The Blue Mountains of Australia

With my arms folded, putting my full weight on the balustrade, I sighed casting my eyes upon the spectacular view before me.

On this clear sunny day a blue haze rippled over the mountain range and deep gorge, stretching as far as the eye could see.

A faint whiff of eucalyptus was swept up by the gentle breeze.

I thought, surely I am standing in the same vicinity as did Henry Lawson one of Australia’s most famous poets who in 1887 was inspired to pen his observations of this mountain range.

In several verses of his poems he writes of the “Blue haze over the range”. One of his poems is entitled “The Blue Mountains”. Henry lived in the area for some of his childhood years and explored in the forests of eucalypt trees making him familiar with the area. In his poetry he does not reveal an explanation for the blue tinge, so I conclude that he did not establish an explanation.

The official explanation states that droplets of aromatic oil released by the Eucalyptus trees refract the sunlight, making the mountains appear blue from a distance.

The name “The Blue Mountains” was therefore derived from the blue tinge.

A visit to the Blue Mountains is a “must see” for tourists to Sydney, Australia. The tourist buses roll in to Katoomba the large town on the border of the mountain range.

The foothills start 50 kilometers west of Sydney making the tour comfortable for a days visit.

Grose Valley, Hanging Rock
Grose Valley, Hanging Rock

The Discovery

Official credit for crossing the Blue Mountains was eventually given to three men namely Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Wentworth.

Seeking more grazing land than available on the coastline Blaxland reasoned that crossing the mountains suitable land would be found. Accompanied by Lawson and Wentworth he set out in early May 1813 and by May 31st they had succeeded the crossing. This they did by following the ridge.

Upon their return to Sydney the Governor granted them 1,000 acres of land each as a reward for their accomplishment.

In 1814 a road linking Sydney to the mountains was completed. Following this the mining of Coal and Shale began in the mountain range.

World Heritage Area

This World Heritage area totals 10,000 sq kms and consists of seven National parks.

The dominant vegetation is Eucalyptus trees on the higher ridges. The forest is threatened by bush fires and severe storms and this is a continual threat to the Koala’s, Kangaroos and 400 different animals living in this habitat.

Consisting mainly of a sandstone plateau the area is dissected by gorges up to 760m deep (2,490 ft).The highest point of the range is 1,215m above sea level (3,986 ft)

Beautiful and lush on the forest floor
Beautiful and lush on the forest floor
The Katoomba Colliery Scenic Railway  photo dated - 12 April 1935.
The Katoomba Colliery Scenic Railway photo dated - 12 April 1935.
Down the mountain we go
Down the mountain we go

Attraction

My heart was in my mouth as I stood on the platform waiting to take a ride on the cable train which descends down the mountain. The miners in a by-gone era were the bravest of men as they rode in open cable cars which are on display.

The cable car descends 415 meters through sandstone cliffs via a rock tunnel with a maximum gradient of 52 degrees. The railway is said to be the steepest in the world and after my brave ride I would have to believe that fact.

The walk through the forest below is magical with huge Australian ferns at every turn and trees higher than you can imagine lining the footpath.

I opted to return to the top of the mountain on the Scenic Skyway, a glass- bottom aerial cable car. This is the steepest cable car in Australia so I was sure having my share of “steepest” rides on the day! The view of the Jamison Valley made it all worth while as the cable car ascended but I advise, this is not a ride for the faint hearted.

The Blue Mountains National Park Cable Car
The Blue Mountains National Park Cable Car

The Day's End

At the end of a long day of never ending scenery, I returned to the original viewing platform, now dusk, and leaning on the balustrade concluded, the world is a beautiful place! My husband who enjoyed the day with me agreed and commented “this has been a wedding anniversary to remember”.

End of another day at the Blue Mountains. To the left the three sisters rock formations, a popular feature with tourists
End of another day at the Blue Mountains. To the left the three sisters rock formations, a popular feature with tourists

2 Verses from Henry Lawson's poem “The Blue Mountains”

Like ramparts round the valley’s edge

The tinted cliffs are standing,

With many a broken wall and ledge,

And many a rocky landing


Now in the west the colours change,

The blue with crimson blending;

Behind the far Dividing Range

The sun is fast descending.


