My Australian Journey #12: The steepest train journey in the world


Above, the Road Builders Memorial in Katoomba, NSW.


Rotary Club Of Katoomba
Centenary Project 2005








And a year ago I was complaining about doing 88 days farmwork…

But to rewind even further back, this was my view from the Blue Mountains as I was about to step on what was described as ‘the steepest passenger railway in the world’. And as always, with anything described as ‘steepest’, ‘tallest’ or ‘fastest’ I headed to the bar first. Thankfully there is one located at the top, and a couple beers helped me to calm my nerves. As many of you know I am not the best with heights, and a beer takes the edge of it. Before long I headed down to the entrance and waited for the train to arrive.


Although it is as steep as a roller coaster, it was pretty slow as I watched the train on numerous occasions move forward and disappear over what seemed like a pretty sudden drop. I do have more pictures over here in the post from the day, and I am uploading them and a video to my Instagram story shortly. It was a great experience with breathtaking views.

I also added a post on my love for abandoned things and places. if you would like to look, I have linked it here. There were interesting discoveries to be made of things either left to fade or just abandoned before opening, even more impactful in such dense wooded areas.

I wonder if they have this button working again…


Being so close to Sydney, I went the first time by myself. I thought I went for a day but looking at my original posts from here I only just remembered I stayed in a hostel overnight! I’ve stayed in too many hostels, they all blur into one over time. But before I knew it I was back in the big city, back to the crowds and protesters.

I decided to add this shot as it isn’t something you can walk by in the street without a second glance.


These are today’s shots from my daily throwback posts of my Australian Journey, many, many more to come and as always, more of each experience in the links. There won’t be many more from Sydney as I really need to move onto the next destination on my travels, Newcastle. Then farmwork, the east coast from Cairns to the Gold Coast, and plenty of shots from my longer stays in Brisbane and Melbourne. Too many pictures and memories, so little time to share them!

Thank you for reading, and I will see you all again tomorrow.


Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

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Behind the Artwork #2 (tilt your head for this one!)

The second piece of art that I wanted to look into was this one, also found in Beverly Place, Katoomba. It has a fairly dark and deep theme, both visually and in the writing accompanying it. It was too long to take a full shot of so I’ve done my best to piece it together.

Much of the writing is readable this way, so having to rotate the image 90 degrees isn’t so bad. There is a third section of the shot that I tried to join onto it but I was way too close at the time, however positioning it upright means you get a good view of the message.

“I’m sorry”

“This is it, this is it, you deserve a better man”

On first viewing it seems like the artist was full of remorse for one reason or another, it would be wise to assume it was to a partner. For this reason I really wanted to look into the artwork and creator. Thankfully the artist provides details on the bottom left hand section of the wall, it can be viewed in the first image just underneath the heart (as if viewing from a standing position) and seen more clearly here.

So it turns out Alex Grilanc is the artist, inspired by a poem written by Phil Wilcox who can be reached via Alex’s Instagram that I have linked below. Alex was based in Sydney however seems to have worked on art nationally and internationally. He has focused a lot of his work around consumerism and this can be seen via his insta channel. The mural above was in fact also created elsewhere, below it can be seen with the poet that inspired it.

Check out his channel for more art and links to associated artists.


Artist: Alex Grilanc with words by Phil Wilcox

Location: Katoomba, NSW, Australia

Insta: @alex_grilanc / @philwilcox


Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,


On this day: What did you post a year ago today?

It’s funny how we can look back at things and find out today is in fact the anniversary. In this post earlier today I responded to a question I was asked, and was reminded of a post thanking my readers for helping me to reach 600 followers. The post in question was coincidentally dated 7th November 2017, a year to the day.


What a difference a year makes. It is strange to think that twelve months ago I was standing here in the Blue Mountains… in ways it seems like yesterday and due to the amount of travelling I have done since, it also seems a lifetime ago. I get these alternate perspectives with my blog too. This was a relatively recent post considering I have three years worth of posts before it, but I have typed up hundreds of posts since. This was the very beginning of my Australia journey and the moment I truly started to bring my blog to life from its dormant state.


I might start looking more at the blog posts I typed exactly a year ago today. ‘On this day’ might be a fun way to remember my old posts and bring them back to life, reminding myself of previous thoughts I have had and finding inspiration for new ones. It would be great if WordPress had a similar ‘memories’ application seen on Facebook that could help us go back in time to a specific date at the click of a button. Maybe there is a way that I haven’t realised, however scrolling through the published section takes no time at all so I don’t mind.

With this in mind, what did you publish a year ago today from the time you are reading this? You never know, it might be something you are pleased to return to. Let me know in the comments as I always love to hear the responses I receive. Do you still agree with what you said at the time? What did you post about and what has changed since?

It will be interesting to see which of my opinions has changed and which ones I still stand by, as well as seeing how many stories and experiences I have forgotten along the way.

A whole lot can change in a year and thankfully blogging can be a reminder of this.



Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,



Travel Diary: I love abandoned places

I am sure I have touched on this in a previous post somewhere down the line, but I love seeing areas that were once walked, walked no more. I understand some of these places may have been abandoned for very sad or destructive reasons such as a shipwreck, radiation or war. Often these places become very empty very fast. I am filled with wonder and endless questions when such a place is brought to my attention.

Whilst I was in the Blue Mountains a week ago, I found a few examples of a time left behind. Some were recent walkways that were closed off for repairs.


Others were much older, such as this mine that was closed back in the early 1900’s. By 1933, the Katoomba Colliery focused on tourism after the winding down and eventual death of the coal mine. It isn’t just the mine that is no longer functioning, the button you can see here to provide audio information is also not working.


On my walk I stumbled upon what looks like a shale bucket rusting just off the elevated walkway through the rain-forest. It seems to have stayed where it was last used, or maybe in this case, where it landed.


The website Info Blue Mountains gives a little insight as to why it is here:

Locating kerosene shale at Ruined Castle, he (John Britty North) registered “Katoomba Coal & Shale Co. Ltd” in 1885. German engineers were hired to construct an aerial ropeway. Known as the “Flying Fox”, it ran from the Ruined Castle, across the Jamison Valley, to the engine bank (near the upper terminus of the Scenic Railway). It collapsed after only a six months, the wreckage is still strewn across the valley.  The company soon went into liquidation.

This may have been in the exact spot it landed in after collapse. Pretty damn cool.

In my post linked here, you can find the new Scenic Railway that occupies the previous coal train that eventually was used for the increasing number of tourists, now the worlds steepest railway. From the top, what appears to be a roller coaster track can be seen.



Again, Info Blue Mountains sheds light on the Orphan Rocker Roller Coaster, set to be the ‘World Scariest Roller Coaster’. It has never been completed, with many of the theories as to why found on the website linked. What an amazing setting for a coaster this would be and who knows, maybe one day people will ride this.

So there we have it, an amazing destination with a history that isn’t hidden, although different to what it is today. If you have seen this place yourself or know of somewhere else in Australia or elsewhere that has become a victim to time, do let me know!

Travel Diary: The Blue Mountains are stunning 

Who knew a short train ride from a city the size of Sydney could take you to a magical landscape like this. It wasn’t even a high speed train, with plenty of stops along the way. These mountains really are on the doorstep of Sydneysiders.

Oddly enough, as I was waiting on the train for it to depart, the advertisement board displayed a performance called The Three Sisters. Strategically placed on the platform heading to the attraction of the same name?

Who knows. But before long, the Sydney skyline disappeared into the horizon.

What replaced it was a blanket of green, trees as far as the eye could see. Every now and then the station would stop in smaller and smaller towns, eventually the platforms were so small there weren’t signs telling me where I was. I had to use the TripView ap- which is fantastic- to get my bearings.

Leaving the station in Katoomba, I headed to the hostel. This was roughly a ten minute walk and after dumping my bag and getting directions from the lovely staff, I found I was halfway to some great Blue Mountain viewing points.

The clifftop is lined with reminders of those that worked to build the roads and the people that lived here at the time. I took a moment to reflect on this and the hard work it must have been to create such infrastructure in the summer heat. A pretty powerful reminder.

There was also messages from those that had visited for the first time during times of exploration and discovery. One was by Charles Darwin, stating that the view through the trees was ‘quite novel and extremely magnificent’.

This is the view he was speaking of.

