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The Blue Mountains

This is an adventure that leads all the way back to 1788. I will take you through that journey in facts and detail.

Sofia Wall

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of The Blue Mountains

Who were the three explorers?
2A. What are you investigating
Sofia's History Project
a) The Blue Mountains are part of a mountain range called the Great Dividing Range. The reason the Great Dividing Range was not all called the Blue Mountains was because it was not all a national park.
b) They are about one hundred and fifty kilometres away from Sydney.
c) The three explorers (Blaxaland, Wentworth and Lawson) crossed the Blue Mountains in fact they were the first. This obelisk was erected by the public subscription in 1900 A.D.
d) Because when he looked in the horizon of the mountains he still saw mountains, so they did not cross the Blue Mountains, they found land on the Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains History Book
The names of the explorers were Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth.
They were exploring the Blue Mountains.
I am going to be looking into both what the explorers felt and what the Aboriginals felt.
Hope you enjoyed
your journey!
2B. The Context and the Problem
a) They had many problems but the most pressing problem was the lack of food for the convicts and the free settlers. While that was going on, in England, the industrial revolution was progressing rapidly. Machines were replacing human manual labour. One of the things the machines could make more quickly and cheaply was cloth. Cloth is made from wool and cotton. They found that they could successfully raise sheep to make wool in Australia. So it ended up in a mad rush to get sheep to Australia, though it was successful. However, back then success just couldn't last. The colony had run out of space and food, hemmed in by the Blue Mountains. They had to find a way across these mountains.


Newcastle penal settlement was established in New South Wales
The borders of the colony, New South Wales, stretched to the Great Dividing Range.
The Blue Mountains were 'crossed',opening up more land for settlement
The non-aboriginal population of New South Wales was about 400000
First Fleet arrives in Botany Bay, Sydney
European settlement of New South Wales begins with the arrival of the First Fleet.
The first free settlers arrived in the New South Wales colony
Time Line

Industrial Revolution in England
It is very hard work for everyone, especially children!
England needs more wool for making cloth
Need more land to graze sheep
Government offers land owners to raise big flocks of sheep
The land around Sydney was not good for sheep
Sheep needed large areas of land on which to graze.
The land they grazed on 'died' because the continuous grazing on it.
The New South Wales government offered wealthy people the opportunity to develop great flocks of sheep.
Lots of people use convicts as shepherds because they didn't need to pay them.
Cloth is normally made of the two materials wool and cotton.
Use convicts as shepherds
The area around Sydney was suitable for cattle but not for sheep so they needed to expand. The problem was they couldn't break through 'the barrier'.
Why did the explorers want to cross Blue Mountains? Looking at Evidence.
Blaxaland Wentwoth Lawson
Age in 1813 34 39 22

Background English Norfolk Islander English

Position in New Pioneer farmer Publisher Colonial officer and
South Wales and explorer pastoralist

Previous exploring Already explored land N.A N.A
experience around that area

Reason for Organizer of Younger and more A good
involvement the expedition 'fit' then the other two surveyor

Main qualities Already explored An adventurous Owned large areas
of the explorers parts of the area and person of land and was
he wanted more land a surveyor

Stories from Australia's History
The Journey
a) They had to overcome a wet,cold and rushing river at the beginning of the trek. One of the hardest tasks was that they had to cut through thick bush and damp forest to give the horses a route through it and then go back and get the horses;if they came to a dead end then it would be a waste of day and they would have to go back then the next day find another a way through the mountains.

b) They knew they had to follow the ridges.But the major question historians are still asking is how did they know to follow the ridges?. Some people think they found out from explorers that may has well been there before them but the vast majority of people think that they found out from the Aboriginals that might have shown them in one way or another.

c) The significance of Red Hands Cave is the hand-prints on the stone walls.They have been there for thousands of years,so if in the spot where the 'first' explorers explored was less than 1000 years ago do you think they were the first?

d) The explorers ignored the Aboriginal people because they probably didn't know the Aboriginals knew the land inside-out. In fact they actually thought they were animals. The two groups basically never crossed so they didn't interact in a peaceful manner.

e) The significance of what the explorers saw at Mount York is the land they saw. They knew it would last for at least 30 years. Imagine how excited you would be just at the thought of returning home,telling Governor Macquarie what you saw and then claiming your reward.
5A. How did the explorers achieve their crossing in 1813?
The Blue Mountains could have been crossed in five different ways. Here are two of the possible ways. I will show the different advantages and disadvantages of each way.
Follow the ridges on top of the cliffs:
find food with ease
they have a "cleaner" view of what is in front of them
they would have had a "birds eye view" on the land bleow them.
have to cut bush and tree.s
might fall off the top.
Following main rivers to their source
Fish (food)
Clean water for bathing and drinking
Low altitude with less hills so it is an easier journey.
Most rivers go into the ocean so rivers would be an unreliable way.
There is a possibility of rock falls when you are under cliffs

Reflecting on the Impacts of the Crossing of the Blue Mountains
They did not have Had to spend money to build road.
to pay convicts.
Colony got wealth from sheep.
New towns and cities were built.
Settlers and Aboriginals
became more friendly.
More land to grow crops. Had to cut down trees to cross mountains.
More land for sheep and cows. Had to cut trees to make road.
Space for sheep to help the
Industrial Revolution.
Indigenous People
Get free food from scraps Some times both groups fight,
of Explorers. hurt and kill each-other.
Settlers got more friendly
with the Aboriginals.

Red hands cave
Hands on the wall of
Red hands Cave
I think the 'crossing' of the Blue Mountains was very successful, except for some of the minor injuries and ineffective routes they took.
I think Blaxaland, Wentworth and Lawson were a very adventurous and 'fit for the job' party of explorers because of thier good nature and experiance.

Reflecting on the Impacts of the Crossing of the Blue Mountains
a) I think both an explorer called Wilson in 1798 and The Aboriginals would have crossed the Blue Mountains. I think it is The Aboriginals because the studies I have done at school have shown that The Aboriginals have been here for around 40,000 years. Also their bush craft skills are amazing. They could hunt a kangaroo with their eyes closed But I also think that Wilson crossed the Blue Mountains. The reason why is that in my history book it has a map of where lots of explorers explored and Wilson 1798 had gone the furthest but was also one of the longest time before 1813
b) Yes, because they had been there for more than 40,000 years. They have almost scaled every corner of the land and could lead you any where with a blind-fold on.
Were Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth really the first to cross the Blue Mountains?
a) The difference between the word commemoration and the word celebration is that commemoration means the action or fact of commemorating a dead person or past event. The meaning of celebration is the action of celebrating an important day or event.

b) Yes I do think we should celebrate or commemorate the crossing of the Blue Mountains because we commemorate basically all the other special events in history and this was a very special event in history, especially to Australia.

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