The Rich Indigenous History of the Blue Mountains

Escape the city and venture into the fairytale world of the Blue Mountains which are set just outside of Sydney. Lush green peaks punctuate the skyline, while quaint villages dot the valleys below. Here, you can dive into the fascinating cultural heritage of the region and learn all about the rich Aboriginal history of the Blue Mountains.

For centuries and centuries, the Blue Mountains have formed the home of many Aboriginal tribes, including the Gundungurra and Darug tribes. Still today, plenty of Indigenous peoples live in the area and there are a number of unique cultural sites that let visitors dig into the past and discover the customs and stories of the local tribes.

Where to Experience the Rich Aboriginal History

Waradah Aboriginal Centre

The best place to start your adventures is at the Waradah Aboriginal Centre in the charming town of Katoomba. Here, visitors can soak up the traditional dances and performances of the local tribes and browse a rich collection of artworks and interactive displays. Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir or two in the on-site shop.

Rock Art

Rock art is one of the best ways to really get to know Aboriginal history. The tribes in the area have been a part of the Blue Mountains for millennia, and have marked their presence on the sandstone cliffs that surround the region. Travel to Hawkesbury Lookout for the best viewing spot. Here, you can catch a glimpse of one of the best-preserved rock carvings in the region, which is known as “the flight of the Great Grey Kangaroo”.

The Gully

For Aboriginal tribes, The Gully is one of the most important spiritual spots in the Blue Mountains. It marks the spot where the Gundungurra and Darug people lived throughout the 1800s and into the first half of the 20th century – right up until a racing track was built across it. At the time, the indigenous people who lived there dispersed and set up home in other parts of the area, but today they have reclaimed the spot, which has since been put under the legislation of the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

At Mount Tomah, you can explore the beautiful displays of Aboriginal life at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. Plants and nature are a vital part of the local history, and you can browse the collection of plants and wildlife here, as well as discover centuries-old rock paintings and indulge in breath-taking views across the surrounding region.