Blue Mountains, Australia, Historical

Info Blue Mountains History Plaza
Blue Mountains as a Sanatorium
3 Sisters, Blue Mountains, Australia.
Document published c1900. Some of its claims should not be taken too seriously!
Historic tourist document.


Original Text Comments





As a sanatorium the Blue Mountains come second to no other region in New South Wales; and because of the health-producing qualities of the various resorts hundreds of thousands flock there during the summer season, as much as for the natural beauties that are right at hand.

Absolute Purity

To quote one authority, mountain air has particular and special chemical and vital properties that make it conspicuous. One of its distinguishing features is its absolute purity. There is a perfect freedom from the organic impurities and foul emanations common to crowded cities.

Healthful & Invigorating

In addition to all that, mountain air contains a relatively large amount of ozone -- one of the most powerful disinfectants known -- and it follows that it is a great purifier of the air. Oxonized air is healthful and invigorating. The violet rays of the mountain sunlight, further, act chemically on the blood and improve its quality by increasing its red corpuscles. With most people mountain air acts as a general tonic and promotes the appetite. One doesn't require to be in any of the many excellent accommodation houses on the heights very long before both experiencing and observing the latter fact.

In the 1800's, Sydney's summer heat combined with the lack of sewerage facilities combined to create some very "foul emanations" which were incorrectly believed to carry all manner of diseases. Consequently, the Mountains became popular with the well-to-do as a place to build a summer residence. Sydney's first sewer was built in the 1850's, with the Bondi Outfall being built in 1889.

Slip, Slop, Slap!

Protect yourself from ultra-violet radiation!
Slip on a T-shirt, Slop on the suncream, Slap on a hat!

Better Sleep

But the mountaineer not only eats well -- the Board of Trade incidently, ought to fence the mountains off from the lower levels in reckoning up the cost of living -- but he generally sleeps like the proverbial top. The bracing air acts as a soporific. The rest, too, is much more refreshing than in other parts; six hours on the mountains is put down by medical authorities as good as eight on the coast or inland.

Us locals are not convinced that six hours sleep is enough!
Cheek-Tinting Air 

Doctors also tell us that mountain air possesses the remarkable property of promoting metabolism. Which, interpreted, means that it hastens the various changes that are continually taking place throughout the human system. It replaces the old, overworked, worn-out tissues with new stuff, and at the same time sets the functions more regularly to work, firms the muscles, strengthens the nerves, brightens up the mental powers, and puts a natural tint into the cheeks as distinctly as, but less spuriously than, the city girl's hard-worked rouge.

All these truths go to show that the Blue Mountains are a good place to be in, either for a holiday or permanently, and their wider realisation has become responsible for the increased popularity of the resorts as a whole.

The crowds flock to the Mountains in the summer -- with only a relative trickle of traffic in the winter. But that doesn't alter the fact that the highlands are just as healthful in June as in December. And they are not as severe as is popularly supposed, either. The higher resistance that the air and general surroundings promote more than balance the effects of the cold westerlies, or of snow and ice.

The medical wisdom of the day had invalids sitting on sanatorium verandahs on even the coldest of days. The "bracing" air (we would call it freezing!) was considered to help heal lung conditions.
Snow Capped Crags

Scenically, the Blue Mountains have a lot on the counter in the winter. Some of the most enchanting views that are to be had in any part of Australia are created at the many falls and rivulets and elevated points by the scintillating ice and spotless snow. The heavily mantled trees and shrubs, the frozen falls, and the snow-capped crags and peaks are a delightful change from the every-day -- though beautiful in itself -- scenery around any of the resorts.

The Mountains as a winter resort, will undoubtedly become more popular when the facts are given their proper emphasis.

Warm clothing and strong boots should be a portion of your equipment at any time of the year.

Since the filling of Lake Burragorang in the early 1960's, the climate has become more mild. Snow is now a special event, and confined to the higher areas.

"Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves Illustrated Tourist Guide" is held in the local history archives of the Blue Mountains City Library. Their assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

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