Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Australia chapter Sydney & New South Wales has to say about the Blue Mountains:
“In 1813 the Blue Mountains were penetrated by explorers Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth, opening the way for the colony to expand onto the vast fertile slopes and plains of the west.
A region with more than its fair share of gorges, gum trees and gourmet restaurants, the spectacular Blue Mountains was an obvious contender when UNESCO called for Australian nominations to the World Heritage List, and its inclusion was ratified in 2000.
The slate-coloured haze that gives the mountains their name comes from a fine mist of oil exuded by the huge eucalyptus gums that form a dense canopy across the landscape of deep, often-inaccessible valleys and chiseled sandstone outcrops.
The foothills begin 65km inland from Sydney, rising to a 1,100m-high sandstone plateau riddled with valleys eroded into the stone over thousands of years. There are eight connected conservation areas in the region, including the Blue Mountains National Park, which has some truly fantastic scenery, excellent bushwalks, Aboriginal engravings and all the canyons and cliffs you could ask for. It’s the most popular and accessible of the three national parks in the area. Great lookouts include the Evan’s and Govett’s Leap lookouts near Blackheath, and Echo Point in Katoomba.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD