Aboriginal legends in Australia are plentiful and rich, and if you are traveling to New South Wales to go on a Blue Mountain day tour or to take in Sydney, there are some legends you simply must explore. One of the most popular and debated legends is that of the Three Sisters. Where did these rock formations come from and what is behind their creation? Aboriginal legend has two common theories, according to the Blue Mountains website.
The Legend of the Three Sisters and Their Lovers
The most agreed upon story of how the unusual rock formations came to be stems from three sisters of the local Katoomba tribe: Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo. They were said to reside in the Jamison Valley with the Katoomba tribe long ago when they each fell in love with members of the neighboring Nepean tribe. Unfortunately, their tribe’s laws forbade the union of the sisters and the men from the Nepean tribe, and despite their love they could not be together.
It is said that the men refused to accept this truth, so they attempted to take the sisters away from their tribe by force, launching a major battle between the Katoomba and Nepean tribes. The battle put the lives of the three sisters in danger, and so the witchdoctor of the Katoomba tribe decided to transform the young ladies into stone in order to protect them from the fight. The witchdoctor had every intention of reversing the spell once the battle was over, but he was killed in the fight and no one else could change them back. This left the sisters to remain as stone for eternity, always serving as a reminder of this battle from long ago.
A Father’s Love
Another legend states that the three sisters and their father, Tyawan, were on the look for food and this required they venture past a large hole that was home to a terrifying Bunyip (a creature in Aboriginal mythology). The father left his daughters on an overlooking cliff so that they were not in danger of being attacked by the Bunyip, but while they were waiting one of the sisters became startled when she saw a centipede. She threw a rock at the centipede which then went flying down into the valley, this drew attention from and angered the Bunyip. He then split open the rocks behind the sisters, nearly sending them to their death. As the Bunyip approached them, their father, who was a witchdoctor, transformed them into stone with a magical bone. Tyawan then used the bone to transform himself into a Lyre Bird. When he returned later to retrieve the magic bone and return himself and his daughters to their original forms he could not find it. It is said while overlooking the Three Sisters, you can still hear the Lyre Bird in search for his magical bone.
Regardless of which legend you believe, while on your Blue Mountain day tour you simply must experience the majesty that is the Three Sisters rock formation.