On the left of the main western highway from Sydney, just beyond Katoomba, is the Explorers' Tree, one of the trees said by some to have been marked by Gregory Blaxland during his famous exploration of the passage over the Blue Mountains. Undeterred by Governor King's conclusion that the mountains were impassable, and that further efforts to master them would be "as chimerical as useless", Blaxland determined to test the theory that the way to cross the mountains was not to follow a valley but to climb to the top of a ridge and trace it westwards. Accompanied by Lieutenant Lawson and William Charles Wentworth and four servants, he set out in May, 1813, from his farm at South Creek, and, cutting his way through heavily timbered country, succeeded in opening up a passage towards the western plains.
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