The Wilderness of the Blue Mountains

 

The wilderness of the Blue Mountains is unlike that of Africa or South America or India.  Millions of years ago all these continent were once joined and dinosaurs roamed over the vast plains of that singular landmass.

Then the continents split apart and drifted across the oceans.  What was left in Australia then became  unique to our continent. 

Australia is now  the flattest and  the driest inhabited continent in the world. .Because of its  unique plants and animals, the Blue Mountains is part of a world heritage environment   The area reveals an extraordinary story of the evolution of Australia's unique eucalypt vegetation, plants and animals.

 

 It is an area of breathtaking views, rugged tablelands, sheer cliffs, deep, inaccessible valleys and rivers and swamps. The Greater Blue Mountains was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000.

Australia has been less affected by earthquake and mountain building  forces than other continents during the past 400 million years.  Australia is the most stable of all continents.  It  has not experienced  the massive upheavals responsible for uplifting the mountain ranges such as the Andes

You wont find animals gathering at water holes, nor great migrations.  You wont find man eating predators, nor large pachyderms. 

 The last remnants of the Mega fauna disappeared around 25,000 years ago.

What you will find is the oldest living environment on earth.  Australia's crust has escaped strong Earth forces in recent geological history, accounting for its relatively uniform appearance. As a result, the continent serves as a window to early geological ages. It is this ancient land that the Blue Mountains is a true Wilderness Experience.

An Ancient Land

When you visit the Blue Mountains you are visiting an ancient land.  Millions of years of erosion have scoured Australia's surface features.  The Great Dividing Range stretches 1,200 mi (1,931 km) along Australia's east coast and encompasses the Blue Mountains. . The Great Dividing Range was thrust up by geological folding like that of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States.

The mountains are superimposed on larger older rocks upon which thick layers of sediment have been deposited. Those sediments in turn have been transformed by folding as well as magmatic and volcanic forces.

Twice, during a 125 million year period beginning 400 million years ago,  events formed mountains  . Volcanic activity recurred along the Great Dividing Range 205 million years ago when early apes evolved as well as  mammals and plant.   Over millions of years the volcanic cones from this era have been stripped down by erosion.

A Truly Spiritual Place

The region is one where you can ponder on the beginning of life.  It is truly a spiritual place.  It  encapsulates a history of development of flora and fauna.  It retains the home place of the oldest tribe on the plant - the aboriginals.   It is a land of contrasts containing many different climates with unique flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth.

 

What to do when visiting the Blue Mountains Wilderness.

Take it all in.  Contemplate who walked before you on the tracks and trails.   Consider what part they played in where you are now?

Cast your eyes to the ground. Where did the rocks  come from.  Up high on the escarpment?  Carried down by a river?

What trees were once here?  What animals.  Was the valley flat like now?

Around 4.25 billion years ago,  you could have walked on a white quartz rich sandy beach and watched the waves lap the shore, while wearing an oxygen mask (there was no oxygen yet). You would have got a great suntan too, the sun was younger & looked blue and there was no Ozone layer.

The Blue Mountains - an aged Wonderland.

Not the oldest in Australia, but certainly one of the most impressive.

 The oldest  rocks in the world, all that is left of it, are 50 zircon crystals (4 to 4.35 billion year old) smaller than a pinch of salt, in a laboratory in Australia which were found in West Australa.