BBC America has been running a series of brilliant short films on Australia, which I co-produced and hosted on behalf of Lonely Planet. Wow, Australia—what a country.
No matter how many times I visit Sydney, I always get a thrill when I spot that spectacular harbor, and feel like I’m seeing it again for the first time. I can’t pick a favorite perspective—but how thrilling the view from the Olympic salt-water swimming pool beneath Sydney Harobur Bridge.
Hard to believe the Blue Mountains are so close to Australia’s biggest city. Dense eucalyptus forest, dotted with craggy rock formations, sprawl two million acres, exuding a mist of oil that refracts sunlight a smoky blue—hence the range’s name.
The birds are incredible. As we descended cliffs into a tiny pocket of rainforest, a pair of rare black cockatoos flew past at eye level. Tracing their route, I spotted other giant birds, the sort you only see in pet stores in America, perched wild in treetops, cawing and screeching an echoing chorus.
Dig the ride out of the canyon: you ascend via the world’s steepest railway. The film barely conveys the vertical drop, nor the sensation of feeling suspended, face first, inside a cage. My stomach was in my mouth. I can’t wait to do it again.