only a handful of people spotted for the entire day it was blissfully isolated from the frantic life up top and by the famous landmarks. Up on the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, more towards the starting point of this route, we came across yet another memorial to Lady Carrington. Lady (Cecelia) Carrington was wife of Lord (Charles Robert Wynne) Carrington. The couple explored parts of the Blue mountains in the late 1800’s and had a number of places named in their honour. Lady Carrington Lookout is long, narrow and fenced (twice). The lookout is perched up on a sandstone block and provides views over Jamison Valley. We got uninterrupted views of the forest below, undisturbed by tourists but visited by a few Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Spinebills and New Holland Honeyeaters – none of them being interested in a photo.
Back at Echo Point before we realised it, we could easily have started another trail or stayed longer for different routes. Alas, back to the hostel via a new road, we had a lovely meal of fish, baby potatoes and broccoli bake. All thanks to the fact that the YHA had an oven and there was free goon in the fridge to make the cooking easier and the last blog writing that bit smoother and less tedious. Friday 22nd July 2016