We will be flying from Gold Coast (OOL) to Sydney on December 20th. The flight lands at about 1:40 pm. We plan to take the train directly from Sydney airport to the central train station and then change to the train to Katoomba, with our luggages in tow.
We already booked a two-night stay at a Leura hotel. Now, this is where I get stuck.
-- Should we get off at Leura station and check in to the hotel first? Or should we get off at Katoomba Station?
-- Since the transportation from Leura to Katoomba is not that convenient, should I rent a car for the three day/two nights while we are in Blue Mountain? I found out on line that there's Hertz Car Rental in Katoomba. I assume that we can get a taxi to take us to the car rental place once we get off the train.
-- It looks like after we all settled in Leura on the first day, it'll be around 5-6 pm. What's there to do besides finding a nice restaurant and get some dinner? Should we still try to check out some places if we do get a car? (aware the buses all stop at about 5 pm.)
-- We'd like to go to Jenolan Cave on the second day. Given the drive from Katoomba to Jenolan Cave is quite challenging, we plan to join the trolly tours to get to Jenolan. But it looks like we need to book the bus first, then book the tours separately once we get to Jenolan. I'd like to prebook the tours because I'm concerned the tours will all be booked up if I wait till the last moment. But by looking at the Jenolan Cave tours timetablehttp://www.jenolancaves.org.au/the-caves/cave-tour-timetable/regular-tour-timetable/, I can not confidently decide which one to book. It looks like my best bet is to book the 1:30 pm Lucas Cave. Given it's a Thursday, and the bus leaves Katoomba at 10:30 am and will depart from the Cave at 3:30 pm. Am I correct?
-- Someone has suggested us to drive to Jenolan Cave. We are kinda concerned since we are not used to drive on the left side. My husband and I are both very experienced drivers. Before we get to Katoomba, we will have driven on the left side for about 6-7 days at Brisbane/Sunshine Coast/Gold Coast. Is that enough for us to drive from Katoomba to Jenolan Cave?
-- On the third day (a Friday), we'll go to Scenic World early in the morning and tour around Katoomba and Leura until early afternoon. Then we'll head back to Sydney central station and check into our Sydney hotel (already booked too). It'll be the Friday before Christmas. Will the train from Katoomba back to Sydney Central Train station be so crowded that we may not secure three tickets? Should we plan to leave early on Friday morning or we can wait till Friday afternoon?
Thank you ahead of time for perusing my post and helping us out with the planning in Blue Mountain. Any suggestions and critiques are welcome and appreciated. Thank you.