One of the most popular Blue Mountains attractions is undoubtedly the Three Sisters at Echo Point. This unique rock formation attracts visitors from all over the world every year.
Very few people can remain immune to the unparalleled beauty of the 3 sisters and the surrounding Blue Mountains.
Brimming with a variety of scenic attractions, the Blue Mountains area was actually spectacular enough to warrant a World Heritage badge.
Boasting weathered peaks and cliffs that were formed thousands of years ago, this area is also reputed for its teeming wildlife and exceptional views.
Some of the region’s sandstone peaks have an altitude of more than 900m high above sea level.
How were The Three Sisters formed?
The three sisters were formed when the Blue Mountains were covered by an ocean, which carried large amounts of sediment that gradually sunk to the floor that gradually created rock beds and shales.
Around 200 million years ago, volcanoes erupted through the sandstone and shale layers, forming the ridges and the natural beauty of the Three Sisters that we see today.
Echo Point, The Three Sisters Lookout
We might never know how true the aboriginal legend is, but there’s no denying the spectacular views that visitors are treated to when they visit this picturesque Blue Mountains attraction.
Located near Katoomba, around 2.5 kilometres from the Great Western Highway, this iconic visitor attraction is a popular day trip from Sydney and is experienced by millions of people each year.
Indeed, not far from the Three Sisters is the Echo Point viewpoint. The vantage points at this lookout spot provide you with stunning views on the three rock formations – Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo.
Because this Blue Mountains attraction is so high above the ground, visitors will be able to see the world-famous blue haze that is actually created from the eucalyptus oil released from the forest.
Depending on what time you visit the lookout, you will be able to see the Three Sisters rock formation gradually change colors as the sunlight moves over them, basking this heritage-listed attraction in glorious bursts of colors.
It should still be noted that the Echo Point viewpoint is fully wheelchair accessible.
Visitors who want to check out the Three Sisters from this incredible lookout point will also have access to drinking water, carpark and restrooms.
At different times of year and under different weather conditions, the ridges and sharp shapes of the Three Sisters take on different personalities.
The Three Sisters are also illuminated by floodlights until around 11 p.m. every night, making for a stunning sight against the black background of the night sky.
Where to stay near The Three Sisters?
Katoomba is one of the most convenient places to visit and stay in Blue Mountains because of it’s close proximity to so many points of interest such as Echo Point, Katoomba, the Three Sisters and Scenic World.
There’s a broad range of accommodation at Echo Point, ranging from 3 star bed and breakfasts and backpacker hostels to 5 star luxury accommodation. All camping in NSW national parks now requires a booking.
The Giant Stairway
Another popular attraction found at the flank of the Three Sisters, the Giant Stairway consists of a charming bushwalking trail that leads you to the rock formation.
Visitors will have to ascend over 800 stone and steel steps in order to complete the 1.5 hour walk, but the effort is undeniably worth it since you will be able to view the Three Sisters rock formation in all its splendor.
If you don’t want to walk all the way back, you can take the Scenic Railway that will take you to the plateau and scenic world. There are also other adrenaline inducing activities, like the cable car, where you traverse the valley below, with incredible views of the blue mountains, sisters, and the rock beds sandstones below.
In fact, it’s worth booking a trip on the Scenic Railway to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Three Sisters and other neighboring Blue Mountains attractions. The railway takes guests who visit the Blue Mountains, down into the valley below, where they can access the three sisters and Katoomba Falls.
Aboriginal Legend – The Three Sisters Story
According to an old legend, and the tribal law of the local aboriginal people, there used to be three sisters named Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo who were part of a Nepean tribe who lived in the Jamison valley.
The three beautiful young ladies were madly in love with three brothers, but because they belonged to a rival Katoomba tribe, they could not get married.
Ignoring the tribal laws of the two tribes, the three brothers decided to try and capture Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo, causing an unparalleled war between their tribes. And as legend has it, a major tribal battle broke out in the Blue Mountains.
To protect the three daughters from the brothers, the tribe took the sisters to a witch doctor who would temporarily turn the daughters safely into stone and hide them near the rocky wall until the war was over.
Unfortunately, the witch doctor was killed before he could reverse the spell, leaving the three sisters forever encased in stone.
10 Facts About The Three Sisters
- The Three Sisters are called Meehni (922 metres), Wimlah (918 metres) and Gunnedoo (906 metres).
- The Three Sisters tower over the Jamison Valley which is located in the Blue Mountains National Park near Katoomba, New South Wales.
- They are made of sandstone, like the rocky wall facing the cliffs of the surrounding Jamison Valley.
- The three formations were created around 200 million years ago during the Triassic period.
- They were formed by wind and rain which is constantly sculpting the soft sandstone of the Blue Mountains region. It’s said that they will eventually be completely eroded away, but not any time soon!
- No European had explored the Three Sisters Blue Mountains New South Wales Australia or any of the Blue Mountain area truly until 1813, led by Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth.
- The staircase down past the 3 rock formations is very steep. It has over 800 steel and stone steps. Wear comfortable walking shoes and be mindful of the physical challenge.
- Walkers who don’t wish to climb back up the stairs can take the Scenic Railway back to the top.
- The Blue Mountains Park is sometimes closed due to bushfires in the summer or wet weather in winter.
- The Visitor Centre at Echo Point is open daily 9am to 4pm.