Postcards from Australia · Research

The Three Sisters & Their Legend.

The setting for some of my stories is based within the Blue Mountains, a National Park, west of Sydney.  I lived there for a number of years with my young family before moving to our current location in the country.  The Australian bush is vast and home to many mysteries, making it an ideal setting for stories.

The Three Sisters are a favourite tourist destination within the Blue Mountains, a unique rock formation, at Echo Point, Katoomba.  People have been known to climb them, but due to their cultural significance to Aborigines, some restrictions have taken place.  Women would give birth in a cave near Echo Point while men would watch the third sister for a sign that the birth had occurred.  It is believed that this third sister is sacred.

When I was a child, I loved reading the story of The Three Sisters.  My copy was a Little Golden Book, which I still have to this day.  This week, I thought I’d share with you this legend.  It is a story of family, love, loss, magic and monsters.

Once, a wise medicine man named Tyawan, was good at imitating the lyre bird and it was rumoured that he could change himself into one if he wanted by using his magic shin-bone.  He had three daughters, named Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo.

One day as he left the girls alone while he hunted, a rock fell over a cliff, waking a bunyip from his 100 year sleep.   Seeing the girls, the bunyip went after them.  Tyawan arrived back in time to point his magic shin-bone at the girls and turned them into stone.  The bunyip chased Tyawan, who turned himself into a lyre-bird, but in his efforts to get away, his magic shin-bone became lost.

The bunyip returned to his cave, but to this day, Tyawan continues to search for his magic shin-bone to turn himself and his three daughters into human form once again.

What was your favourite book to read when you were a child? Do you have a favourite legend? Have you ever visited a place that you only ever read about?

Image of the Three Sisters, Katoomba by Debbie Johansson