The Blue Mountains are encounted when traveling west from Sydney. The Blue Mountains also encompass a very large area and for most of the area at a 1000 mtre altitude. Changeable weather is the norm. The Three Sisters, Echo point and the Jenolan Caves are the signature locations for the Blue Mountains.
Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales, first glimpsed the extent of the Blue Mountains from a ridge at the site of today's Oakhill College, Castle Hill. He named them the Carmarthen Hills, 'some forty to sixty miles distant..." and he reckoned that the ground was "most suitable for government stock". This is the location where Gidley King in 1799 established a prison town for political prisoners from Ireland and Scotland.
A former convict, John Wilson, may have been the first European to cross the Blue Mountains. It is also believed that Mathew Everingham, 1795, may have also been partly successful based on letters he wrote at the time which came to light in the late 1980s. Wilson arrived with the First Fleet in 1788 and was freed in 1792. He settled in the bush, living with the Aborigines and even functioning as an intermediary between them and the settlers.
Official credit for crossing the Blue Mountains was eventually given to Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth. Following an exploratory trip in 1811, Blaxland, who wanted more grazing land, reasoned that the mountains could be crossed by following the ridges (thus creating the myth that the ridges were the easy way, when the easy way was in fact Coxs River). Accompanied by Lawson and Wentworth, he set out on 11 May 1813, and the party succeeded in crossing the mountains by 31 May.
When visiting the Blue Mountains endeavour to ensure the weather is favourable. If the weather is misty or raining views are illiminated.