Saturday, December 15, 2007

Journey to Sydney and Back, Part 5

We had spent the first week of our holiday driving down
and then touring in and around Sydney. Sunday morning
rolled around and we were up and heading off to the Blue
Mountains. Here we were going to visit the Three Sisters
before driving off to stay at Orange a small country town
in western New South Wales.

The Blue Mountains were once thought of as the barrier
to freedom, with many early settlers believing
China was
on the other side. 25 years later Europeans crossed the
mountains and soon after a road was built to the other
side. Although there are various Aboriginal markings few
Aborigines were found in the
Blue Mountains
, thought to
have been wiped out by disease.

The mountains were originally named by Arthur Phillip
in 1788 as the Carmarthen Hills for the northern section
Sydney, and the Lansdowne Hills for the southern,
Blue Mountains quickly became preferred as
the popular name. Although known by Indigenous
Australians for thousands of years, the
Blue Mountains
were thought to be impenetrable by the early white
settlers of
Sydney, and were not crossed until convicts
and other explorers found their way across. The most
famous expedition was in 1813, by Blaxland, Wentworth
and Lawson. Rather than, like earlier explorers, following
the river valleys—only to discover usually that they were
terminated by vertical cliffs several hundred metres high
the trio followed the ridges to reach the plateau.

The Blue Mountains offer spectacular scenery, plant life
and wildlife. The mountains reach a height of 1100m,
and have been given their name due to the blue haze
that hovered above the mountains produced by the oil
from the plentiful Eucalyptus trees. The Blue Mountains
National Park offers great walking trails and is still
relatively untouched similar to the other national parks
in the Blue Mountains. Other activities such as abseiling,
rock climbing and canoeing are readily available.

.......Wazza..................................and Peter at Evans Lookout

The main natural disasters to afflict the area are
bushfires and severe storms. In recent years the
lower mountains has been subjected to a series of
bushfires which have caused great loss of property
but relatively little loss of life.

Prior to going to Echo Point in Katoomba where the
Three Sisters are we first took a detour to Evans
Lookout where this video was taken.

The Three Sisters are a famous rock formation
in the
Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia.
They are close to the town of
Katoomba and are one
of the
Blue Mountains' most famous sights, towering
above the
Jamison Valley. Their names are Meehni,
Wimlah, and Gunnedoo.

The modern day tourism industry has created a legend
that says that three sisters fell in love with three men
from a neighbouring tribe, but marriage was forbidden
by tribal law.
A battle
ensued, and the sisters were turned
to stone by a witch doctor to protect them, but he was
killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back.
This legend is falsely claimed to be an Indigenous

Australian Dreamtime legend.

The Sisters were formed by erosion. The soft sandstone
of the
Blue Mountains is easily eroded over time by wind,
rain and rivers, and the cliffs surrounding the
are being slowly broken up. Formations like the
Three Sisters are created when water seeps into small
cracks in the rock, gradually enlarging them over time to
form large indentations. Eventually, the Sisters will be
eroded away completely.

Click on the photo to enlarge to see people entering on of the Three Sisters.

The lookout at the Three Sisters.

The Blue Mountains are considered one of the most
scenic and beautiful sites in
Australia and if you are in
Sydney area a visit to the Blue Mountains
and The
Three Sisters is well worth the effort.

Orange is 260 kilometres (160 miles) west of Sydney
and had a population of nearly 40,000.

In 1822 Captain Percy Simpson drove into the Wellington
District and established a convict settlement which was
called "Blackman's Swamp" after John Blackman. Percy
had employed John Blackman as a guide because he had
already accompanied an earlier explorer into that region.
Blackman's Swamp was decided upon and proclaimed a
village and renamed
Orange by Major Thomas Mitchell in
1846 in honour of Prince William of

During our stay in Orange we came across this grocery
store called Grumblebums. Peter told me “as I was a
grumblebum” to stand in front of the building and he’d
take a photo. “Rats” I replied “you’re the grumblebum,
you stand in front of the building”. We both took a photo
of each other so naturally I’m using the photo I took of
Peter to use on this post.

Peter besides the bust of Banjo Paterson where he was born.

We decided to drive out to see where Banjo was born and
it was here this next video was created.
WARNING (for those who are sensitive to BAD LANGUAGE,
please do not play this video). I was the director and camera
operator and Peter who is a novice thought the camera was
not on him (gee he’s not camera shy is he…he’d be one of
those “actors” who complains that he’s not getting enough
camera time) and when he thought the camera wasn’t on him
he complained that it wasn’t. I could tell that the camera was
on him so that was enough for any director to “blow his top”.
We restarted on the next sequence and again my temperamental
“actor” this time walked “off the set”. It’s sure hard find a find
a well tempered “actor” these days. All in all we had a bloody
good laugh and whenever we watch this video, it cracks us up
every time.

Click on arrow to start video.

I will concluded the rest of the story of Orange on
my next post along with the photos I took at the
Botanical Gardens and then continue with the story
and photos taken at the Dubbo Zoo and the old Dubbo Gaol.


Peter said...

I quite enjoyed this post Wazza, well that is up until I got to the finishing segment, I had forgotten what a crude type you could be until you jolted me back to reality with you tirade when we were filming at "Banjo's" memorial park.... I was shocked!!!!

wazza said...

Gidday folks, don't believe a word Peter says, as I could tell you a few home truths about this foul mouthed creature, but my better judgement tells me not to drop down to his level. One can image what language occurs between two blokes and Peter's up there with the rest of them.

Merle said...

Hi Warren ~~ You both can use some choice words, from what I can tell.
Talk about temperamental actors and
bad mouth cranky directors. Oh well,
that's life. Anyway another great post. I have sure learnt a lot from your pics and descriptions. Thanks, Warren.Look forward to the next couple of posts. Take care, Regards, Merle.

Peter said...

I'm sorry my sister had to witness one of Wazza's outbursts, its a good thing not many people read his blog so there won't be too many shocked by it.

Jim said...

Has Peter been thinking Hollywood? His movie would be 'R' rated I'm sure.
I'm enjoying your journey. Mrs. Jim has been talking Australia again. If only you all weren't so far away!
We have an Orange here in East Texas, my son-in-law, Billy, was from there.

LZ Blogger said...

Warren ~ G'day mate! I just loved your close-up shots of the Three Sisters. I wish I would have gotten one from that close. I even used my 300 MM Telephoto and I didn't get that close to them. Don't believe that erosion story... that one about those three sisters falling in love with three men from a neighboring tribe, but marriage was forbidden by tribal law. A battle ensued, and the sisters were turned to stone by a witch doctor to protect them, but he was killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back" is a lot more FUN and at least as believable don't you think? ~ jb///

JunieRose2005 said...


I have enjoyed your travels with your friend very much!


Meow (aka Connie) said...

Hi Warren, you two boys must have a heck of a lot of fun in your travels together. thanks for sharing them with us.
Anyway, I am just dropping by to say HI, and to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
Hope to be able to do more blogging next year ... time has just got away from me this year.
Take care, Meow