Our circle route today into the Blue Mountains, east of Sydney, was more than we expected. Thirty-five million years ago, the sea floor off the coast of a smaller Australia rose up about four miles. It was among the last events in the 60-million year breakoff of the continent from its home in the supercontinent, Gondwana.
Since then, lots have happened, including volcanos covering the whole place with lava several times. But the soft sea floor residue, now hardened sandstone and siltstone, has eroded under and around it. The resulting wide valleys, formed over millions of years when rivers of water melted from periods of ice age climate, reveal absolutely stunning vistas. None of them are going to displace Arizona’s Grand Canyon, but the infrastructure, promotion, and allied support from nearby communities makes them great places to visit.
Blue Mountains Mt Tomah Botanical Garden. "Tomah" is the aboriginal word for Fern Tree, and they had several varieties (hard and soft-sided trunks). The also had Dawn Redwoods and a really beautiful set of displays for cave-exploring and geology history. All for free.
We're off to Sydney for our last place to stay. Home on Friday.
Here is a link to the photos we took yesterday.
Sunday, Oct 25th, Penrith