The Blue Mountains Tour with Blue Diamond Tours includes the Featherdale Wildlife Park, Aboriginal Center and Blue Mountains. Ian is our driver/guide for the tour today. The weather is cloudy with light rain and only 68 degrees. Blue Diamond Tours give you option of not taking the tour and going at a later date but I have other things planned for the rest of my stay. Blue Diamond Tours is the only tour company that gives you this option. The Mercedes Benz mini bus has 3 small steps to get up but I was able to transfer directly to the top step then transfer to the seat. After the wheels were removed, the chair stored easily in the back of the bus. After a 45 minute ride we arrived at Featherdale Wildlife Park. The park is hard packed sand and a little messy with the light rain. There are accessible bathrooms at different locations in the park. You have a great opportunity to interact with some of the animals. I did get to pet a koala, kangaroo, wallaby and hold an owl. We were only at the park for 1 hour but I could have stayed another 3 hours. A down fall of taking group tours.
After the park we headed to the Aboriginal Center in Katoomba to watch traditional Aboriginal dancing. The entire center was accessible with an elevator to all floors with accessible bathrooms.
The next stop was Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains gets its name because the oils of the eucalyptus trees evaporate into the air and the human eye sees the blue spectrum reflecting off the landscape. Unfortunately with the cloudy sky, fog and light rain we were not able to see the blue haze or the famous rock formation The Three Sisters. Scenic World consists of the cableway, scenic railway, skyway and walkway. We took the cableway down to the rainforest which is accessible and has a ramp to get on and off the cableway. The wood walkway is accessible in the rainforest that takes you past the old coal mine and to the scenic railway. One of the highlights was seeing a lyrebird with its feathers open. They are able to mimic natural and artificial sounds. The scenic railway is a glass-roofed carriage that takes you on an in-cline up the mountain. This part of Scenic World is not accessible. There are several series of steps to get to the railway. After going back up the cableway, we ride the skyway across the rainforest but were not able to see anything because of the heavy fog.
We stopped for a quick lunch then headed to catch the ferry to Circular Quay. The ferry was easy to wheel on with access to the inside and outside areas. There is also an accessible bathroom on the ferry.
The Blue Mountains Tour was great. The tour was 9 hours, so be ready for a full day of activities. The only help I needed from Ian was taking my chair apart to store in the back of the bus while driving. If you are able transfer from your chair to the floor of a Mercedes Benz mini bus then transfer to the seat you can do this tour. Ian, our driver/guide for tour was great. He was very informative and knowledgeable on all aspects of the tour. The scenic railway is not accessible and I see no way to make it accessible. The other stops were accessible with most active wheelchair users having no problem doing this tour. Blue Diamond Tours were great working with me and I would recommend them for the Blue Mountains Tour. Accessibility wise this tour would receive a 3.5/5 rating.