Guide to the Blue Mountains

The World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains are located a short drive from Australia’s largest city, Sydney. It is a huge expansion of land, reaching 11,400 km in size and more than 470 million years old. It is home to a range of astonishing mountains, rock formations, deep canyons, lush forest land, as well as stunning waterfalls. But how did this remarkable area form?

How Were the Blue Mountains Formed?

Blue Mountains View

Back millions of years ago, the sea covered the entire area. During this time, large amounts of sediment dropped into the water, covering the sea floor. Over time, these sediments compressed into sandstone and shale, transforming them into hard rocks. Once the sea levels lowered, the rocks became moulded by the river water and wind. Episodes of volcanism also affected the shape of the range, as around 200 million years ago lava flowed into the cracks of the sandstone and shale.

The outcome is a range full of spectacular mountains, deep canyons, ancient forest land, and sandstone creations. Some of these captivating creations hold amazing stories behind them and are well worth the visit.

The Three Sisters

Three Sisters Sunset

The famous rock formation the three sisters is one most visited sight in the Blue Mountains. Despite the scientific reasoning for these formations, the Australian aboriginal’s Dreamtime story offers a completely different explanation. The story surrounds three beautiful sisters who started a war between two tribes. The three girls fell in love with three brothers from a neighbouring tribe, and due to the forbidden nature of marrying outside your own tribe, a ranging battle ensured. A witchdoctor transformed Three Sisters into rocks to saved them from a raging war. Unfortunately, the witchdoctor was killed in battle, and unable to reverse the spell, resulting in the tragic tale of the three sisters forever being rocked.

Check out the Dream Time Story of the 3 Sisters in the Blue Mountains.

The Wollemi Pine

A famous canyon within the Blue Mountains holds a remarkable discovery, the Wollemi pine. Due to the canyon’s concealment, the forest area is hidden from the outside world effects. The Wollemi pine is a living fossil, equal to finding a living dinosaur nowadays, as the tree is a prehistoric plant which has survived the ravages of time.

The ‘Blue’ in the Blue Mountains

You may be wondering why these mountains are named blue, but the formation of these rocks has nothing to do with the name. Instead, the reason is due to the forest and type of plants that cover the mountains. The eucalyptus tree, also known as the gum tree, admit eucalyptus oil when basking in the sunlight. This oil mist reflects the light, and thus creates a blue haze within the area. From Sydney, this haze covers the entire range, resulting in the mountains to look blue from afar.

Activities in the Blue Mountains

There are several activities to take part in at the Blue Mountain National Park, for a start you can walk along one of the many trails that spread throughout the park, these trails collectively cover a distance of 140kms and allow you to explore the park in your own time. From easy 2km strolls along a boardwalk overlooking the valleys to intense day-long hikes that Jamison Valley will take you deep into the heart of the park and everything in-between, there are trails suited to everyone’s fitness standard. You’ll have the chance to view the Three Sisters iconic rock formation along the Cliff Top Track which leads between Govetts Leap Lookout and Evans Lookout, this incredible rock formation draws thousands of people in every year.

If you’d prefer to get up close and personal with nature and sleep out under the stars then you can visit one of the park’s many campsites where you can pitch your tent and bask in the peaceful tranquillity of the wilderness. While you camp you may even have the chance to see some of the amazing wildlife that can be found in this park, with animals like kangaroos and wallabies roaming wild, and if you’re really lucky, you could catch a glimpse of the elusive duck-billed platypus as it rises to the surface of one of the park’s many lakes.

You can get your blood pumping by riding your mountain bike along any one of the stunning trails, with the fresh mountain air filling your lungs you are sure to have a memorable ride through one of the country’s most spectacular parks.

The Blue Mountains are a spectacular place full of unforgettable sights to see. It is perfect for a day trip out of the hustle and bustle of the Sydney to marvel at the natural wonders Australia has to offer. Pack your camera and walking shoes and adventure out into this incredible mountain range.

Check out the Top Things to Do in the Blue Mountains!

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