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The early crossing of the Blue Mountains

Jan 28, 2019 | Blue Mountains History

For tens of thousands of years there has been aboriginal occupation in the Blue Mountains. In the early days of settlement in the colony of New South Wales

There was a belief that you could reach China if you cross the Blue Mountains. Such a simple idea and the government encouraged early exploration to see what was on the other side.

Fertile grazing land was needed for growing food for the increasing number of people living in Sydney. The first explorer William Doors set out in 1789 walking to the west for three days from the Nepean River. After finding the journey extremely difficult he gave up and returned back to the settlement.

Other explorers, over the next 25 years, tried to cross the Blue Mountains. Traditionally explorers would come to river and trace its source. This didn’t work in the Blue Mountains due to the massive valleys, cliffs and rugged topography.

In 1813 with the colony of New South Wales was running out of land. Governor McQuarrie authorised three men to make another attempt to cross the mountains which resulted in a successful attempt. These explorers, Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and a young man William Wentworth. The three explorers, together with four other men and horses, left Sydney on the 13th of May 1813 and reached a place 20 km south of Lithgow. This area is now known as Mount Blaxland they could see fertile planes to the west. They returned to Sydney to report their find to Governor Macquarie. The rest is history as the population of the Blue Mountains was underway. There are many Blue Mountains Tours on offer.

On our present Blue Mountains Tours much of 6that early path over the Mountains of 1813 is still in use today in following the main ridge line across the Mountains. We pass some relics of that road construction project over 200 years ago.

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