The Three Sisters, Blue Mountains

Katoomba, New South Wales 2780

Just two hours outside of Sydney, amongst the surreal scenery of the Blue Mountains lie the Three Sisters, one of the regions most iconic landmarks.

Three Sisters, NSW

Comprising three sandstone peaks that have been weathered over time, the monument has been carved and created over thousands and thousands of years. Today, they just more than 900m above the stunning sprawl of the Jamison Valley. To get the best views of the lush forests and wildlife of the Valley, head to the Echo Point lookout at Katoomba.

It is thought these mystical formations stand guard and watch over the land of the Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri, and Dharwal Aboriginal people.

The Geographical Formation of the Three Sisters

Back in ancient times, 300 million years ago, the earth was undergoing large movements in its crust and plates. Causing the entire Blue Mountains region to be covered in seawater. The ongoing streams of ocean water carried large amounts of sediment, which slowly sunk to the floor in horizontal layers. Soon these layers formed rock beds and shales, which were deposited in horizontal layers. Later, these layers formed rock beds sandstones, creating a swampy area. Eventually, seams of coal known as the Illawarra Coal Measures would be formed. Finally, during the Age of Dinosaurs, around 200 million years ago, volcanoes erupted and blasted through the coal, sandstone and shale layers. Forming ridges and sharp shapes that later became the rock formations we know today.

The Dreamtime Stories and Legend of the Three Sisters

The Dreamtime Stories

  • The Tale of Love and War

    The Three Sisters play an important part in Aboriginal history and, according to legend, were once three beautiful sisters called Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo. The sisters fell in love with three brothers in the neighbouring tribe– something that was forbidden under tribal law. To rebel against the law, the brothers set out to capture the women and make them their brides. This led to a major war between the two tribes, with the entire region in battle.  A witchdoctor from the sister’s tribe decided to help the women. Transforming them into stone during the battle in order to protect them. He planned to reverse the spell and bring the women back to life after the battle ended. But sadly, the witchdoctor was killed in battle, and no one else had the power to turn the women back to people. Leaving the three sisters to remain as the large rock formations for all eternity. Standing mournfully high above the Jamison Valley, never to be human again.

  • The Alternative Tale

    This tale begins with Tyawan, the local tribe’s witch doctor. Tyanwan had three daughters; named Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo. Whenever Tyawan left his three daughters alone to get food, he had to pass by a hole and leave the girls behind a rocky wall on a cliff. He left the girls behind the rocky wall to protect them, as it was known that a Bunyip, the most feared creature in the land, resided in the deep dark hole. One day, as Tyawan did as he always did, and passed through the hole in search of food, a large centipede crawled up next to the girls. The centipede scared the daughter meenhi so much that she threw a rock at it. The rock missed and fell down the hole which angered Bunyip. He emerged from his hole and faced the girls. Tyawan, was returning from his hunt, saw the girls in danger from afar, turned them to stone with his magic bone to protect them from the creature. Bunyip became enraged and chased after Tyawan, in which Tyawan escape has a lyrebird, but lost his magic bone in the process. Without his magic bone, he was unable to change himself or his daughters back to humans, forever searching for his bone. Nowadays, if visiting you can still hear the call of the lyrebird around the rocks, always in search for its magic bone.

Things to do at the Three Sisters

Three Sisters, Sydney

  • See the Sights

    As well as marvelling at the stunning views of the Blue Mountains and the soaring valleys, there are plenty of activities to get stuck into around the Three Sisters. Echo point is one of the best spots to see the three sisters, showcasing the fantastic wildlife that surrounds it. Visit here at sunset or sunrise for a truly unforgettable journey, as the rocks light up in an array of colours due to the soft orange and pink glow of the sun.

  • Join some Adrenaline-Inducing Activities

    Active travellers can try their hand at abseiling and climbing around the incredible mountains or caving in the complex network of underground passageways.

  • See the surrounding Attractions

    Elsewhere, nature trails will take you past bubbling streams, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, jutting ravines, and beautiful cliffs. Along the way, you’ll get up close Blue Mountains Duskand personal with Australia’s native wildlife and get to admire the beauty of the heritage route.

    You can also take the Giant Stairway down to the base of the Three Sisters for another walk along a picturesque boardwalk. This area is so ancient, dating back to a time when dinosaurs walked the planet.

  • Visit Scenic World

    Alternatively, you view the Three Sisters from an alternative site; Scenic World. Here you can ride the railway, cableway, or skyway, gazing down at the sights from above the bushland canopy. All three of these rides offer picturesque views of the Jamison Valley and the Three sisters, as well as a lot more incredible sights within the region. Offering a thrilling way to explore the views and scenery. If heights aren’t for you, the scenic world also promises an epic walkway with information signs and perfect picnic spots along the way.

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