Blue Mountains Day Tours
Sydney Charter Bus Australia provides a range of Blue Mountains tours to suit your needs, time and your budget. Our experience in touring is second to none. Come and take a tour with a professional tour guide (multi-lingual guides available).
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What's on in the Blue Mountains - Blue Mountains Events
Blue Mountains History
1813 Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth successfully cross the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains are not actually mountains but a series of plateaus that form part of the Great Dividing Range that runs north/south on the Australian continent. The plateaus rise from 100 meters above sea level to 1,300 meters at its highest point.
Governor Phillip had first name them "Carmarthen Hills" then "Landsdowne Hills" in 1788 but was soon changed again.
The Blue Mountains got its namesake when the early settlers first viewed it from a distance. It appeared a blue haze was lurking above the range. The mountains are not actually blue, it's the evaporation of eucalyptus oil from the dominant eucalyptus trees and the sun light scattering blue light particles that cause the blue haze.
- The Blue Mountains lie 122 km's from Sydney.
- The Blue Mountains area consists of 1.03 million hectares / 13,000 square km's (5,019 square miles).
- The Blue Mountains National Park is one of eight national parks that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
- Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Yengo, Nattai, Kanangra-Boyd, Gardens of Stone, Thirlmere Lakes National Parks and Jenolan Caves Karst Reserve.
- The Greater Blue Mountains National Park is nearly half the size of Belgium (30,500 square km's) (11,776 square miles).
- It contains over 90 species of eucalyptus, supporting such a significant proportion of the world's eucalypt species in the Greater Blue Mountains Area. Twelve of these are believed to occur only in the Sydney region.
- The Wollemi Pine, worlds oldest species of tree found in Wollemi National Park is unique to the Blue Mountains. The region is so densely forested that the 40-meter-high trees escaped detection until 1994, flourishing undisturbed in a remote valley less than 200 km from Sydney.
- The Wollemi Pine, one of the world's rarest species, a "living fossil" dating back to the age of the dinosaurs. It was thought to have been extinct for millions of years. The few surviving trees of this ancient species are known only from three small populations located in remote, secret & inaccessible gorges within the Wollemi National Park.
- There are over 140 km's of walking tracks of all grades in magnificent settings make the Blue Mountains a bushwalker's paradise. Some of these tracks were originally Aboriginal tracks.
Blue Mountains Aboriginal
The Gundungarra and Darrug tribal groups have been living in the region for over 6,000 years. Tools and rock art have been discovered revealing a rich culture that strongly ties the people to the land.
There are many sites throughout the Blue Mountains that are of both cultural and historical significance to Aboriginal people.
There are now reports that rockshelter art created by the Aboriginal's has been dated to be over 20,000 years old.
The Three Sisters
Meehni (922m - 3,025 feet)
Wimlah (918m - 3,012 feet)
Gunnedoo (906m - 2,972 feet)
On the 11th May, 1813 Gregory Blaxland, William Wentworth and Lieutenant Lawson set out to find a way through the Blue Mountains to see what lay beyond.
They set off with four packhorses, five dogs, three convicts, a hunter of kangaroos and an Aboriginal guide. They had supplies for a six week journey that included salted meat, flour, tents, compasses, a hoe and tools for cutting and guns.
The previous attempts to cross we unsuccessful as the previous explores tried to find a passage through the valleys and often being blocked by inaccessible gullies, gorges and cliffs.
Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth's team planned to follow the high ridges. After leaving from Emu Plains the explorers spent their time traveling along the main ridge that led them up into the heart of the mountains and on either side there were deep, rocky gullies, making it very dangerous for everyone including the packhorses who were laden with the entire supplies of the journey.
The convicts did the majority of the work, hacking their way through extremely difficult terrain and leaving markers by cutting bark from trees on either side so that they could find their way back again.
During the night the explorers spent the nights sleeping away from the campfires because they were afraid of being attacked by the local Aboriginal's who tracked their movements but stayed hidden.
Their progress was very slow and it was difficult finding food for the horses. A couple of the horses fell because of the heavy loads they were carrying.
Cutting their way through thick scrub and bush was exhausting work and the men's hands were becoming raw. Cutting footholds for the horses was also needed so that they wouldn't slip on the steep embankment.
It was a difficult journey, through thick scrub and steep country and difficult to find grass for the horses to eat.
Following several attempts by others, they found a passage to the plains beyond by following the ridge tops.
By the 27th May they had reached Mt York from which they surveyed the outlying lands. They pressed on through forests and grasslands which they explored for some days.
They climbed a high hill called Mt Blaxland, from here they c ould see grazing land all around them sufficient to feed the stock of the colony for the next hundred years.
By this time the food supply was running low and they started their return journey.
They had found a way across the Blue Mountains opening up greater opportunities for the settlement. The settlement at Sydney Cove and Parramatta could now spread across the mountains and the new settlers could begin to use the land west of the Blue Mountains name the Western Plains.
The return trip took five days and on the 6th June 1813 they crossed the Nepean River and returned to their homes.
They were each granted land in the newly discovery Western Plains as reward for their efforts. The track they cut finding their way over the Blue Mountains is still in use today. It is known as the Great Western Highway.
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