Why are Blue Mountains blue?

Escape the bustling city of Sydney for a day and step into a valley of mesmerizing mountains dense with Australian bushland and natural wonders. The Blue Mountains is one of the dreamiest destinations in the area, home to unique wildlife and breathtaking views. But where does the name Blue mountains come from?

The Blue Mountains Formation

Back million years ago, the sea completely covered the area. While the sea level was so high, bucket loads of residue dropped into the water, covering the floor and eventually compressing into sandstone and shale. Eventually, the water lowered, leaving behind hard rocks, and due to the continuous erosion by the water and weather, the rock slowly moulded into hills. Even further moulding came about after continuous volcanic eruptions caused lava to flow through the cracks of rock. All this took about 250 million years, the area naturally formed spectacular mountains, rock formations, deep canyons, cascading waterfalls, and lush forestland covering the area.

The Reason behind the Blue

You may be confused about the name as the mountains look greener than blue with their lush bushlands carpeting the area. But the name is actually in fact due to the type of bushland inhabiting the mountains, more specifically, the eucalyptus tree! The eucalyptus’ are spread through mountain tops, being one of the most common plant types found around. The typical scorching sun of Sydney beams down on the area, hitting the treetop canopy. When a eucalyptus gets a certain temperature, they release an oil through their leaves. This oil fume mists the area and reflects against the light. Although this cannot be seen up close, at a distance, the light reflecting on the mist is quite clear, looking like a blue haze. When looking at the mountains from Sydney, the oil fog covers the entire range, resulting in the mountains to look blue from afar.

The Blue Mountains History

Due to its size, there is a rich history in each section of Mountain. With six separate Aboriginal tribes who hold connections with this land. They include Darug, Gundungurra, Dharawal, Darkinjung, Wanaruah and Wiradjuri. European settlers did not venture into the area until 1813 as the land was thick in the impermeable forest. However, soon parts with cut down to make room for open plains for farming and settlement.

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