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The Blue MountainsNew South Wales

 The Blue Mountains
It is hard to believe that only 100km west of Sydney is a huge area of wild nature, both a little mysterious and really beautiful: The Blue Mountains. The almost 10.000 square kilometers of scrub covered plateaus, deep canyons, big cliffs and wide valleys are suitable for both day trip tourists and adventurers who want to leave civilization and simply disappear into the bush. There are many small rivers and creeks, waterfalls, caves, rocks, cliffs and many interesting species of flowers and animals. Because of its extensive area there are several national parks.

The most popular places are situated near to Sydney in the Blue Mountains National Park. Several small villages attract tourists with their nice atmospheres, shops and restaurants. Your first stop might be in Glenbrook at the entrance to mountain range. The next interesting stop is Wentworth Falls, Leura and finally Katoomba. Katoomba is the biggest town in the Blue Mountains and with nearly 9.000 residents it is the administrative and tourist center for the 26 towns and villages along the 60km long part of the Great Western Hwy that goes through the Blue Mountains. Very near to Katoomba is Echo Point, one of the Australia's most popular tourist sites. From this lookout you have the Jamison Valley as on the palm, and triple rock towers known as the Three Sisters are really impressive. Very close is also the Scenic airway, the steepest railway in the world (descents 229m vertically in its 415m journey).

 Skyway next to the Three Sisters
How did it all begin? About 250 million years ago the rocks that make the plateaus were laid down. Then rivers flowing through this area filled it with sand, creating deltas and swamps. 90 million years ago this sediment was raised up and rivers and creeks eroded rock, creating sand and silt. This material gradually fell deeper into the plateau and formed valleys. During ages of erosion wind blew away soft parts of some hills and made cliffs and rock towers as the Three Sisters are.

However, according to an Aboriginal legend three beautiful giant sisters once lived with the Katoomba tribe in the Jamison Valley. They were in love with three guys from another tribe, but marriage was forbidden by law. But the guys were brave warriors and wanted to take the sisters by force. The witchdoctor of the Katoomba tribe turned the sisters into stone to stop the war. Unfortunately, he was killed in the battle and nobody has been able to break the spell.

 
 
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