About the Blue Mountains of Australia
Located approximately 48kms west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains
of New South Wales, Australia are a range of geological sandstone structures at least 1,150 metres high. The mountains were originally named by Arthur Phillip in 1788 as the Carmarthen Hills for the northern section near Sydney, and the Lansdowne Hills for the southern. However, Blue Mountains
quickly became preferred as the popular name.
Although known by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years, the Blue Mountains were thought to be impenetrable by the early white settlers of Sydney, and were not crossed until convicts and other explorers found their way across. Why not explore the mountain range yourself with a professionally guided Blue Mountains Day Tour
The Blue Mountains
are not, as the name suggests, a range of mountains but rather a plateau with rugged eroded gorges of up to 760 metres depth. A large part of the Blue Mountains is incorporated in the Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site and its constituent seven national parks and a conservation reserve.The name is derived from the bluish tinge the range takes on, which is caused by a process known as Mie Scattering. Mie Scattering occurs when incoming ultraviolet radiation is scattered by particles within the atmosphere.
When Mie Scattering occurs incoming radiation lengths mix as no wave length is predominant over another creating a blue-greyish colour to any distant objects (such as mountain ranges or even clouds). It is widely believed that the blue colouring of the mountains is created by light reflecting off eucalypt leaves and although this is a romantic idea, unfortunately it is just folklore. The Blue Mountains were a familiar sight to early British settlers in the Sydney district long before the bulk of the continent was explored by non-native people. Today you can tour the breath taking Blue Mountains with our unique Blue Mountains Day Tours
Blue Mountains Tourist Attractions
- The Giant Staircase walking track runs down a cliff into the Jamison Valley, near the Three Sisters, offering access to extensive nature walks through the valley.
- * The Katoomba Scenic Railway, the steepest railway in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, and originally part of the Katoomba mining tramways constructed between 1878 and 1900. The cable railway line descends 415 metres through sandstone cliffs, via a rock tunnel with a maximum gradient of 52 degrees.
- * Some of the many magnificent waterfalls, such as Katoomba Falls, Wentworth Falls, Gordon Falls, Leura Cascades, and many others
- * The Scenic Skyway: a glass-bottom aerial cable car that traverses an arm of the Jamison Valley at Katoomba.
- * The Scenic Flyway: the steepest aerial cable car in Australia, it is a 545 metre ride
- Jenolan Caves, a spectacular series of limestone caves that is regarded as one of the world's best, lies 45 kilometres (70 kilometres by road) to the south west of Katoomba.
- The Zig Zag Railway: An old-fashioned railway with steam-powered engines near Lithgow.
- Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum is the home of the oldest remaining roundhouse in New South Wales.
- The Toy Museum at Leura is home to an interesting collection of toys and trains.
- The Edge Cinema offers visitors a panoramic view of the Blue Mountains. The Edge Movie, run every 45 minutes, is narrated by Hugo Weaving and is about the geography of this area.
- The Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum at Faulconbridge. The gallery is operated by The National Trust of Australia and is located inside the former Norman Lindsay homestead, Springwood. The gallery houses a wide variety of artwork including paintings, etchings, model sailing ship replicas and sculptures. The house and surrounding gardens featured in the film Sirens.
[Please note that while there are many amazing attractions in the Blue Mountains region, we can only visit so many in a single day. The items above marked with *
are visited in our Blue Mountains Day Tour, the other attractions are listed for informational purposes only.]