The famed Three Sisters rock formation is located 120 kilometres west of Sydney on the northern escarpment of the Jamison Valley. Close to the popular weekend town of Katoomba, they are one of the Blue Mountains’ best known sites with visitors coming from all around the world. Their names are Meehni (922 m), Wimlah (918 m), and Gunnedoo (906 m).
The Three Sisters were formed by land erosion as the soft sandstone of the Blue Mountains is easily eroded by wind and rain. The commonly told legend is that the sisters (Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and Gunnedoo’) lived as members of the Katoomba tribe. They fell in love with three men from a neighbouring tribe, however, marriage was forbidden by tribal law. Not happy to accept this decision, the brothers decided to use force to capture the three sisters and a major tribal battle ensued. The sisters were turned to stone by an elder to protect them, however, he was killed in the fighting and no one else could turn them back.
According to Dr Martin Thomas in The artificial horizon: imagining the Blue Mountains, the ‘aboriginal’ legend is pure fabrication created by a non-Aboriginal Katoomba local, Mel Ward, to add interest to a local landmark in the 1920’s and is unknown prior to that date. Whatever the origins of the legend, the site is certainly powerful and offers sweeping views across the valley.
While visiting the Blue Mountains, make sure you take advantage of the areas numerous walking tracks; Red Hands Cave and Clifftop walking tracks are two of our favourites. When in need of sustenance, try Anonymous Café in Blackheath, coffee at Cassiopeia in Katoomba or stop for high tea at the refurbished Hydro Majestic.