Location: Sydney, Australia

Day 3 Kate (our counselor) knocked on our doors bright and early at 6 am. Most of us had to shower the sea water and sand off of us from the surfing lesson yesterday because we passed out as soon as we got back to the hostel. After we washed up, we trudged downstairs to eat a hearty breakfast of cheerios, bananas, and peanut butter. After breakfast, we boarded the tour bus and headed towards the blue mountain national park, which is kind of like Australia’s Grand Canyon. We had to stop along the way to pick up a few other tourists, which was great because we got a tour through Sydney. After about an hour and a half, we finally reached the first overlook, which was beautiful. We walked down a small trail to an overhang which towered above the carved cliffs below. After taking in the beauty, we headed back towards the bus where we spotted a wombat mother and baby, and several kangaroos! Then we took off towards the top of the mountains. We reached our second stop and hiked down another rocky trail to the princess waterfalls. The falls were amazing. The water trickled down the orange cliffs from the lakes above, all the way down through the rain forest. After the falls we headed to a mate’s house for a traditional Aussie BBQ which included chicken, beef, veggie, and kangaroo sausages. Chloe and Allegra were the only ones brave enough to try the Roo Sausage. After stuffing ourselves, we continued our journey to Katoomba (the tippy top of the park). We reached the top and began our steep descent down the “thousand stairs.” The trail wound down through the rainforest along the sandstone cliffs and was dotted with numerous caves, overhangs, and giant ferns. After rounding the mountain, we finally spotted the famous Three Sisters, which were amazing. Finally, at the end of the thousand steps, we took the world’s steepest train back up to the top of Katoomba. The old coal mining train took us back up the mountain at a 56-degree angle, dangling us above the forest below. Blue Mountain Park exceeded my expectations in every way and was an awesome experience. Great day down under!!! -Tenley