When Gregory Blaxland, William Wentworth and William Lawson forged a route across the rugged Blue Mountains in 1813, they revealed a ‘promised land’ beyond, and paved the way for the bushwalking and tourism mecca that the Blue Mountains is today.

Story by John Dunn and Photos by Don Fuchs

As the Great Western Highway stretches out from Sydney, the path to the west seems totally straightforward. And it is – now. It’s not until near Penrith that a long block of hazy, blue hills appears to bar the way. But it doesn’t, of course, because the Blue Mountains are not the impenetrable mass of peaks, precipices, unscalable escarpments and dead-end valleys that they once were.
Today, this modern roadway curves and climbs through these mountains and dips and turns, but it does so smoothly and quickly, providing an easy passage for the traffic it carries backwards and forwards between the New South Wales capital and everything that lies across the continent to the west.

This story excerpt is from Issue #46

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2006