June 27, 2013 – The pioneering exploration efforts of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth have been commemorated 200 years since their journey across the Blue Mountains ended on the latest collectible silver coin from the Royal Australian Mint.
The Three Sisters, Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia. JJ Harrison / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en.
The endeavors undertaken by this exploration party initially resulted in the rapid expansion of grazing farmland which was desperately needed at the time. This led to the boom industries of wool and gold, and the establishment of new towns throughout western New South Wales.
“Commemorating the bicentenary of the crossing of the Blue Mountains shows what the pioneering Australian spirit could achieve, and how far Australia has come in such a short time,” said The Hon Bernie Ripoll MP, Parliamentary Secretary to The Treasurer.
“It is amazing to think that this special coin was produced in a part of Australia that hadn’t even been settled 200 years ago, and that the theme it is commemorating helped that come about.”
The journey undertaken by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth took 21 days through the thick bush and unforgiving terrain that Australia’s Blue Mountains are famous for. Navigating via ridgelines rather than waterways, and undertaking to complete all initial exploration by foot, were the key factors to success where other European settlers had failed before them.
The silver proof coin design depicts the three explorers on their journey, as well as a stylized representation of the route they took.
“The exploring party found what they were looking for on the twenty-first day of their journey, a vast expanse of forest and grassland that would allow the rapidly expanding colony to grow,” said Dr John Blaxland, historian at the Australian National University and one of Gregory Blaxland’s great-great-great grandsons.
“I am sure that I’m not alone in being grateful that this discovery has allowed Australia to flourish much longer than my ancestor’s predicted thirty years.”
For more information on this coins please visit the website of The Royal Australian Mint.
Here you can watch a short documentary on the Blue Mountains.
This is the official website of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
If you believe you and your family may have origins in the Blue Mountains, you should contact the Blue Mountains Family History Society.