Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The Blue Mountains is the most visited tourist attraction in Sydney. This UNESCO world heritage listed site has a lot of history behind it. Hence, we at Sydney Top Tours have picked out some important facts about the Blue Mountains history that you might not have known. In writing this article, the repository of history from Western Sydney University has immensely helped us. And we are acknowledging authors such as C.C. Byfield, Martin Thomas, and Chris Cunningham for their contribution of publishing-related books in terms of Blue Mountains history.
First settlers and access to the Blue Mountains
Did you know that there were many attempts during the mid-1700 century to access the Blue Mountains region to extend agriculture? The initial attempt started in 1788 by Governor Philip establishing a farm in Rosehill, Paramatta. The attempt of Captain William Paterson in 1793 to explore the Blue Mountains range was a failure due to sharp slopes near the Grose River. Following him, Henry Hacking, George Bass, and Francis Barrallier’s attempts to the region, however, none was successful.
The first crossing – Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth
The three names behind the successful expedition to explore the Blue Mountains region undoubtedly Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth. The expedition began in 1813 by these wealthy immigrants to find a solution for expanding the land for their flock of sheep and cattle. After 5 days from 11th May 1813, these explorers reached a spot in between Katoomba and Blackheath. If you take a trip to the Blue Mountains from Sydney, add this spot to your itinerary and it is called the ‘Explorers Tree’.
Cox’s Pass and Victoria Pass
The Cox’s Pass was the first purpose-built road to access the Blue Mountains region. And an important passage in terms of Blue Mountains history. The road was named after William Cox who was appointed to oversee the construction of the road. This 163-kilometre road was built from Emu Ford to Bathurst was completed within 6 months. Being a rough cart road and laborious process of bringing a loaded cart up the pass was a decider to abandoned this route in 1823. And initiated the Victoria pass which was constructed from 1829 to 1832.
A heritage-listed former railway track with a length of 650m, built in 1891 and eliminated in 1913. After the elimination, the tunnel had multiple uses. The most common ones are used as a secret site for mustard gas storage in World War II. And very recently for Blue Mountains Mushroom Farm. Currently, the council is proposing the state government to re-open this site as a tourist attraction to display the Blue Mountains history that could boost the local economy.
The Historical Blue Mountains Lennox Bridge
Scenic World and Skyway
Undoubtedly, the 2nd famous attraction among domestic and international visitors is the Blue Mountains after the Three Sisters lookout. But did you know that when it was constructed in 1958, it was the first horizontal passenger-carrying ropeway in the Southern Hemisphere?
Our brief article about ‘things you might not know about the Blue Mountains history’ is over for now. However, will hope to cover other historical aspects of the Blue Mountains in a future article. Some of the topics we are considering covering include Leura, Norman Lindsey Gallery, Historic Hartley, and the history of the Hydro Majestic. So, keep tuned!