The weather certainly improved which helped greatly for some nice shots.

This stairway was a little nerve-racking, although doable even with a mild fear of heights. It was cool to be able to touch one of the Three Sisters, even if it did get a little crowded.

Now, walking west towards Scenic World, there are two ways to head to the ancient rainforest below. The worlds steepest railway or Australia’s steepest cable car. You can choose to go down one way, walk through the rainforest on one of the various route lengths and up again via the other route. I decided to head down via railway and up via cable car.

If you’re in and around Sydney and have a enough time to venture out of the city, definitely make time for this place. I only spent one full day here and headed back early the next day after a pleasant night in the local YHA hostel. I have a feeling I could have spent more nights in the region and ventured a little further off the beaten track,    however 24 hours was still great fun.

Let me know what you think and if you have been! Speak to you all soon.

Travel Diary: I went on the worlds steepest railway!

I think my fear of heights is steadily fading. I only needed three (strong) beers to brave this railway, one that I would have really regretted had I decided against it. Regret can be as strong as the fear that prevents you from doing something but can last much, much longer.

Scenic Railway is an attraction at Scenic World, Blue Mountains. It offers a 52 degree incline on the steepest passenger railway in the world and one of the best views I have ever seen. Passengers can also adjust the seats to really give that cliffhanger feel.

It could easily be classed as a roller coaster if the speed was there. Thankfully for me it was a bearable speed as it descended down a 310 metre drop via a cliff side tunnel and into the Jurassic Rainforest below. I will add the views from the train soon in the Blue Mountains gallery, but for now enjoy the sheer ridiculousness of this railway line.

Could you ride this? I highly recommend it, a truly once in a lifetime experience.

Hello from Honeymoon Bridge!

The Three Sisters. Legend has it they were turned to stone and he that had the power to save them is still trying to do so to this very day. The Three Sisters are three large rock columns that are a very popular sight at the Blue Mountains. I will show you more of this great landscape soon but for now, here is a picture of me looking out to the horizon from this formation.

I don’t look as scared as I felt. I had two beers before heading out there and a lovely Scandinavian girl offered to take my picture as my shaky hands were no good for a selfie. Thank you to the anonymous girl for the photo opportunity!

More photos to follow soon. 

Thank you to my 600 followers! (From the Blue Mountains)

I recently hit 600 followers to my channel, a milestone I’m very proud of and a community I am eager to continue posting for. Thank you to each and every one of you that likes, comments, reads and follows my blog, it is one of the few things that really keeps me going day to day.

I have a really exciting trip in store this afternoon, I’ve reached the Blue Mountains and the weather is perfect. I cannot wait to get out there and explore a little and let you in on my experience in the next post. I’m in the hostel celebrating with a $2 latte from the machine, cheers and see you all soon! 

The cup is balancing on my knee if you’re wondering… I cannot take photos with my left hand as it is very shaky. I should maybe get that checked out.

Sunday not so funday 

Sunday’s are such a fascinating contrast to the rest of the week aren’t they? No busy crowds, no honking cars, the CBD becomes a ghost town as everyone flees to the outer suburbs for their day of rest before it all starts again tomorrow.


Anyway, I’ve had a rather frustrating day. I remember that I asked for my Muse ticket via text for their Sydney gig in December. Dilemma being (possibly) that with the water damage my phone might not last that long. On top of that, the U.K. number I originally booked with has now changed to an Australian one. So far that doesn’t seem to be a problem as I can open the original text from my old number which is still present on this iPhone and access the ticket. That is, until I get the following message when trying to save it to my Ticketek wallet.

I don’t want another event experience, I want this one!

I still managed to add the ticket to Apple Wallet, so it seems live. I guess I’ll have to hit the turnstile on gig day and hope for the best. My mentality remains positive as I have started making some decent travel plans for the rest of the year and 2018. First stop, the Blue Mountains on Tuesday. 

This will also be my first stay in a hostel, as I feel an overnight trip will be much more beneficial as there is nothing worse than thinking about heading home on the same evening. The Blue Mountains is an area of outstanding natural beauty 90 minutes west of Sydney, so one full day here shouldn’t be too much of a problem provided I actually get up after my first early alarm and not attack the snooze button.

We will see Tuesday!