Why are the Blue Mountains blue?

Blackheath Travel Blog

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look out at wentworth falls

Lord Rayleigh was the first person to explain why the sky is blue. 

How blue exactly, are the Blue Mountains? It depends on where you are. In Glenbrook you might feel a bit jibbed, but at Echo Point and Govett's Leap Lookout, the mountains are certainly blue.

The mountains and valleys are smothered in a blue haze that is produced by an effect called Rayleigh Scattering (yes, named after that guy I mentioned earlier). It's explanation of the blue haze is that the suns rays fall on dust particles and moisture in the air and so produce the colour blue. In the Blue Mountains, the abundance of eucalypts mean there are also droplets of oil, and this, apparently intensifies the effect. Hence the name, the Blue Mountains.

Echo Point, the Three Sisters, Jamison Valley, Govett's Leap Lookout and Grose Valley are the main things people come here to see.

three sisters
The Three Sisters are three bits of rock lined up in a row that stretches out into Jamison Valley. There are a lot of versions of the legend, but the one I know goes that there were three sisters from a tribe were loved by three men from a rival tribe. They were forbidden to marry and so, the three men, warriors by nature, ventured to take the three sisters by force. The kuradjuri of the girls' tribe (kuradjuri meaning, the 'clever man', which I'm guessing is a sort of witch doctor equivalent) wanted to protect the three sisters and so he turned them all into stone. A stroke of bad luck allowed the kuradjuri to get killed in the battle, and to this day no one has been able to turn them back into humans. So now they sit there, and thousands of tourists come from all over the world to look at them.

They must have been really tall humans, because when walked over to them, we discovered just how tall the rocks they really are.

second blue mountains campsite
They are massive! Extremely high. There is a walk you can do to get even closer to them called something like 'the great big staircase' which a lot of people came up from panting like dogs. The Sisters are very steep, and very high. I don't think even the best photographs of them do justice.

Echo Point and the Three Sisters can be seen from the mountain town of Katoomba, but we continued on to Blackheath to find a turnoff into Megalong Valley.

We drove as far into the valley as we thought we were allowed to, through some private properties and up to the edge of the wilderness and camped on a hill with a stunning view of the valleys. We were the only ones there and it was fabulous. Roos came in the evening to munch on grass around us and the sky turned pink over the highest mountains. The night was dewy but pristine under the night blanket and twinkling stars.

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look out at wentworth falls
look out at wentworth falls
three sisters
three sisters
second blue mountains campsite
second blue mountains campsite
waterfall on walk to den fenella
waterfall on walk to den fenella
Three sisters walk
Three sisters walk
a redback!
a redback!
second blue mountains campsite
second blue mountains campsite
second campsite in blue mountains
second campsite in blue mountains
driving back up megalong valley
driving back up megalong valley
me infront of one of the three sis…
me infront of one of the three si…
Blackheath
photo by: Anouksreizen