Here is the complete collection of Australia’s Blue Mountains.
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The Blue Mountains
Formation of the Blue Mountains
Archaeological studies indicate that the Blue Mountains were formed around one million years ago as part of the Kosciusko Uplift during the Pliocene Epoch.
Pressure from the east raised the area upwards in a monoclonal fold, reaching an elevation of around three thousand feet to the top of the Blue Mountains where Mount Victoria is today.
The First Blue Mountains Inhabitants
Australian Aborigines were the first to inhabit the Blue Mountains; however, we are unable to determine how far back in history this occurred.
Evidence of the Daruk tribe who inhabited the area in ages past can be seen through aboriginal art carved into rock. Remarkably preserved today is the ancient rock carving known as "the flight of the Great Grey Kangaroo" which is located at the foot of Hawkesbury Lookout, Hawkesbury Heights (near Winmalee).
Naming the Blue Mountains
In 1788 the Blue Mountains were originally named "Carmarthen Hills" and "Landsdowne Hills" by Governor Phillip. However, it wasn’t long after, that the distinctive blue haze surrounding the area saw the change in name to the Blue Mountains.
The Blue Mountains is densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapor, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour.
Crossing the Blue Mountains
Due to the rough terrain and lack of resources, the Blue Mountains were seen as an impassible barrier for future exploration from the time of Captain Cook’s landing in 1770 through to 1813.
In 1813, Gregory Blaxland, William Charles Wentworth, and Lieutenant Lawson, along with four servants, four pack horses and five dogs, set off on an exploration which was to create history. On the 11th May 1813 the explorers departed from Emu Plains reaching the foothills of the Blue Mountains, or Glenbrook as it is known today.
For Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson, the trip across the Blue Mountains was a tremendous struggle. Having insufficient food for their journey, they recorded the trek required constant hacking through thick scrub and treading through "damp dew-laden undergrowth". They were also in fear of attack by aborigines. These factors, in combination with sickness, nearly saw the men defeated by the rugged terrain.
Eighteen days later, on the 29th May 1813, the Blue Mountains were no longer considered an impassible barrier following the discovery of the gently sloping mountains to the west.
Today, just west of Katoomba you can see the remains of a Eucalyptus tree marked by the famous explorers Blaxland Wentworth and Lawson. The Marked Tree, along with Caley’s Repulse at Lawson, are the only remaining marks of the early explorers. A cairn of stones was also placed at Linden; however, we can not be certain if the existing cairn at Linden is the original.