Around two hours from Sydney you’ll find one of New South Wales’ most iconic landmarks, The Three Sisters.
Part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, these weathered sandstone peaks, formed over thousands of years, tower more than 900 metres high among the cliffs of the Jamison Valley. The best views are from the Echo Point lookout at Katoomba.
These unusual formations watch over the land of the traditional country of the Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri and Dharwal Aboriginal people.
According to one Aboriginal legend, the pillars were once three beautiful sisters named 'Meehni', 'Wimlah' and ‘Gunnedoo' who were turned into stone by a powerful tribal elder. The women had fallen in love with three brothers from another tribe, but were forbidden to marry under tribal law. The brothers decided to capture the three sisters, causing a major battle, and the elder turned the women into stone to protect them.
He had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, but was killed himself. As only he could reverse the spell to return the women to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock state as an eternal reminder of this battle.
There are different versions of the Aboriginal story of the Three Sisters, but one thing for certain is how truly spectacular they are.
Visit the Echo Point Visitor Information Centre to fully appreciate the whole panorama and the famous blue haze created from oils released by the eucalypt forests after which the mountains are named. The character of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons as the sunlight brings out the magnificent colours. The Three Sisters is also floodlit each evening creating a dazzling display against the night sky.
Echo Point is also the gateway to many great nature walks and adventures such as abseiling, rockclimbing and caving. Soak up the scenery, streams, waterfalls, forests, ravines and sheer cliffs on one of the 140 kilometres of heritage walking tracks throughout the region.
Descend to the valley floor on ‘The Giant Stairway’, a trail of more than 800 steps that leads to the base of the Three Sisters. At the bottom, follow the Scenic Walkway, a meandering 2.4 kilometre boardwalk that will take you through ancient rainforest dating back to the time of the dinosaurs.
If you don’t feel like walking, you can ride to bottom and back again on the thrilling and steep Scenic Railway, or glide between the cliff tops and gaze out over at the rainforest canopy through the glass floors of the Scenic Skyway or giant aerial cable cars of the Scenic Cableway.
There are so many amazing places and ways to explore throughout the Blue Mountains. The Greater Blue Mountains Drive encompasses an astonishing 18 World Heritage trails, which winds though wilderness areas, charming heritage villages, farming communities and the Three Sisters. You can also take a three-day guided walk on the Six Foot Track from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves.