I was collected from the Amora Jamison Hotel (near Wynyard Station, City) at about 0715 Hours. This was the final hotel pick up before leaving the city and there were approximately 12-14 other guests on this tour, from a mixture of nationalities. Language headsets were not needed for any passengers in this group, however, they were available if necessary. I did inspect the equipment and instructions given to German guests. Guests who require a language headset are given written instructions on how to operate the headset.
The tour was conducted in a small luxury vehicle which takes a maximum of 17 guests. There were plenty of bottles of water stored in a cooler at the back of the vehicle for each of us to have when needed throughout the day. Immediately following our departure, the driver disbursed the menu choices for lunch and asked if anyone had any special dietary requirements. The driver/guide also quickly identified those passengers booked to conduct the hiking option. Three passengers from our group were booked to include a hiking component within this tour, which consisted of approximately one and a half hours hiking about 4-5 kilometres, whereby the hikers split from the main group at one point and then are collected from another location later to continue the day tour.
Our first stop was Calmsley Farm, which is approximately 40 minutes’ drive from Sydney. Here we got to experience first hand Australian fauna including koalas, kangaroos, wombats, and more. There was a koala enclosure where photos could be taken from a close proximity to these lovely cuddly creatures, and additionally, a staff member brought a koala from the enclosure which she held in her arms (members of the public are not legally allowed to hold koalas in New South Wales) and the tour guests gathered around her whilst she fielded questions.
Tea and coffee making facilities were set up for us to enjoy.
We were invited to roam freely around the farm and discover the range of animals and species for ourselves. In addition to the Australian wildlife there are also sheep, goats and other traditional farm animals as well as camels.
A little later, one of Calmsley’s staff, took the group into the kangaroo enclosure which was a gated, large and open area, where guests could interact with the variety of species of kangaroo. There were many terrific photo opportunities which the guests from overseas enjoyed greatly.
One of the excellent aspects of Mount N Beach’s tours is that they are the only tour company bringing guests to the farm during this time of day. Therefore, there are no crowds, no queues, and it’s a very calm, quiet and unhurried atmosphere.
We probably spent about 40 minutes to an hour altogether at the farm.
After leaving Calmsley Farm, we drove up into the Blue Mountains.
This tour goes to remote locations/look outs generally not visited by the bigger coach groups.
We visited various lookouts, including Lincoln Rock and Eaglehawk Lookout (view of Three Sisters) and the scenery and landscape was spectacular. Everyone in the group were eager to take photos and have their photos taken. In most cases we were the only tour group at each of the lookouts. The time spent at each of the lookouts was probably about 20 minutes’ duration.
We enjoyed lunch at the ‘Boilerhouse’ at the Hydro Majestic. The lunch was two-course (main and dessert), and beverages could be purchased optionally at guests’ own expense. I had chosen a salad, although pie and peas seemed to be quite a popular selection from the international visitors.
Following lunch, we continued to view the spectacular countryside from different locations and we collected the three hikers who had previously split from the main group.
We also visited Mt Tomah Botanical Gardens where we were again invited to explore at our own pace. We were offered a glass of wine each here. The gardens were large and extraordinary and the views from here magnificent, being a location for many wedding celebrations.
Mt Tomah was our last stop before heading back to Sydney, and it was a very pleasant drive.
The driver/guide was very knowledgeable and provided excellent commentary throughout the trip, whilst also maintaining a genuineness, spirit of friendship and sense of humour which everyone really enjoyed. Additionally, his knowledge of all the different plant species which he imparted throughout the day was found to be very interesting.
We arrived back in the city at approximately 4:30 pm, and I was dropped off close to the Amora.