On this day in 1813, Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth left Blaxland’s farm at South Creek (near the modern-day suburb of St Marys in western Sydney) to search for a route across the Blue Mountains. They completed the crossing in 21 days, using the ridges to find a path across the mountains. It is the first known crossing of the Blue Mountains by the European settlers.
Local Aboriginal people knew at least two crossings, however for 25 years after the establishment of the colony the European settlers had been unable to find a way across the mountains. The discovery of the route was very significant for the fledgling colony, as it allowed the land west of the mountains to be used for farming.
The State Library of NSW has an extensive collection of original manuscripts, pictures, maps and books about European exploration of Australia in general, and about the 1813 crossing of the Blue Mountains in particular.
Find more resources on our website.