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The Probus Club of Port Melbourne timed its excursion to the Blue Mountains to coincide with the Leura Gardens Festival and all the blossoms and kindly weather that Spring delivers to that beautiful region.

Pictured above: Probus Club of Port Melbourne group on the steps of the Metropole Katoomba.

19 members of the Club based themselves in Katoomba for five nights, staying at the characterful Metropole Guest House which advertises attractive packages in this magazine.

On the first night there members were joined by two stalwarts of the Upper Blue Mountains Probus Club, Ray and Malcolm.  After dinner they gave an entertaining ‘insider’ accounts of the attractions of the area, and by happy coincidence, both men were also heavily involved in running the Gardens Festival.

The Explorer hop-on-hop-off double decker bus took members around to the various highlights of Katoomba and Leura. Just listening to the commentary of the comedian drivers was a delight in itself.

Leura really turned it on for members as they toured the public and private gardens that were open for the Festival. But it seemed that most of the homes and businesses in Leura had made a fine effort to show off their best, and the cherry blossoms throughout the streets were just stunning.

One day members rode in two mini-buses down to Faulconbridge to visit the Norman Lindsay property and gallery. With the help of the enthusiastic guides, everyone in our group seemed much impressed and bemused by the uniquely quirky talents and tastes of that artist and story-teller

Their time at Scenic World was memorable too, riding on the cable cars and the steepest funicular railway in the world. Members walked around the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, appreciating the spectacular views over Jamieson Valley and the legendary Three Sisters, but finishing in a state of considerable exhaustion.

Each evening before dinner everyone gathered for ‘happy hour’ in the Metropole’s charming library which the guest house kindly made available to them. These opportunities for socialising, getting to know each other better, and talking over the day’s activities, while relaxing with drinks and nibbles, were thoroughly enjoyable and much in the spirit of the Probus ethos and appeal.

The trip took members from a seaside inner suburb of Melbourne to a charming scenic rural region in NSW, affording a lovely contrast that was rewarding in all kinds of ways.