Sydney has been my home for nine months now – where is the time going?! A trip to the Blue Mountains has been on my to-do list since day one of getting here, but something or other always crops up. Well, I finally visited on Easter Sunday, and it was a wonderful day in the fresh air and sunshine.
As a first timer, I figured it would be a safe option to start with the most popular tourist spot The Three Sisters, located at Echo Point in Katoomba. This landmark is an unusual rock formation which represents three sisters, who according to Aboriginal legend, were turned to stone. These young ladies, Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe. They fell in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, but tribal law forbade them to marry. The brothers weren’t happy about this and decided to capture the three sisters which caused a major tribal battle.
As the lives of the three sisters were in danger, a witch doctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn them into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell once the battle was over, the witch doctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle.
Alternatively, others believe that the three sisters’ father was a witch doctor. Long ago there was a Bunyip who was feared by all. Passing the Bunyip’s hole was considered dangerous, so whenever the girls’ father Tyawan had to pass the hole in search for food, he would leave his daughters safely on the cliff behind a rocky wall.
One fateful day, Tyawan waved goodbye to his daughters and descended down the cliff steps into the valley. Meanwhile, at the top of the cliff, the girls had an accident which caused a rock to roll over the cliff and crash into the valley below. The rocky wall behind the girls split open and left them stranded on a thin ledge at the top of the cliff.
The Bunyip approached the girls to protect them from harm, but their father Tyawan feared the worst and used his magic bone to turn them into stone. The Bunyip was angered by this and began to chase Tyawan, so the witch doctor changed himself into a magnificent Lyre Bird to escape. Unfortunately, he dropped his magic bone in the process. Tyawan returned in search of his magic bone, but it was never found. The Three Sisters now remain in rock formation and stand silently overlooking the valley hoping that one day their father will find the bone and turn them back to their former selves.
OR these weathered sandstone peaks formed over thousands of years.
Echo Point lookout offers a spectacular view of the Blue Mountains and from here there are many great walks to explore the area. However, as we didn’t do any research on the different routes beforehand, I made a snap decision to take the Prince Henry Cliff Walk which was a great choice. This walk is approximately nine km in length and connects Scenic World in Katoomba with The Three Sisters/Echo Point, to Leura Cascades, and the Gordan Falls Reserve. We began the walk at The Three Sisters, and ended it at Leura Cascades, before looping back again to return to the car.
This scenic route covers the top of the cliff line and most of the major lookouts along Jamison Valley, so I definitely recommend it as a beginner’s choice to the Blue Mountains.
We also passed some of the bushfire damage from October 2013 which was shocking to see as it’s so easy to separate what you see on TV from somewhere so close to home – I had no idea that the fires got so close to the main tourist attraction.
Now I’m back home and I’ve had the opportunity to search the area via Google, I can’t wait to go back and explore somewhere new!