When it comes to luxury adventure vacation destinations, the first rule of thumb is to settle for nothing less than the best. A sweeping vista, dramatic scenery, exquisite culture and an agreeable climate are all important parts of the adventuring process, and each of these qualities is abundantly represented in the terrain and scope of the Blue Ridge Mountains in New South Wales, Australia.
The mountains have the distinction of being a World Heritage Area, or a site set aside specifically for the preservation of outstanding natural beauty. They are one of the great national treasures of the Australian landscape, wreathed in gorgeous mists and covered in some of the most vibrant forests to be found anywhere on the planet.
Ancient as they are, the mountains appropriately are home to similarly-distinguished cultures. Visitors to the region are encouraged to take a tour with a local aboriginal guide. These keepers of Australia’s oldest traditions will share insights into their art forms and their music with those who ask, including demonstrations of body painting and cave artworks. Sights of old camps are on display, along with stories of the creation myths and the Three Sisters.
The sights and natural beauties of the region are often best enjoyed in counterpoint to the glorious effects civilization has had on the area. A day that begins with a tour through ancient and still wild highlands can end most agreeably over excellent Australian wine and high tea. The mountains are filled with stores and restaurants catering to the adventuresome traveler, and provide a welcome rest after an exciting and invigorating day about.
Then there are the attractions that straddle the line between these two worlds, like the Zig Zag line. This railway operates a genuine steam-driven locomotive that winds its way through the hills and valleys. Itself a technology left behind in modernism, this train still stands out as something still newer than the landscape around it, and is the perfect, comfortable way to travel the edge between the “now” of a wonderful vacation and the long-quiet “then” of a world that has been here for eons.