The Blue Mountains sprawl out in a magical display of velvet peaks and dipping valleys, just like something out of a fairytale. And, in the heart of it all, tucked away from prying eyes, is the Jenolan area. This part of the country oozes a more primitive vibe with a deep, dark history that’s still imbued in the ancient trees and rugged hiking trails. The most famous part of the Jenolan area are its caves, which have been around for more than 340 million years.
As you can imagine with a history this extensive, there are plenty of stories to go along with the caves and their surroundings. In fact, the local indigenous Gundungarra tribes refer to the area as “Binoomea”, which translates as “Dark Places”, because they used to travel to the caves and the lakes that surrounded them to bathe their sick, as the waters in this area are thought to have curative properties.
The Blue Lake is one of these majestic watering holes. It sprawls out egg-shell smooth like a billabong beneath the Grand Arch. It was actually created by man in 1908 as an aid for electricity, and it is fed now by the gushing waters of the River Styx and the Jenolan River.
Around its perimeter, there are palm trees that make it look like a special kind of paradise, and the surreal blue water just adds to that charm.
The colour of the lake is one of its biggest draws (and where it gets its descriptive name from) and is created by the refraction of light on the limestone deposits and bedrock.
If that was magical enough all by itself, you might even get the chance to spot the elusive local resident – the platypus. These water-based creatures are some of Australia’s rarest native species, but they thrive in the surroundings of the Blue Mountains and the Blue Lake.
Walking to the Blue Lake
To make the most of the stunning scenery in this area, you can take a walk from Jenolan to the Blue Lake. Covering around 2.6km of track, the walk takes between one to two hours and is suitable for all levels of walker. Along the way, you’ll get to explore gentle hills, historic steps, and incredible views out across the magical Jenolan region.
If you’re looking to delve into the surreal charm of the Blue Mountains, the Blue Lake is a great place to start. Not only is it a beautiful location, but the many stories that are imbued in the earth provide a fascinating way to get to know the area.