Saturday the 17th saw us pack up the van and drive to the other side of Wollongong and set up at a caravan park in Fairy Meadow. Being a Saturday the park was just packed and it seemed to have lots of permanent residents aswell. We were only a short walk from the beach however there were multiple warnings over the weekend about dangerous tides and even signs warning not to swim so that put me off bit. I’d never actually seen waves crashing both ways, the water was running so fast off the sand it was creating another wave on the way back out and hitting the one coming in. Crazy!
We decided to go for a drive and somehow ended up back at the Sea Cliff Bridge and surrounding towns again, we just loved it so much! We found a lookout and then drove inland to Helensburgh to do our groceries before heading back to the caravan park for a very quiet night.
On Sunday the caravan park emptied fairly quickly and by 11:30am I had finally convinced the girls to go for a swim in the pool. It was a really hot day and the pool was indoors and heated so I lasted about 15 minutes before having to get out with a headache haha.
I headed back to the caravan on my own and enjoyed an hour on my own reading, it was bliss! The girls came back and insisted on dressing themselves before we headed into Wollongong for a Sunday afternoon treat of milkshakes and cake. After eating way more then we should have we needed to walk some of it off before heading back to the bus and then back to the caravan.
I decided to brave the ocean and took my boogie board to the beach. You could walk about 700m either left or right and get to a spot apparently safe to swim. The water was so warm, even at 5:30 there were people everywhere! I had a quick swim but there was no point boogy boarding as the waves were still crashing both ways. It took Koel and the girls about 20 minutes to walk the 700m. The girls were both in full dog mode so crawling on all fours through the soft sand. By the time they got there I was ready to head back to the caravan.
We started walking back and Frankie decided to run, of course she missed the track to go back to the caravan park and just kept running. We tried to yell out to her but she just ran faster, big girl probably has a career in long distant running. I somehow drew the short straw and had to run after her. In the soft sand and my bathers it was not fun, I was so angry by the time she stopped! She just layed down on the sand like a star fish and started sobbing! I was to puffed out to even speak haha! I asked her why she ran but got nothing, we finally made it back to the caravan and Koel took the girls for a bath while I sat at the caravan and wondered why anyone would travel with kids! But of course they came back from the bath being the cutest girls in the world, and all is forgotten!
We packed up Monday and headed for Ingleside. Koel and I both really wanted to see the Blue mountains but decided instead of towing the caravan the whole way, we would book it into a storage place we found on gumtree and treat ourselves to a hotel! It worked out really well for us because we also went into Sydney and there is no way we would’ve been able to tow the caravan through haha!
After dropping the caravan off we back tracked to the BlueMountains and arrived at about 4pm. We checked in and the girls were in heaven having a full single bed to themselves with a tv in their room! We went for a look around and were both surprised. I assumed the Blue Mountains would be like Cradle Mountain, just abit of accommodation and a general store or something. Turns out there is restaurant after restaurant, woolies, big W, target and heaps of other shops! I couldn’t get over the streets though, nothing met up and you would have to drive 7 minutes going around corners, small alleys and intersections that didn’t meet up to get 3km’s that could have just been a straight line! We stayed in Leura and the main town is Katoomba, everytime we went to Katoomba I just got more confused.
At about 5:30pm it started raining, heavy heavy rain! Thank goodness we weren’t in the caravan, but I had only packed limited clothes. I found some long sleeves in the bottom of the girls bags, Koel had packed a jumper but I was left to attend dinner in a singlet. It was torrential rain for probably 5 hours and it continued to rain through the night and the next morning.
Koel didn’t realise when he booked the accommodation but we actually got a free buffet breakfast! I was awake at 7:30am Tuesday morning way to excited! We had our breakfast and drank about a litre of juice. We then headed to Big W to upgrade to a winter wardrobe. Of course all the boys clothes were hooded and warm, the girls jumpers were pretty much throw overs but Frankie was getting a pink jumper right or wrong and Lila-Rae didn’t want to wear a “wood” (hood).
I ended up finding a jumper for myself in the mens section, and bought the girls some tights to put under their dresses because they refuse to wear trousers. We left Big W and after a quick (not so quick because of the different roads you have to take) detour back to the hotel so Koel could put on jeans we headed to Scenic World.
This is one of the places we have paid to get into but it has been totally worth it! We arrived at bout 10:30am and headed straight for the train which took us to the bottom. The girls were so excited, I got in line and realised I had to go to the toilet, the workers were so nice though and let me sneak through the staff bits so we didn’t have to line up again. I’m worse then a child.
There were lots of signs saying “World’s Steepest Railway” but I didn’t really take much notice, until we started going down! I thought we were actually going to fall out, I held onto the girls that tight! Not sure how I am going to go at the theme parks. Down the bottom they had a replica cart that was first used when they opened the railway for the miners, I definitely wouldn’t have gone on that!
