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This is a small group tour in a mini-bus with our driver/guide Tom who entertained us with historical facts of Sydney and the Blue Mountains as well as the legend of the Three Sisters. There were only 11 of us in this cold, rainy day. We were forewarned that if there was snow in the mountains, we would have to turn back. Fortunately, there wasn't so off we drove to the north of Sydney, across the Harbor Bridge and to the Blue Mountains where we stopped at Leura for refreshments and packed lunch. Leura is such a pretty suburb. We took photos of the 3 sisters in nearby Echo Point and proceeded on to another 2 hour drive to Jenolan Caves. There were several tours available but we had the Lucas Cave Tour which was the biggest cave. The Lucas Cave tour was for 1.5 hours and included in the tour fees operated by AAT Kings. We climbed about 1000 steps up and got some cardio exercise. I don't recommend this tour for kids below 12 years old or for people with knee problems. We chanced upon a rock wallaby inside the cave and a wombat sauntering outside, down the footpath. We brought our packed lunch but one can always order at the restaurant where it was warm and toasty with a fireplace running. One can taste the cave water from a drinking fountain outside the Information Centre. For those planning to go on this tour, always check the weather and bring warm clothing as it gets really cold in the mountains. For those suffering from motion sickness, there is an 8 km climb around the mountains that are winding and steep. Just a little tip to wear sea bands or take Travacalm. We finished the tour at around 3:30 p.m. and headed back to the City before 4 p.m. It was a long day but worth the visit. Tom was a superb driver and exceptional guide.
The coach driver could have been more empathetic. The pick up round was quite long. So when the last person was being picked up recent for 5 minutes of longer for visiting toilet was vehemently turned down. 3 passengers were left behind at Blue Mountains as they were not at the bus stop exactly at the announced time. Most of us had to search for the bus as we were not briefed about its parking place or the number or the driver's cell phone in case of not being able to find the bus. Despite many passengers expressing concern he chose to drive on he did later call another bus driver and instructed to pick up the three passengers. But I cannot imagine how I would have felt if I had been left behind in a place like Blue Mountains with no public transport.
At Blue Mountain the driver also informed me that I was better off doing the cable trips I had bought the tickets than having a coffee as I did not have the time and he would leave exactly at 11.45 hours whether I was there or not in the bus. That is what he did leaving the other 3 passengers who probably could not find the bus.
The bus emergency exit door opened suddenly almost 6 times while the bus was in motion. There was no appropriate tools on the bus. Passengers helped the driver to forcibly close the door each time.
I should also add that the driver provided a lot of interesting anecdotes and information about the areas we passed by and the areas we were visiting. That was good.
Really good tour and tour bus driver coordinator was a wealth of information. However, the bus only had 1 video so it was difficult to see it for information about the Blue Mountains ahead of time if you sit at the back of the bus. Buy the ride tickets with the bus driver as the queue was terribly long so we were glad they had that option. Need more coordination on what bus to get on so a ground coordinator at the start would have been good.
I didn't realize this was a big bus tour. A double decker bus picked up people for all the tours and went to a central location. From there, you go to the bus for your individual tour. This takes some time. Scenic World was really pretty, but expensive for the time spent there. We visited the Lucas cave, which I really enjoyed. There are 900 stairs to maneuver during the tour. Some of the areas are slippery, so be sure to use the hand rails. The stop on the way back to Sydney to feed the kangaroos was fun. Our tour guide Tony made for an enjoyable trip. My drop off point was skipped, so was the last one off the bus. It's a long day, but feel it was worth the time.
This was a great tour and the perfect size as well! Your time in the Blue Mountains is at Scenic World which is an add-in not mentioned in the above itinerary and at your own expense. I opted to walk the various paths around Scenic World and had more than enough time to reach the bottom of the falls and get back to the bus. The cave tour was fantastic and definitely the highlight of my day. It's an amazing cave I viewed the Lucas Cave to see and the tour guide was awesome. The Blue Lake makes for a great place to eat your lunch once you arrive. Our guide was Peter and he was great pointing out highlights along the way and even stopped for us to take a photo of a kangaroo on our way home.