Blue Mountains (Australia)

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The Blue Mountains is a mountainous region in New South Wales, Australia. It borders on Sydney's metropolitan area, its foothills starting approximately 50 kilometres west of the state capital.[1] The area begins on the west side of the Nepean River and extends westward as far as Coxs River.[2]

Consisting mainly of a sandstone plateau, the area is dissected by gorges up to 760 metres deep. The highest point of the range is 1,190 metres above sea level. A large part of the Blue Mountains is incorporated into the Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site, consisting of seven national park areas and a conservation reserve.

The Blue Mountains area includes the local government areas of the City of Blue Mountains, the City of Hawkesbury, the City of Lithgow and Oberon.


Aboriginal Inhabitants

When the Europeans arrived in Australia, the Blue Mountains had already been inhabited for several millennia by the Gundungurra people who are now represented by the Gundungurra Tribal Council Aboriginal Corporation which is based in Katoomba.

The Gundungurra creation story of the Blue Mountains is that Dreamtime creatures Mirigan and Garangatch who were half fish and half reptiles had an epic battle and along the route of this battle the Jamison Valley was carved out.

The Gundungurra Tribal Council is a not for profit organisation representing the Gundungurra traditional owners, promoting heritage and culture and providing a support for Gundungurra people connecting back to Country. The Gundungurra web site in the links section below has a virtual video tour of the Upper Blue Mountains.[3]

Gundungurra Tribal Council Aboriginal Corporation has a registered Native Title Claim since 1995 over their traditional lands which include the Blue Mountains and surrounding areas.

Examples of Aboriginal habitation can be found in many places. In the Red Hands Cave, a rock shelter near Glenbrook, the walls contain hand stencils from adults and children.[4] On the southern side of Queen Elizabeth Drive, at Wentworth Falls, a rocky knoll has a large number of grinding grooves created by rubbing stone implements on the rock to shape and sharpen them. There are also carved images of animal tracks and an occupation cave. The site is known as Kings Tableland Aboriginal Site and dates back 22,000 years.

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