Three Sisters Blue Mountains
The three weathered sandstone peaks stand around 900m above the breathtaking expanse of the Jamison Valley.
They are one of the Blue Mountains’ most famous attractions, towering over the Jamison Valley close to Katoomba.
This popular destination, located about 2.5 kilometers from the Great Western Highway, attracts millions of visitors yearly.
The Three Sisters, Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo, are 922 meters, 918 meters, and 906 meters tall, respectively.
If you get to the overlook at the right moment, you can watch the Three Sisters rock formation gradually change hue as the sun passes over it.
You can also enjoy the Three Sisters at night, brightened by floodlights against the pitch-black background, until around 11 pm.
|Take the afternoon and sunset guided tour from Sydney to experience the mountains at the peak of their splendor while learning about native wildlife.|
Formation of the Three Sisters
The Blue Mountains’ Three Sisters rock formation occurred during the hot and dry Triassic period.
Around 200 million years ago, the Blue Mountains’ sandstone was gradually worn away by wind and rain, causing the cliffs surrounding the Jamison Valley to crumble.
The Blue Mountains submerged in seawater lead to large volumes of silt being carried by the water to the ocean floor in transverse layers, forming the Three Sisters.
Volcanoes erupting through the sandstone, coal, and shale layers created the ridges and the Three Sisters’ distinctive structure.
Stories and Legend of the Three Sisters
The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains is a fabled location of tales and traditions vital to Aboriginal culture.
There is a story behind the Three Sisters, according to the legend. Three sisters from a tribe of the indigenous people of the Blue Mountains were in love with brothers from another tribe.
The Jamison Valley tribal law prohibited the Wimalah, Meehni, and Gunedoo sisters from getting married to members of other tribes.
The law infuriated the three brothers, who decided to capture the sisters, sparking a significant tribal conflict.
So, a witch doctor from the tribe decided to turn the three sisters into stones near the rocks to protect them until the war was over.
But, the doctor did not survive the war, and the spell remained to leave the three sisters forever encased in stone.
As a reminder of this conflict for future generations, the Sisters still stand in their stunning rock formations.
According to reports, the source of the Indigenous tale connected to the Three Sisters claimed that he heard it from the local Indigenous people in Burragorang when he published it in 1949.
This topic has become controversial, given that some historians doubt the account’s authenticity.
Yet, later research by the local council and the property’s traditional owners established that the story did indeed have an Indigenous link.
As a result, the area was designated as an Aboriginal Place in 2014.
Meenhi, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo, three sisters, had a father who practiced witchcraft. Tyawan was his name.
There once was a bunyip whom everyone dreaded and who lived in a deep hole.
Every time Tyawan had to pass the location in quest of food, he would leave his children safely on the cliff behind a stone wall because passing the hole was thought to be extremely perilous.
Tyawan bid farewell to his girls one fateful day and down the rock stairs into the valley.
At the top of the cliff, Meenhi was startled when a huge centipede unexpectedly materialized in front of her.
A stone was taken by Meenhi and thrown at the centipede. The stone continued on its path, infuriating the Bunyip as it rolled over the cliff and crashed into the valley below.
Meenhi, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo were left alone on a precarious ledge at the top of the cliff as the granite wall behind them started to crack apart. The Bunyip emerged to see the scared girls, and all the birds, animals, and fairies came to a complete halt.
Their father Tyawan used his magic bone to transform the girls into stones as the Bunyip approached to defend them from danger.
The Bunyip were enraged by this and started after Tyawan. Tyawan transformed into a gorgeous LyreBird to escape the Bunyip after becoming imprisoned, but in doing so, he lost his magic bone.
The Bunyip were no longer a threat to Tyawan and his three daughters. Tyawan went back after the Bunyip had vanished to look for his magic bone, but he was unsuccessful.
Since then, the Lyre Bird has been looking for this mystical bone. The Three Sisters are still in their rock formation, calmly gazing out over the valley, waiting for him to retrieve the bone and restore them to their previous state.
As you go to The Three Sisters Blue Mountains, pay close attention to the sounds you hear. You might be able to hear Tyawan, the lyrebird, as he searches for his missing magic bone.
You can get breathtaking views of the three rock formations from various vantage points at Echo Point, Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo.
You can walk on a lovely bushwalking track to the rock formation of the Three Sisters Blue Mountains Australia.
The short 0.8 km return hike in Katoomba brings you close to the renowned Three Sisters and offers some of the Blue Mountains National Park’s most recognizable views.
After passing through the archway next to the Echo Point visitor center, you’ll find yourself among the towering eucalyptus forest with magnificent lyrebirds and crimson rosellas.
Stroll up the sloping trail for 400 meters to Oreades, facing incredible views of the Three Sisters’ weather-eroded sandstone turrets.
You can also view the hazy “blue” Jamison Valley that stretches to Mount Solitary.
The Giant Stairway is a well-known landmark on the Three Sisters’ slope.
A short but extremely steep flight of stairs to the top of the Giant Stairway, follows an ascent of more than 800 stone and steel steps.
The Honeymoon Bridge at the top connects to the first sister.
You can even take a detour to Spooners Lookout on the way back.
|A full-day travel tour is the best option for enjoying the Three Sisters with three rides, including the Scenic Railway. You get to avoid the steep stairs, too.|
If you are ready for more adventure, there are various other longer hikes close by, such as the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, the Dardanelles Pass Loop Walking Track, and the Three Sisters Walk to Scenic World via the Giant Stairway.
Other exhilarating activities include riding a cable car through a valley below with breathtaking views of the blue mountains, the Sisters, and the sandstone rock beds below.
How to reach
Reaching the iconic Three Sisters in Katoomba, Blue Mountains, is easy.
It’s about an hour and a half drive from Sydney.
Simply take the Great Western Highway to Katoomba and follow the signs for Three Sisters and Echo Point upon approaching Katoomba.
You can also take a NSW train from the Central Station to Katoomba Station, which runs every 30 minutes and takes approximately 2 hours and 1 minute.
Once you arrive, Echo Point, a popular vantage point, offers stunning views of the Australia Blue Mountains Three Sisters rock formation.
Parking is available in various nearby areas, including designated spots for disabled visitors.
Three Sisters Blue Mountains map
Download the Three Sisters map pdf here.
Why is Three Sisters called for Blue Mountains?
Located in Katoomba, the Three Sisters are a popular visitor attraction in the Blue Mountains, representing a unique geological feature and Aboriginal heritage.
It represents three sisters who, according to the legend, were turned into stone.
The names of the Three Sisters Blue Mountains are Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo.
How to go to Three Sisters Blue Mountain?
To reach 3 Sisters Australia Blue Mountains from Sydney, you can drive for about 90 minutes or take a 2-hour train on the Blue Mountain Line.
Follow the Great Western Highway to Katoomba, and watch for Three Sisters and Echo Point signs as you near Katoomba.
To get close to the rock formations, the Three Sisters walk begins at Echo Point in Katoomba, within the Blue Mountains National Park.
How long does the 3 Sisters Walk take?
The Three Sisters Walk typically takes about 45 minutes to complete.
This short, 1 km round trip offers breathtaking panoramic views of the landmark and the surrounding valley.
Despite its brief duration, the walk is filled with fantastic lookout points and picnic spots, making it a delightful and scenic experience.
Featured Image: Wikimedia.org