Bright and early on a cold Saturday morning on August 10th, we anxiously awaited departure to 2 fun-filled days in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. After a three-hour drive which included a spectacular snowy scenery and a breakfast stop, we arrived at Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Before we continue on to my adventure, I’d like to introduce myself! My name is Alexandra. I am from a university in Toronto and currently on exchange in ANU! There are many many events and trips organized for exchange students at ANU. All of the events and trips organized by ANU Global Programs are optional, so don’t worry if it is not something that you are interested in! That said, I have enjoyed my time at Featherdale Wildlife Park!

A cute little furry Quokka we saw at the park

In this park, we received a presentation from park directors with various animals including: snakes, fairy penguins, Quokkas, Owl’s and a few others.

Here we were also able to pet and touch them. My favourite was the Quokka’s as they were the cutest and reminded me of guinea pigs. After this, we had the freedom to explore the rest of the Park. I had the opportunity to see koalas, reptiles, wallabies, dingoes and many other native animals.

A Sleepy Koala
Fairy penguins! My first time seeing them!

By far the best part was when we were able to feed and take selfies with the kangaroos. They were so cute and friendly to pet and feed in person. I was able to get a few pictures I could show to my friends and family back in Canada

After leaving the Wildlife Park, we finally arrived at the Blue Mountains. I was super excited to hop off the bus and admire the views close-up. Before we started our bushwalk in Wentworth Falls, we enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch in the nearby park.

Our walk throughout the falls was quite enduring as the pathway was both quite uphill and downhill at many parts, but was fun nonetheless. We were able to see at one of our stops how Indigenous people used a special stone as a type of “paint” and the history and spiritual significance of it. After this a few brave souls (including myself) accepted the challenge of the ‘Giant Stairway’.  This 800-step staircase took us down to a beautiful view of a waterfall. After a tiring trek, we headed to our hostel.

The next day also had a lot in store for us.

An early start to the day included a trip to Scenic World in Katoomba. Here we were able to ride various sky trains to see different sections of Scenic world. One of the sky trains we rode called the Skyway is as “the steepest vernacular Railway train in the southern hemisphere”. The views from the trains were breathtaking. After this fun adventure, we had the opportunity to walk through a rainforest in the Jamison Valley.

Next on the itinerary, was to visit Echo Point. Here, we saw the famous “Three Sisters” rock formation. It was also especially beautiful to see as the snow began to fall.

After the viewing of the rock formation, we braced the windiness and took a group picture to commemorate the weekend. We then hopped back on the bus and headed back to Canberra.

The breathtaking scenery, complete with a weekend away with some of your friends, is a great reason for any ANU exchange students to partake in the weekend trip to the Blue Mountains.