A few days away in the van. The weather forecast was sunny days and cold nights. They weren't wrong :)
I left early and drove to the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah.
This was heaps better than I thought it would be! The visitors centre was well organized and the deck at the back had great views over the gardens on a green mountainous backdrop. The paths meandered through different areas of the gardens. There were so many plants and trees. Many of the plants were in flower and there were a number of mountainous birds about, though they were a little shy.
My next stop was Mount Banks for a hike.
The hike started relatively close to the cliff edge and the track followed this line to the top. The track had some steep sections but generally it was fine. There were many view points over the cliffs from the start to half way. The views became more limited and the vegetation thicker all the way to the summit. There was a trig marker at the very top of the mountain surrounded by dense bush and trees. I met a young couple at the top. I decided to the longer track back. This track was okay but soon joined on the service road and was a bit ho-hum. It would have been better to retrace my steps. BUT the road did lead the Banks Walls and it looked like a reasonable mountain bike (another trip maybe).
A light lunch then a hike from Pierces Pass Picnic Area.
The dirt road down was narrow with a few parking spots at the picnic area ( the picnic area looked like it would be okay for an overnight stay - future reference). There were two hikes and I decided on the easier option of Rigby Hill.
It was a great hike with - a narrow track, thick bush, steep rock steps and good views over the Grose Valley and surrounding cliffs.
It was getting late so I drove to the Cathedral of Ferns campsite which was on Mount Irvine Road. The site was large and the cost free. There were toilets but they weren't too clean.
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