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The Blue Mountains is a special place of ancient landscapes, towering golden hued stone escarpments, crashing waterfalls and magnificent eucalypts all set amongst inspiring panoramas, that will take your breath away.
It's so special it is inscribed on the World Heritage list for its outstanding universal values.
Regarded as Australia's 'cradle of conservation', the Blue Mountains area is renowned for its bushwalking and inspiring landscapes and there are many other things to see and do in this unique setting.
The Blue Mountains is home to the Darug and Gundungurra aboriginal peoples who treasure their connections with the land - encapsulated in their stories and art, ceremony and song as well as knowledge of landforms, climate, plants and animal life.
Set within this natural wonderland, Blue Mountains City is the only 'proclaimed' city in the world located in a World Heritage Area. The city is a charming collection of mountain villages and hamlets, home to just 75,000 people, each with its own style and character.
As you travel through the towns and villages you will hardly notice you climb over 1000 metres by the time you reach Katoomba, the region's largest town and home to the world famous Three Sisters rock formation.
World Heritage Area
The Blue Mountains form part of the Greater Blue Mountain World Heritage area. The area was inscribed on the World Heritage list for its outstanding natural universal values on November 29, 2000.
It is a landscape of breathtaking views, sheer cliffs, inaccessible valleys and extends across more than 1.03 million hectares and includes the Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd, Wollemi, Gardens of Stone, Yengo, Nattai and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks, plus the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve.
Why the Blue Mountains are Blue
The Blue Mountains provide an ever-changing spectacle of landscapes coloured with blue shades and hues. This blue tone is produced by the interplay of sunlight and the fine droplets of oils released into the air by the eucalypts that cover the tablelands and valleys.
BI-Centenary of Crossing the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary between 2013 and 2015 is a participatory community event that will speak about a shared history and the many crossings of the Blue Mountains, past, present and future.
2013 will mark the 200th anniversary of the May 1813 crossing of the mountains by Blaxland Lawson and Wentworth. This landmark New South Wales event, explores the history of this first European crossing, the survey by George Evans and the construction of the road by William Cox in 1814. The event concludes with the anniversary of the journey of Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his party along the new inland road in 1815.
The years between 1813 and 1815 were significant for the new colony of Sydney and for the Gundungurra, Darug and Wiradjuri people who had lived here for many thousands of years.
In 1813, Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth explored the Blue Mountains and George Evans surveyed the route inland. In July 1814 William Cox and convicts built the road in just six months and in 1815 Governor Lachlan Macquarie travelled along the new road to the place they called Bathurst.
It's not the first time these events have been celebrated. Pictures from Mt York at Mt Victoria show thousands of people gathering for the celebration in 1913 and monuments and memorials from Emu Plains to Bathurst tell the European story, the making of the road to the west.
Times have changed or have they? The road is still being made in parts and is still the way across the mountains and into the west. The road changed everything for the colony and for Aboriginal people. Can the Bicentenary events between 2013 and 2015 help us look through different eyes?
The Blue Mountains and neighbouring communities have an opportunity to carry a new tale into the future by celebrating the traditional owners with the explorers who made the road from Sydney to Bathurst, the gateway to NSW and inland Australia.
BI-Centenary Info Sheet [ 50 Kb ]
For more information on the BI-Centenary click here