Things to do in Blue Mountains
If visiting Sydney, you most likely have the Blue Mountains listed on your bucket list. This is no surprise as it is one of Australia’s World Heritage-listed attractions. The area is covered in spectacular mountains, deep canyons, ancient forest land, and sandstone creations. It is perfect for a day adventure away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, only being an hour drive away. But how did this spectacular sight come to be?
The formation of the Mountains
One thing we know about these mountains is that they are very old. Estimated to be 470 million years old, dating back to the time the area entire was covered in sea. The mountains first developed underwater, from large amounts of sediment dropping into the water to cover the sea floor. Over a long period, these sediments compressed into sandstone and shale, which transformed them into underwater rocks. After the sea levels lowered, the rocks underwent erosion by the river’s water and changing weather. Ancient volcano eruptions also affected the shape of these mountains, with a significant episode of lava that flowed into the cracks of the sandstone and shale 200 million years ago. After thousands of years of moulding, the mountains we know today developed, with spectacular heights and deep canyons covering the area. After some time, wildlife started roaming the area, with the ancient forest land bursting from the rich nutrient soil.
Why are they called Blue?
Despite knowing the formation, we are guessing the name is still a puzzle. The reason for this name in fact due to the type of forest that covers the mountains, in particular; the eucalyptus tree. These eucalypti flood the area, being one of the most common Australian trees. One of the trees traits is the oil that seeps from its leaves. The oil seeps out under the scorching sun, creating a mist of eucalyptus oil. The mist reflects the light and thus creates a blue haze within the area. When looking at the Blue mountains from afar, the blue haze is a spectacular sight, transforming the mountains in a striking blue colour.
Incredible attractions you shouldn’t miss
The Three Sisters
The three sisters is a section of three large rock boulders that tower over the valley. It is one of the most visited attractions in the area, creating the iconic blue mountains horizon as well as acting as a lookout to the forest. Despite the scientific reasoning for these rock formations, the local aboriginal’s Dreamtime story offers a completely unique explanation. The story surrounds three beautiful sisters who started a war between two tribes. Marrying outside your own tribe was forbidden, but this rule didn’t these three sisters to fall madly in love with three brothers from a neighbouring tribe. After both communities found out, a fierce war began in the valley. The local witch doctor wanted to help the sisters, so he transformed them into three rocks to hide them away from harm. Sadly, the witchdoctor was killed in battle and was unable to reverse the spell, leaving the three beautiful sisters to forever stay as these gigantic rocks.
The Wollemi Pine
Due to the age of the region, there is a lot of ancient wildlife within. One of the most unique is The Wollemi Pine. The pine is not any normal plant, but a living fossil. So ancient it is a similar discovery to finding a living dinosaur nowadays, with the tree being a prehistoric plant which has survived the ravages of time. It has only been possible by its location, nestled in a deep canyon within the Blue Mountains. The canyon concealed the wildlife within from the outside world effects.
The Blue Mountains is blessed with loads of dreamy destinations within a credit card’s throw of Sydney. Being an ideal day break with your partner or posse.
Related article: When Should You Visit the Blue Mountains?
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