You may recognise Turfey and Rach from Explorer Challenge #5 when they were ‘Pregsploring’ Sydney Harbour on a Speedboat. A lot’s changed since then, with two now becoming three. For Challenge #21 Mini-Explorer Theo strapped on his crampons, slung his baby camel-pak over his shoulders and joined his adventurous parents for one of the Blue Mountains top day walks…

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Torrents of tears. Ear piercing screams. Uncontrollable bowel movements. And a bit of sick.

An adventure indeed … and all before we’d left the flat.

Ever since Theo was born 8 weeks prior there has been a twinkle in his eye revealing a thirst to explore. His initial temper wobble was proven simply to be impatience at his parents’ ineptitude for knowing what emergency baby utensils to pack, just in case… It turns out two boobs is all you need*. Once on the road Theo relished every moment of what weareexplorers has deservedly labelled the best hike in the Blue Mountains – the Grand Canyon loop.

The loop begins at undoubtedly the best view we’ve encountered in NSW – Evan’s Lookout – just 2 hours drive from Sydney. The gum trees layer the valley floor for miles into the distance only to be interrupted by sheer cliffs that would make the even most particular base jumper moist. From there the route descends down steps carved along the cliff face to the cool shade beneath the canopy. The immaculately maintained path snakes along the canyon floor following the river 200m below the lookout above. Showering under cascading waterfalls, ducking under cliff overhangs, delving through gloomy tunnels, the loop never bores. After about 2 hours it emerges from the shade to be confronted by an even steeper set of steps designed specifically for deep quad burn, but making the summit all the more satisfying while once again taking in Evan’s spectacular Lookout.

Hard to beat as a day trip from Sydney. And if two paranoid parents + baby can do it, so can anyone. Enjoy!

* note to self: next time pack less than 90% of Baby Kingdom and replace with water for the parents.

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Your name and theme song?

Team Turf.

Johnny Bristol – Hang On In There Baby

Highlight?

Evan’s lookout (the second time)

Funniest moment?

Breast feeding in the wild only to be disturbed by a group of canyoners

Why do you love NSW?

The weareexplorers website sums that up pretty well…

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