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Blue Mountains Tourist : Spring 2010
www.bluemountainstouristnewspaper.com.au spring 2010 4 AH, SPRING! The term refers broadly to new life, rebirth, regrowth and renewal -- the season when the greyness of Winter fades, a time for fetes, festivals and gardens ablaze with colour. One of the best known Spring events is Blackheath's Rhododendron Festival which takes place in October and November. It's been running since 1952, which makes it the oldest festival of its kind in the mountains. The Rhododendron Festival includes a broad range of community events -- a street parade, the crowning of the Rhodo Princess, the Festival Art Show, jazz performances, wood chopping, roof bolting, coal shovelling and other competitions. But most of all, there is the glorious work of Mother Nature, from which the festival takes its name. Once again there is news that the gorgeous rhododendrons are in top form and proof that they deserve a festival in their honour. They can be seen in all their glory at the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens. The festival officially opens on Friday, October 29 and runs until Sunday, November 28. For further information contact Sabina Erica on (02) 4787 8784 or go to the website at www.rhodofestival.com.au. It's Spring again! by Jennifer Puckeridge Paradise isn't lost -- it's just a two hour drive from Sydney. And there is no better time to visit than in Spring. Chance upon the website for Mount Wilson and you might be forgiven for wondering just why it is one of the Blue Mountains most magnificent tourist destinations. On the homepage of the site, potential visitors are warned to bring their own drinking water and advised that there are no shops or petrol stations within the vicinity. But before you panic and abandon your travel plans, consider this: the Garden of Eden didn't have a local BP either. Eight kilometres north of Bell's Line of Road and 126 km west of Sydney, Mount Wilson is a place where exotic gardens meet spectacular wilderness. For a small entry fee, you can be privy to the region's most beautiful heritage listed properties. While some gardens accept visitors all year around, others are only open to the public during the Spring and Autumn months. Breenhold Gardens is a perfect example of what Mount Wilson has to offer. From the weekend of the 4th of September through till the end of October, you can gain access to over 45 acres of parkland, bush and gardens. Other privately owned gardens opening their gates for the springtime include Nooroo, Bebeah and the historical Yengo Sculpture Gardens. If hands on exploring is more your style, the Cathedral of Ferns -- a section of rainforest alongside Mount Irvine road -- is renowned for its shady tranquillity. The Cathedral Reserve contains picnic grounds and is a short walk from a eucalyptus aptly named The Giant Tree. When the great outdoors has become a bit much, those with a penchant for the historical will find solace in the Turkish Bath Museum, open every Sunday from 12:30pm -- 3:30pm during Spring. Established as early as 1875 on the Wynstay Estate, the former baths now functions as a local history museum run by the Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine Historical Society. And it's not only Mt Wilson that comes alive during the springtime. The season is celebrated throughout the Blue Mountains with a range of festivals and concerts including the Oberon Daffodil Festival and the Norman Lindsay Gallery's Opera in the Gardens. So, shake off those Winter blues and enjoy the sunshine! But don't forget to bring a jacket -- the weather might be warmer, but it is the mountains, after all. For more information on Breenhold Gardens, phone (02) 9968 1232 or visit www.mtwilson.com.au for details on other gardens and attractions. Paradise found by Amanda Diaz © Copyright Black Diamond Images