Just an hour drive west of Sydney is one of the most spectacular and enchanting wilderness parks in Australia, the Blue Mountains. At a height of more than 1,300 meters, this park is a vast territory filled with crisp mountain air, gardens that glow with autumn color, and sandstone valleys. It is a place where waterfalls splash on huge rocks and little towns are made of timber and stone.
The Blue Mountains earned their name from the distinctive and deep hue of blue haze not found in any other parts of the world. This effect is caused by scattered rays of light coming in contact with fine dust particles and droplets of oil dispersed from the eucalyptus trees in the valleys.
European explorers Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth first discovered the Blue Mountains back in 1813. However, it is believed that the Aborigines were already here since 14,000 years ago. Many camp and art sites, axe grinding grooves, rock engravings, and stone tools exist throughout the Blue Mountains area. Today, all these relics are preserved and are under protection. The city of Blue Mountains has been declared the 'City of the Arts' by the New South Wales government in 1995 for a period of two years.
The Three Sisters
The legend of the Three Sisters is perhaps the most interesting story heard from around this area. According to an Aboriginal dreamtime story, the three huge rocks formation were once three beautiful sisters named "Meehni", "Wimlah" and "Gunnedoo" from the Katoomba tribe. The three sisters fell in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe but their tribal laws forbade their marriage. The three brothers did not accept this law and tried to capture the three sisters by force. This caused a major tribal battle and the lives of the three sisters were thus threatened. A witchdoctor decided to turn the sisters into rocks in order to protect them and thought to reverse the spell only after the battle. Unfortunately, he was killed in the battle and the three sisters remained as the enormous and beautiful rock formations until today. The magnificent formation stands at 922m, 918m, and 906m respectively.
Discovered in 1838 by a convict bushranger, Jenolan Caves are Australia's most spectacular limestone caves. Often, Jenolan Caves are portrayed as part of the Blue Mountains but they are essentially in the Oberon area. However, the Jenolan Caves are still within easy reach from the Blue Mountains. The drive to the caves is also a pleasant and scenic journey.
There are nine show caves open to the public. The superb lighting, underground rivers, and cave formations will leave you spellbound. Also available are adventure tours, picnics and bushwalking tours.
Stay at the Jenolan Caves House if possible and join in more activities such as rock climbing, abseiling, and camping.
Visit the splendid Wentworth Falls Village at the heart of Blue Mountains and experience real mountain life. The village provides all the catches including amazing views of the National Park, recreational quests, comfortable accommodations, shopping needs, and everything a country town can offer.
The amazing Wentworth Falls is the main highlight of this area. It is a blend of cascades and free falling water rupturing the serenity of the bush. During winter times, sprays of water blow into the valley beyond bringing fresh and cool air to the atmosphere. This is definitely the perfect place to escape from the adversity of a cosmopolitan city lifestyle.
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