The iconic Three Sisters of the Blue Mountains

The heart of Blue Mountains tours is the strange rock formation called Three Sisters. This iconic landmark standing on the sandstone bedrock in the town of Katoomba has invited millions of visitors to the region every year.

Under the azure sky stand the three pillars of stone, naturally formed by soil erosion throughout time. Sunlight coats them golden and glittering. The spots of green vegetation on the rocky cliffs and the surrounding valley provide a picturesque backdrop, like a masterful work of art, painted by the hand of nature.

When in Sydney, travel 50 kilometres northwest, to the rugged mountain ranges of the Blue Mountains. Then head straight to Jamison Valley, to an escarpment on the north. There, at Echo Point, you have a magnificent vantage point to view up close the storied Three Sisters.

Three towering rock pillars standing on a sandstone bedrock are named Three Sisters: Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo. The strange-looking sandstone formation has been a cultural and iconic landmark of Katoomba and the heart of Blue Mountains tours and sightseeing adventures.

Natural elements such as wind, rain, and the waterways of Jamison Valley caused the wearing away of the soft sandstone. As time passed by, there gradually formed the three stone pillars of which the tallest is Meehni at 922 metres. The shortest is Gunnedoo, standing 906 metres tall and in the middle stands Wimlah at 918 metres high.

Aboriginal myths, legends, and stories shrouded the Three Sisters. Some stories were created to arouse the interest of the visitors to the locality of Katoomba.

It was said a witch doctor turned the three sisters into stone. They’re supposed to marry the young men from another tribe. But traditional tribal laws had forbidden them. Out of youthful passion, the young men abducted the sisters which stirred a violent war between tribes. A Katoomba witch doctor wanted to protect the ladies by petrifying them. Unfortunately, the witch was killed in the war.

Today, the three sisters stand as a reminder to both the locals and Blue Mountains tours adventurers alike regarding the futility of wars. Of course, the story is made up by a Katoomba local circulated in the 1920s and 1930s. Whatever the legends tell, these rocks were formed by nature for millions of years.

You can have a bush walk on the trail connecting Echo Point and the Three Sisters down into the valley floor. They call the trail Giant Stairway. Upon reaching the valley floor, stroll down a little further via the Federal Pass for around an hour and a half to reach the Katoomba Falls.

If you feel climbing back to the escarpment would be too much, you can opt to take the Katoomba Scenic Railway for some extra dollars.

Reflect on the mysteriously fascinating beauty of the Three Sisters. By day, the sun gives them colour. By night, floodlights are projected against the rocks. The result is a spectacular view of the sisters against the backdrop of a dark night sky.

Behind the Three Sisters, Mount Solitary stands in solitude surrounded by the verdure rainforests and the rugged canyons of the Blue Mountains.

A trip to Katoomba to see the iconic landmark is sure a magical Blue Mountains tours experience.


By Kelvene Requiroso, content writer and member of the SEO team of the Melbourne-based Get Lost Travel Group.

| Blog