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So You've Feft Your Holiday to the Last Minute

Contributor ,

o once again you have left your Australian holiday planning to the last minute and everything up and down the coast is fully booked.

Most people choose to flock to the beach in droves during the summer period, but not this little white duck, my fair skin can only take so much sun (around 15 minutes max) before I'm burnt to a crisp and the heat of the sun drains the energy from my body, leaving me feeling hot, burnt tired and lethargic, not to mention that I don't like crowds and hate queuing for anything, let alone a soggy tub of takeaway salad and a bottle of warm water.

In the busy holiday season I much prefer to opt for a destination like the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, after all, back in the early 1900's this was the preferred holiday destination for Sydney siders, and for good reason. Due to the high elevation of the Blue Mountains there is no humidity, making it truly relaxing on those hot summer days.

For those who can't live without a swim, take a picnic lunch and head to the swimming pool in Blackheath, which is surrounded by green grass, trees, gardens, and there's a park for children to play. The park is also big enough to fly a kite or sit by the beautiful natural spring and watch the ducks enjoy a dip, protected from us humans in their fully fenced outdoor paradise.

Blackheath also offers bush walks with scenery so beautiful you'll find yourself never wanting to return to the bustle of the city. You'll find picnic grounds at the end of Evans Look Out Road and Govetts Leap with views to the Grose Valley, which is where the Grand Canyon Walk starts.

In every nook of the Blue Mountains you will find something to do, whether it's dining out in one of the many award winning restaurants, shopping in the historic village of Leura (where most of my money is spent on a regular basis) or visiting the gardens and galleries; enjoy high tea at The Carrington, built in 1880, which is set high above the town of Katoomba or treat yourself to an afternoon of freshly baked scones with real cream and blackberry jam in the quaint cafe that's tucked away in the Megalong Valley, where peacocks strut casually across the road with their feathers on display.

So when you do decide that enough sand in your pants is enough, do something that really makes you feel as if you're had a restful holiday.

The Blue Mountains offer a wide range of accommodation from backpackers to five star resorts. You might choose to stay in a self-contained cottage or a B&B during the summer period, unlike the coast, you will not be short of options. And as you have left your plans to the last minute, go to a last minute accommodation website where you can see what's being offered at last minute rates.

As you reach the heart of the Blue Mountains you'll come to Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mount Victoria and if you keep on driving, you'll find yourself in the wine country of Mudgee. They say that it's the diversity of the soil and climate that makes the Mudgee wine unique.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and enjoy a real Australian summer holiday.

Joaquin Costa


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