More by this Author


Comments 50 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Your hub opens with such a brilliant photograph that one cannot help but open it up! Thanks for a neat look at the Blue Mountains and for sharing some of your anniversary experience. What an amazing place on earth!


travelbuduk profile image

travelbuduk 4 years ago from London

Great photos and loved the hub. The Blue Mountains are amazing. Visited them last year!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

What a beautiful Hub! We have an area in N. Carolina that is called the Blue Ridge Mountains. This Hub reminded me of those mountains. Loved your photos, too. I voted this UP, etc.etc.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for taking time out to read about the beautiful Blue Mountains.

I thought the photos would entice readers.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for the comment and as you have visited the Blue Mountains you can relate to take on the area. I hope you enjoyed your time in Australia. I have been in your part of the world a few times but each time during the winter. Hope to be there one summer.


Michael J Rapp profile image

Michael J Rapp 4 years ago from United States

Wonderfully written hub with great photos! Thanks for sharing.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I am pleased you enjoyed seeing this beautiful mountain range Mary. I will read up on the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Thanks for the vote and taking an interest in my article!

Have a nice day!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Michael, I take it as a compliment that you found my hub well written as YOU are the writer! I do like to share such beautiful sights with others so put pen to paper as best I can.


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

I think I found heaven!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

iamaudraleigh, perhaps the Mountains are a little piece of heaven. I did have the same thought the day I was there.

Your comment is appreciated!


nishlaverz profile image

nishlaverz 4 years ago from N.E England

What a great hub. You have inspired me to visit there sometime. I'll just have to get in touch with my family who live in Australia and get over there sometime soon.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

'nishlaverz' Amy,I hope you can make that trip to Australia one day as there is so much beauty here to enjoy.

I am pleased you found this article inspiring and thanks for the comment.

I hope we are in touch again!


Skypal 4 years ago

Thank you for your 'brief trip' through the Blue Mountains. It's been too many years since I made a visit to this spectacular area of Australia. This is now in my, must do, 'bucket list'. We are blessed with so much beauty on our own doorstep, aren't we?


Sarena 4 years ago

A very well written and informative story on this beautiful part of the world. You have definitely inspired more people to travel to this region. Love the pictures especially the top one.


Jason 4 years ago

Yes it is beautiful location - must go back soon!


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

Wow - What an amazing place! You really do share your life between two very beautiful countries, LadyLyell.

I truly enjoyed learning about the Blue Mountains. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Voted up, awesome and sharing!


larryriegle profile image

larryriegle 4 years ago

awsome photos and text...very beautiful


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Sannel, I find pleasure in sharing such beautiful spots I've enjoyed in my travels with others. Glad you liked taking a peep at The Blue Mountains with me!

Of course I wish for those wonderful days of snow and the beauty it brings in your part of the world.

Have a nice day!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thanks for reading my article and glad you enjoyed the photos.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Who would have thought that eucalyptus trees would have anything to do with the appearance of Blue Mountains? Amazing what can be learned on HubPages with terrific writers who share their experiences like you! These photos are amazing. You are indeed brave to ride those steep cable cars...even one with a glass bottom. Yikes!

Thanks for this enjoyable hub and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Up votes and plan to share this with my followers.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

I came here on Peggy W.'s recommendation and am so glad that I did. This truly sounds like an anniversary to remember and I'm so glad you were able to share it with Hub Pages visitors. The photos were stunning and your words and those of the poet, Henry Lawson, made it feel as if we were right there with you.

Voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Peggy, if I have shared useful information in this hubpage then I have fulfilled the purpose intended. I also learn new things every day and thanks to you too for that.

As for the ride on the cable cars, I was either brave or stupid but once down at the bottom of the mountain there is only one way out and that UP!

How very complemented I am that you shared my article!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I am pleased to have been able to introduce you to The Blue Mountains and maybe we can meet up again through some of my other travels, the joy of hubpages!

The photos can be enticing for all to want to visit if in Australia.

Your support by voting is appreciated!


Rufus rambles profile image

Rufus rambles 4 years ago from Australia

Thanks for a lovely tribute hub to the Blue Mts. In my childhood our family went many a time to the Blue Mts and did bushwalks, stayed at lovely little cottages and visited the Botanic Gardens. I bought a house up there and have enjoyed the peace and quiet - and the friendly, community-minded people. My car broke down and the mechanic from up there fixed it for free - people bring your bins in and you meet people you know at the shops. All very rare occurrences down in the smoky Sydney! Voted up!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

After a lovely day at the Blue Mountains the least I could do was to write it all down to share with others. I did make a visit to the montains in my childhood but since then much had changed in my eyes (through the eyes of a child)

The peace and quiet is wonderful, lucky you!

