With COVID-19 closing both state and international borders in Australia across most of the autumn and winter of 2020, we had to get creative and turn to places a lot closer to home to visit. One of the spots that has always been there in the corner of my mind is the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mt Tomah on the famous (and, sometimes, infamous) Bells Line of Road.
Mt Tomah is what they call a “cold weather” garden, best seen in the cooler months, so a June visit was perfect. It’s a great place for walking, as long as you understand going in that there is a lot of ups and downs – as befitting a place called “Mount” – but the views of the Blue Mountains on the short, sharp trails, even as they recovered from the disastrous bushfires that ravaged it (and actually closed the Bells Line of Road) months earlier, just before COVID, are spectacular. Thankfully, the gardens themselves were largely untouched by the horrific fires that devastated so much and cost too many people their lives in 2019-20.