Blue Mountains Research Paper

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Blue Mountains

This report will discuss the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. It is currently an extremely popular tourist attraction, and is listed as Australia’s 14th World Heritage Area. The formation of the landform, rock types present, the age, and Aboriginal legends connected to the landscape will all be considered.

Overview of the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is a spectacular landform in New South Wales. It is extremely broad with the elevation of the highest point as 1,362 metres. The landform itself is a sandstone plateau. Within the Blue Mountains there are many tourist sites, including the Jenolan Caves and the Three Sisters. There are many legends to do with the formations of these landforms, however science
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Diagram of the process of water weathering rocks. (eSchooltoday, 2008-2014).

Rock types

The formation of the different rock types of the Blue Mountains were previously outlined. Sedimentary rocks, such as shale, siltstone and mudstone were formed from depositing sediments compacting together when being deposited into layers. Metamorphic rocks were found when rock beds (lower layers that were pressed down) were buried, and became hard due to heat and pressure (metamorphosed). The igneous rocks were found most recently, when basalt lava flowed onto the landscape, cooling the top layers of rock.

Aboriginal Legends

Since the Aborigines settled in Australia, they have had many spiritual, emotional and physical connections to the land around them, just like many other indigenous tribes. As a result, legends based on how the lands were formed have been developed and told. The following are some Aboriginal dreamtime stories on the Three Sisters.

Three Sisters Legends

As aforementioned, the Three Sisters are a rock formation of three rocks standing upright next to each other, formed by erosion. Some legends about this attractive tourist site will be discussed
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Image of the Three Sisters, New South Wales, Australia. (Viator, Inc., 1997-2015).

The first legend of the Three Sisters (who were called ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and ‘Gunnedoo’) is that they fell in love with three men from different tribes. As a result, the marriage was forbidden. The men refused to conform to this rule, and captured the sisters, causing tribal wars. To protect the sisters, it is said that an elder witch doctor reincarnated them into stone. However, the elder was killed during the war, and could not change the sisters back into people. The sisters were left as stone standing side by side for eternity.

Another legend of the Three Sisters is that they had a father who was a witch doctor. The story also involved a terrifying creature called Bunyip who lived in a hole and was feared by all. One day, Meehni encountered a centipede at the top of a cliff. She threw a stone at it to make it go away, which rolled down and hit the Bunyip. The Bunyip then angrily approached the sisters, and for protection, their father used a magic bone to turn them into stone. It is said that the Bunyip also chased the father, but the father turned into a bird to get away, and dropped the magic bone in the process. The sisters then had to stay as stones as their father lost the magic

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