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School holiday must-do: Rainforest art gallery at Scenic World

Blue Mountains

There are 35 fun and thought-provoking installations strategically placed throughout the forest for the spectacular Sculpture at Scenic World exhibition, surely to be the biggest hit on your April school holiday list.

“This is the best day ever,” proclaimed eight-year-old Emmie as she gazed at an enormous metallic owl perched on a rock in Katoomba’s Jurassic rainforest.

This exhibition has everything you need for a successful school holiday adventure. It showcases engaging artworks that children will delight in discovering along the art trail, and its clear theme of recycling and reducing our impact on the environment will give all families something to talk about. There’s room for kids to move at their own pace - to run ahead and explore and make a little noise, and, not in the least, the art gallery is a rainforest in one of the most breathtaking parts of Australia - NSW’s Blue Mountains.

We’d travelled down to the rainforest floor on the worlds steepest railway, and wandered the boardwalk past old mining relics and tunnels from back in the day when Katoomba supplied the states’ coal. As we reached the beginning of the rainforest exhibition Emmie took the lead, and with her Kids Trail Guide in hand (grab yours when you buy your tickets) directed us through the outdoor art gallery.

More than 40 world-class artists have created these installations, and finding them is part of the challenge - look up in the trees, down to the undergrowth and into the scrub. Sculpture at Scenic World is not only visual - keep your ears peeled for the delicate toots of Paul Greedy’s Pulse and the vibrations from Mitchell Thomas and Bronwen William’s Quaver.

At the start of the trail you’ll find Casuarina Dreaming II, Barbara Hamilton’s black cockatoos made from umbrellas and suspended in the air, spinning high above and below the trees. Keep a look out for bottle top ants and Nick Warfield’s Calling upon the Owl - a powerful contrast of reclaimed smash repair bumper bars and the stillness and gentleness of the owl resting deep in the forest.

Once we’d completed our installation loop we boarded the cableway to be whizzed back up to Scenic World. The Sculpture for Small People program offers a range of free workshops designed especially for children. These workshops run daily throughout the school holidays and on Saturdays and Sundays during the exhibition, and are held at the children’s Maker Space at Scenic World’s main courtyard.

Emmie busied herself creating lego sculptures and a ninja headband which she wore on our second loop of the exhibition - it was a little later in the afternoon and the light had changed, making some of the installations look completely different to how we’d seen them in the sunlight.

We finished off our day with a trip over the rainforest canopy on the Scenic Skyway, and Emmie slept all the way home - the best sign of a fabulous adventure.

The Sculpture at Scenic World exhibition runs from 13 April to 13 May 2018. Scenic World is in Katoomba in NSW’s Blue Mountains, only two hours from Sydney.

Evie and seven-year-old Emmie left Sydney, Australia in February 2016 with one backpack and flights to the Philippines. They've been traveling together ever since and sharing their adventures through their blog Mumpack Travel. Spending this precious time together is the best fun they've ever had.

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