Thanks for the visit!


alipuckett profile image

alipuckett 4 years ago

Amazing! What a wonderful journey you've been on.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

The Blue Mountains is amazing to see with the blue haze across the horizon but then the world has endless beautiful spots to appreciate and that's why I love to travel.

Thank you for reading this article and enjoying it with me!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Thank you for this great description of the Blue Mountains.

Your explanation of why it has the blue tinge was very interesting.

I did fly over these mountains, on my trip to Sydney and wanted to visit them.

Time was not on my side and your hub has filled in the missing gap. Thanks.

The pictures are stunning

Voted up interesting and beautiful.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

What a shame you didn't have time to visit these mountains during your visit!

I dare say there would be a much bigger population in this area if it were not for the extreme weather conditions.

Thanks for the vote

Totseins!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

What fabulous photos, I would love a ride on that cable car!

What a great wedding anniversary!

Voted up, best wishes Lesley


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thanks for stopping by to enjoy a visit to the Blue Mountains.

In two weeks time I will be leaving these shores for a distant land and will always reflect on this experience amongst others in Australia as special moments.

Pleased you enjoyed the photos, they tell the story!

Have a nice day


aboutaustralia profile image

aboutaustralia 4 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

Thoroughly enjoyed your Blue Mountains hub. It's time for me to go back for another visit I think :)


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed my little tour of the area. Of course there is so much more one can tell of this beautiful spot in Australia!

Thank you for the visit!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Wow what a truly beautiful hub and I have to bookmark into My Armchair Travelling 'slot.

I now look forward to reading many more by you.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I am very pleased that you have enjoyed this article.

Next week I am making an international move so have had to delay hubpages but will be back into this wonderful community as soon as I have settled.

With support from kind people as yourself I don't want to be gone for long.

Have a nice day!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

This is very interesting travel article, I enjoyed reading this. Pictures are wonderful.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I am pleased to hear you enjoyed my article and please visit me again.

Your support is appreciated!


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

Hi LadyLyell, nice that you included an explanation of why the Blue Mountains look and are called that way. I am going to backlink from my Hub on Travel Photography of East Australia to this Hub, thanks for sharing.

PS How lucky of Henry Lawson to have spent his childhood years around this beautiful environment!


Ausemade profile image

Ausemade 4 years ago from Australia

Wow... loved your hub. I use to visit the Blue Mountains many times over the 30 years I lived in Sydney, because I had friends and family who lived up there and still do. Your inclusion of Henry Lawson and the wonderful first photo is just perfect... thank you for promoting this wonderful region and sharing part of your anniversary experience. Voted up.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I'm sure you can appreciate the beauty of this area having visited there.

Thank you for stopping by and thank you for the vote.


TrahnTheMan profile image

TrahnTheMan 4 years ago from Asia, Oceania & between

Beautiful hub LadyLyell :-) It reminds me very much of my time in Australia.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

So pleased you enjoyed this article. The Blue Mountains are a wonderful reminder to any visitor to Australia. I trust the people living in the surrounding area appreciate the beauty.

Have a nice day!


Olde Cashmere profile image

Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

I just have to visit these marvels at some point in my life. Thank you LadyLyell for a beautifully written hub. Voted up, awesome, beautiful, and interesting :)


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

A visit to the Blue Mountains will not disappoint!

Thank you for leaving a comment and the vote.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

These are some beautiful, breath taking photos. When I think of Australia, I didn't realize there was a mountain chain there. Gorgeous! Your description is very poetic. Voting up and sharing!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for the comment vote, and sharing.

I have never thought of myself as poetic, but maybe it's there in a hidden place.

Australia is in the main a flat country.


Frangipanni profile image

Frangipanni 3 years ago

You write beautifully. It certainly is a very beautiful part of Australia.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 3 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for the compliment and reading this article.

Have a nice day!


Iammattdoran profile image

Iammattdoran 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

Lovely hub! The Blue Mountains really are a beautiful place and so different to what most people expect to find to Australia


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 3 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for commenting on my article.

Yes, I agree that most people think of Australia as a land with an endless coastline and beautiful beaches.

Have a nice day!

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