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Blue Mountains Tourist : Winter 2011
WINTER -- the word comes from an old Germanic word meaning "time of water" -- a time to wrap yourself up, stay indoors and hibernate until Spring. But for many of us, there's something about Winter that inspires us to head for the hills. It's the thought of visiting mountain pubs, caf s and guest houses, sitting in front of a crackling log fire, thawing fingers wrapped around a hot chocolate while you gaze out the window at heavy clouds threatening to snow. A Blue Mountains Winter is also a wonderful time to venture outdoors. The mountain air is sharp and at its cleanest --- perfect for wandering amongst nature on one of the many stunning bushwalks. Invigorate your soul and put a healthy hue in your cheeks! The dramatic drop in temperature doesn't alter the Australian bush with the seasonal change, but gardens come alive with warm winter colour and deciduous trees shed their leaves giving a haunting presence to add to the spectacular scenery. From the foot to the peak, the Blue Mountains region has plenty of things to do both indoors and out to shake off those winter chills. There's the very popular Winter Magic Festival, with the main parade due to fill Katoomba's main street with colour on Saturday 18th June. Satellite events will also take place during the month. From June to August you can make believe you are celebrating the festive season in Europe by attending one of many Yulefest events. Many establishments around the mountains will be offering fine food and entertainment to participate in the festive tradition for those wanting to experience a wintry Christmas. Wander at your leisure through the villages with their array of boutique and specialty shops, arts and craft stores and antique dealers. Stop in at one of the wide variety of caf s and restaurants for a hearty meal or indulge in a Devonshire Tea. If you love markets, these are held most weekends at various locations throughout the mountains. For the thrill seekers, make sure you don't miss a visit to Scenic World in Katoomba. Take a ride on the Scenic Railway, the steepest railway in the world. Walk through the breathtaking rainforest on the Scenic Walkway then take the Scenic Cableway back to the top. The Scenic Skyway will amaze with its view to the valley floor 300 metres beneath your feet through its glass floor activated at the touch of a button. Whatever you are in the mood for, you will be sure to find something to warm you up and chase away those winter blues in the Blue Mountains. For further information on what to do and see in the Blue Mountains this winter, contact Blue Mountains Tourism on 1300 653 408 or www.visitbluemountains.com.au Winter in the mountains by Jennifer Puckeridge The Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge is the former home of the Australian artist and author Norman Lindsay (1879-1969). Now a gallery run by the National Trust, it displays the artist's oil paintings, watercolours, etchings, ship models, sculptures plus characters from his classic children's book, The Magic Pudding. The Gallery was awarded the Blue Mountains Lithgow and Oberon Tourism Award of Excellence in 2010 for Heritage and Cultural Tourism. Amanda Trevillion is the gallery manager and she shares with us some of her favourite Winter canvasses in the region. How long have you lived in the region? We bought our first house in Faulconbridge in 1989 and really don't plan on moving. What prompted you to move? We always loved the area and my grandparents used to live in Katoomba so the mountains hold fond memories for me. What's your favourite thing about Winter in the region? The crisp mornings followed by the cosy evenings in front of the fire. I find you tend to relax more in the Winter months and sometimes I even manage a much sought sleep-in on weekends. Where's your favourite place in the region to go in Winter? I look forward to spending a weekend with my family near Oberon. We set up a long table outside for a big brunch together and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. The kids enjoy trail bike rides and yabbying, and we all love the long walks and a campfire. It's unbelievably cold at night and unbelievably beautiful during the day. What's your favourite walk and why is it your favourite? I'm very fortunate as there are quite a few good bushwalks in and around Faulconbridge and Springwood. My favourite is where I walk from home along a track into the Blue Mountains National Park. There are lots of wildflowers and big rocks to stop at, take a rest and enjoy the view. It's especially nice after rain. I usually walk for about an hour and then turn around and head back home. What do you like to do on your days off? Even though I work at Norman Lindsay, on my days off I still enjoy art galleries along with antiques and caf s. My son plays soccer and I enjoy watching his matches although I am a fair weather only fan. Where's your favourite lookout? I love the lookout at Pulpit Rock at Blackheath and then after admiring the view I go and settle into a cosy caf . Outside of your own property where's your favourite spot to grab a bite? What meal of the day? And what's your pick and why? There's a Thai restaurant in Springwood, Thai Square, that opened recently and I would definitely go back -- the food was lovely. It's a shame the meals weren't like the Magic Pudding which no matter how often it is eaten, always reforms in order to be eaten again. Tourism's tourist by Melissa Humphrey Photo: Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon Tourism www.bluemountainstouristnewspaper.com.au winter 2011 4 Amanda Trevillion