Many years ago, after we arrived in Australia, my husband’s close friend said that his family planned to visit Three Sisters in Blue Mountain. First, I thought his friend’s three sisters were living in Blue Mountain. As he continued with his conversation, I realised he was not talking about his sisters but about three rocks.
The formation of three giant stones may have resulted from land erosion; the legend is that three beautiful sisters of a particular tribe fell in love with three brothers of a neighbouring tribe, but the marriage was forbidden by tribal law. Tribal war broke as the brothers were warriors. A clever man from the Girls’ tribe turned the sisters into stones to avoid bloodshed between the two tribes. He intended to restore them to their former selves after the war ended. Sadly he was killed in the battle, and nobody could break the spell to restore the three sisters to their former selves
There is a parallel to Three Sisters in the Epic Ramayana. Sage Gautama cursed his wife Ahalya and turned her into a rock, outraged by her infidelity. Ahalya begged for his forgiveness, and he said that she would regain human form by Lord Rama’s touch. Centuries later, Lord Rama touched the stone and broke the spell.
Blue mountain is about 2.5 hours drive by car from Sydney on the motorway. It’s a popular place and a most visited tourist site. Echo Point, a key observation area on the mountain, provides a breathtaking view of the mountain and surrounding area.
We parked the car in a shop nearby, which had limited parking. It is better to check the weather before travelling, sometimes the mist/fog covers the whole landscape blocking the view of the valleys.
From Echo Point, a short walk trail leads to Three Sisters, which is pleasant. There are few lookout points on the track towards Three Sisters. The iconic view is stunning, which reflects Australia’s beautiful landscape. Nature has endowed Australia with magnificent trees, unique birds, and animals. At the end of the track, a steep Giant Stairway descends 998 steps and takes you to Honeymoon bridge-which connects to the first sister. The stairway is narrow and steep; anyone going down the steps needs to exercise great care and caution. Once you reach the end of the walk, you have to return the same way to the top by climbing the narrow, steep steps.
The Scenic railway is another way to enjoy the splendid view of nature. It is the world’s steepest railway and tilts at 52 degrees. It was so scary that I had to clasp my husband’s hands tight to overcome the fear of falling. This train was built in 1878 for mining purposes and converted to recreational use in 1945. You can get a glimpse of Three Sisters from here.
You can enjoy the scenic view from above, in the nearby cable car, which floats above the evergreen mountain and rainforest.
The Jenolan caves are about 20 kilometres away from Blue Mountain, Katoomba. These are the most famous and spectacular limestone caves in Australia. James and Charles Whalan discovered these caves in 1840 and were named Jenolan, Aboriginal meaning for high mountain.
There are other spectacular viewing sites, Katoomba Falls, Scenic World, Wentworth Falls, The Kings Tablelands Walk, Govetts Leap, etc.
The Blue Mountain is a unique place that offers many different tourist attractions. The air around this part is clean and refreshing. One day is not enough to enjoy the serenity and beauty of this place. You may want to spend a few days exploring the majestic views of many scenic places, waterfalls, and bushwalks in this area.