Three Sisters, Australia

Tuesday, 24th June 2008 by

Here in New South Wales, one of the most popular sights are the famous Three Sisters - three spectacular rock pinnacles which tower over the Jamison Valley in the Blue Mountains.

The rock spires are named Meehni (922 m), Wimlah (918 m), and Gunnedoo (906 m) and the view of them from the nearby observation platform at Echo Point is pretty dramatic. Apparently there's a metal staircase here that leads down to the valley which is made up of 1,000 individual steps.1

The Blue Mountains aren't actually a range of mountains, but rather a vast plateau - with cliffs up to 760 metres high. There is truth in the "blue" part though - when viewed from a distance, the valley seems filled with an eerie blue haze that can also be seen in photos.

It's widely believed that the blue colour has something-or-other to do with evaporating oil from the Eucalyptus trees that swamp the valleys, but in fact the hue is down to a process known as Mie Scattering which occurs when UV radiation is scattered by atmospheric particles.2

Read more about The Three Sisters, Jamison Valley, the Blue Mountains and Katoomba Scenic Railway at Wikipedia.

Thanks to Mr. Stokes and Glenn Baker.

  1. So my Australian colleague Glenn says anyway. ↩︎

  2. No, I didn't understand it either. ↩︎