The Blue Mountains is a truly stunning region to visit, home to the spectacular cave system known as the Jenolan Caves.
But one true gem hidden in the Jenolan area is the Blue Lake, a picture-perfect watering hole which boasts remarkably blue waters and stunning bushland surrounds.
The History of the Blue Lake
The Jenolan Caves date back nearly 340 million years, making it one of the oldest cave systems in the entire world. The caves themselves were created due to erosion on the rock from the Jenolan River and continuous wind and rain. Due to its long age, the Jenolan region has a strong connection with the traditional owners of the land, the Gundungarra People. The local Gundungarra tribes once called this region “Binoomea”, which translates to ‘Dark Places’. Back in this time, water is an extremely sacred element in the region’s culture, as it was used to mark boundary lines between the local tribes. The Dreamtime story which tells the tale of the water says it was controlled by a water creature that was part eel and part fish, named the Gurangatch. Who began fighting with a native quoll called Mirragan, and was badly injured by the quoll. Gurangatch retreated to lick his wounds, supposedly on the site where the Blue Lake lies today, which at that time was a large swampland region.
Blue Lake’s Creation
After the Europeans invaded the region and began creating settlements, in 1908, the swampland was transformed into the Blue Lake. This man-made dam was built due to the settlements demanding a larger dam to power the local electricity, most particular the lights within the caves. It was also created to help pump out water to the nearby accommodation house, as the Blue Mountains was growing in tourism.
What you can see here
The Blue Lake is truly a stunning sight to see, with the sapphire blue water still and peaceful. The name comes from the water’s rich colour, a striking blue which is formed due to the continuous refraction of light that bounces off the limestone rocks base. The surrounding bushland boasts exotic palm trees that flank the waters, as well as native plant life that creates a border of the bush. Due to the bright colours of the water and trees, this region looks magical, like one has stepped right into a fairy-tale.
But one truly unforgettable sight is the animal which resides in this lake, known as the elusive platypus. It is one of the only areas in the bushland where you might be able to catch a glimpse of this beloved creature, with them being extremely mysterious creatures most of the time. One of Australia’s most unusual animals, with a duck-billed face and beaver-like tail, a mix of features which seem like they shouldn’t go together! Simply sit quietly beside the lake and wait in anticipation for these extraordinary creatures to emerge!
How to Get to the Blue Lake
There are a series of walks that loop around the Blue Lake for you to enjoy. The first route starts from the Jenolan to the Blue Lake, which stretches out for 2.6 kilometres of bushland track, taking you around two hours to complete. Otherwise, you can head into the Jenolan caves themselves and enjoy the serene darkness before emerging out into the light at the base of the lake!
No matter your choice, the Blue Lake is sure to charm you, with its brilliant beauty and fascinating wildlife surrounding it!
Related article: Where to go in the Blue Mountains?
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