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Katoomba is a tourist destination in the Blue Mountains and is just two hours by train from Sydney. The nearby Jamison Valley has fabulous views across it from Echo Point and many superb walks. I took a short bus ride from Katoomba town to Echo Point. Here there are views across the valley and the Three Sisters from the lookouts. If you have a head for heights (I have not), you can go down the Giants Stairway. I have done this on two previous visits and it involves descending a 1000 feet down 800 steps that are mainly on a metal stairway attached to the side of the sheer cliff face. After recovery at the bottom, you can walk a few kilometres along a track through the forest to the foot of the Scenic Railway. The scenic railway shoots you back up to the top of the cliff, where you can take the Prince Henry Cliff Walk back to Echo Point (or there is a bus if you run out of energy).
There are no kangaroos in Austria. We're talking about Australia, the world's smallest continent. That being cleared up, let's dive right in! Australia is a sovereign state under the Commonwealth of Nations, which is in turn overseen by Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The continent was first sighted and charted by the Dutch in 1606. Captain James Cook of Britain came along in the next century to claim it for Britain and name it "New South Wales." Shortly thereafter it was declared to be a penal colony full of nothing but criminals and convicts, giving it the crap reputation you may have heard at your last cocktail party. This rumor ignores 40,000 years of pre-European human history, especially the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime, an interesting explanation of physical and spiritual reality. The two biggest cities in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more for business, Melbourne for arts. But that's painting in very broad strokes. Take a whirl around the panoramas to see for yourself! Text by Steve Smith.