It’s amazing how the weather changes when you get to Katoomba.
Of course, the Blue Mountains are famous for their microclimate – and their coolness is certainly a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of Sydney on a warm summer’s day.
Of course, no trip to the mountains would be complete without a visit to Echo Point and the Three Sisters.
The imposing Three Sisters is best seen from Echo Point lookout, on the edge of the plateau above.
These three weathered sandstone peaks were formed thousands of years ago through erosion, and are set among the cliffs of the Jamison Valley.
There are many pleasant walks – including the short Three Sisters walk.
The Prince Henry Cliff walk also connects Echo Point to Leura Cascades – and takes you past many scenic lookouts along the cliff edge.
There is also a good walk down the Giant Stairway to get to the tracks below the cliffs.
Sydney Nimble Tours provide access to many of these walks on their popular Blue Mountains tour.
Our knowledgeable tour guide Greg mentioned there is an interesting legend about the origin of the spectacular Three Sisters rock formation.
For a full account of the legend, please see the end of the article…*
After an invigorating walk, there is no better place for lunch or a cup of tea than the recently restored Carrington Hotel in the heart of Katoomba.
This turn of the century palatial hotel was built in 1882 and has been fully refurbished to its original state.
Steeped in history, the hotel is a popular mountain retreat for international visitors and a must see when on any trip to Katoomba.
Govetts Leap, Blackheath is another star attraction on any trip to the Blue Mountains – and the popular Sydney Nimble Tours also includes this on its Blue Mountains itinerary.
The views of the Grose Valley at Govetts Leap are spectacular, and our tour guide Greg was quick to point of some of the magnificent area’s history.
He told us that Govetts Leap was named after William Govett – one of the first surveyors of the upper Blue Mountains – in 1831.
For visitors, there is also a horse and rider monument in the park beside the Great Western Highway at Blackheath that tells the full story about Govetts Leap.
Another excellent destination for anyone visiting the rugged and magnificent Blue Mountains is Wentworth Falls.
The village took its name from a nearby system of waterfalls in 1879, but was first called ‘Weatherboard’ – as it was the centre for workers building the first road across the Blue Mountains in the early 1800s.
Indeed, it is recorded that in 1836, after tethering his horse at The Weatherboard Inn, Charles Darwin walked to the Wentworth Falls along the wooded valley (now known as Darwin’s Walk).
The Aboriginal dreamtime legend has it that three sisters, ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and Gunnedoo’ lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.
These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry.
The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle.
As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm.
While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor 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 for generations to come.
Courtesy: The Blue Mountains website.
For more information about the Blue Mountains tour or Nimble Tours please contact Greg Sommers on 0447 146 741.
By Mike Peeters