Monday, May 29, 2006

Where we live

We live on the top of the Great Dividing Range and our part in New South Wales (Australia) is called the 'Blue Mountains'. Its about 1.5 hours from Syndey CBD. (Central Business District). The photo shows our town 'Blackheath' on the plateau.

The range comprises a well-dissected sandstone plateau that rises from an eastern escarpment. Its slopes are generally precipitous and scary. Blackheath is 1100m (3600 feet) from sea level and sits pretty much on the very top - its kinda cool.

In 1788 the Blue Mountains were originally named "Carmarthen Hills" and "Landsdowne Hills" by Governor Phillip, (really bad names). The Blue Mountains is densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour. It wasn't long after 1788 that the distinctive blue haze saw the change in name to the Blue Mountains.

The first Europeans to cross the range were the explorers Gregory Blaxland, William C. Wentworth, and William Lawson in 1813. We have towns named after them.