Koel read that bushwalkers and tourists started to ask for lifts on the train to get down into the valley so the miners started charging 1 pound to go down. Thats essentially how Scenic World started.
There were lots of walking tracks down the bottom, we chose the short one that lead us around to the cable car to take us back to the top. There were a few tears down the bottom from Lila-Rae because the mountains were orange and green and not Blue. I had no idea how to explain it to her so just changed the subject haha.
When we lined up a lady took our photo that we could view and purchase at the top. For $35 I decided just to take a sneaky photo on my phone.
We got back to the top and it was like a different place. We could barely move, tourists lined the shops and entry to the rides. We decided to line up for the Sky Rail because we knew if we didn’t, there was no chance we would get across. I could have lined up and people watched all day, what a laugh. The girls did a really good job and after about 20 minutes it was finally our turn. All the tourists were foreign, I would go as far as saying we were the only Australians there on Tuesday. A few tried to talk to me about the girls but none spoke English, I felt terrible because because I just had no idea what they were saying! I just kept nodding and saying “yes, twins.”
a picture I found on google of the sky rail because we forgot to take one!
As the cart was coming back across though it stopped! I kept envisioning the doors opening and everyone falling out, but after bit of work from the maintenance crew they got it back going. When it stopped heaps of people filed out including a camera crew and a guy I knew I recognised from TV! I spent at least 20 minutes googling shows, names and tv networks to work it out and finally realised it was Kris Smith, what a babe!
We went across on the Sky Rail praying it didn’t stop this time, but it was so cold! The wind was actually icy, I haven’t been that cold since we left Tassie! The floor was clear glass and there was a glassed in area up one end and then rails up the other end. We decided to come straight back across on the Sky Rail and line up again for the train. We went down and did the same thing as the Sky Rail, walked around to get back on the train and head back up. Once we got to the top we decided to just get out of there. It was absolute bedlam.
There was still bus load after bus load being dropped off and we were both cold, hungry and frustrated haha. We had been there a solid 2 and a half hours so definitely got out moneys worth.
For such a tourist hot spot the cafes and restaurants in Katoomba prices were actually really good. We were naughty and had lunch and tea out both nights but surprisingly didn’t spend much money!
It started raining again so Koel bought the girls the chicken little DVD which they watched TWICE while I read a book. At about 5:30pm the weather seemed to ease so we went exploring. Again we learned there is no better time to look around, the lookout that had been packed at lunchtime was now empty aswell as all the walking trails. We wet to sublime point where Koel took his clothes off again, to Echo point which is the main lookout and then walked to the three sisters. The girls did such a good job walking to the three sisters because the stairs were so steep!
We headed to the pizza and pasta family restaurant for tea where they handed out dough to all the kids to make their own pizza to cook (no toppings just the dough) and take home later. Lila-Rae insisted hers had to be a circle while Frankie made a cat. Tea finally arrived and Lila-Rae refused to eat. It was getting late but when we left we figured out the reason why she wouldn’t eat. The lady brought out their dough shapes they had made and Lila-Rae started eating hers, she thought that was her tea. Lucky we had her actual tea in a takeaway container that she ate back at the hotel when she realised she was still hungry.
We had another buffet breakfast on Wednesday and then headed back toward Sydney. Koel had found a teddy bear shop about halfway between the Blue Mountains and Sydney and the website said they had over 15,000 bears. Of course we pumped it up to the girls telling them how amazing it was going to be. We arrived and saw that they were actually closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, even though it said open 7 days online. The girls were just devastated, poor little darlings.
We kept driving and both the girls nearly had an accident due to lack of toilets! We finally found a servo that apparently didn’t have a toilet, they were both hopping from one foot to the other like that has never happened to us! I was getting desperate and was just going to let them go in front of the bus, can the police charge 4 year olds? Luckily we found a Hungry Jacks about 700m down the road, phew! Crisis averted just!
We kept driving and found a Costco, pulled in and went for an adventure. Wow, what a place. They take buying in bulk to the next level. 25kg of sugar, 22.7kg of rice and enough chocolate chips for Nanny Margo and Nanna Betty to make a few batches of chocolate chip biscuits I reckon!
Some of the prices there wasn’t much savings but other things you wouldn’t buy anywhere else. The trolleys were like something out of a movie, they were massive. They literally had everything, as we were walking out you could even buy coffins! Apparently there is a Costco being built in Brisbane somewhere, I can’t wait!
We left Costco and went across the street to a shopping centre where we found a shop called ToyMate. The girls had a ball picking out all the toys they can get in Brisbane, even Koel had a good time.
Our next stop is at Ethan and Jamie’s house in Sydney but I will leave that until the next blog as this one has dragged on abit! Thats for reading and if you ever get the chance to go to Costco, do it.