About 150 million years ago the whole of Eastern Australia was uplifted creating the steep escarpments of the Blue Mountains and resulting in the opening of the Tasman and Coral seas. Volcanic intrusions during this Late Triassic to Jurassic period also created peaks such as Mount Jellore and Mount Flora. (an intrusion is an underground seepage of Magma as opposed to an "extrusion" or "volcano"). The Jellore intrusion squeezed through the now eroded Hawkesbury sandstone bed comprised of sand earlier washed down from Broken Hill.
The prominent Trachyte/Microsyenite peak of Mt Jellore is the same material as was quarried from nearby Mt Gibraltar at Mittagong which can be seen as the blueish hard blocks curbing the streets of Sydney's CBD.
The first white visitors were Wilson and Collins in 1798. They were sent to explore the Southern extent of the then impassable Blue Mountains. Ex-convict Wilson who had for many years lived with the Aboriginals was chosen for this task for his intreped endurance and bush knowledge.
In 1828, Deputy Surveyor General Mitchell ascended Mt Jellore to triangulate the northern peak of Mt Warrawalong in order to map the whole Sydney basin from the South. His convict labourers spent 4 days clearing the summit except for 7 trees. On one he carved his name and nailed a copper George IV penny. He could clearly see the South Head lighthouse and the working windmills of Sydney as we can now observe the castellated shapes of the CBD, North Sydney and Chatswood on a clear day.
At the base of Jellore he records finding Aboriginal campsites near his own. These huts made of bark flattened and joined like the roof of a house to cover a square metre. The chief of this Nattai tribe Moyengully, became one of his earliest Aboriginal friends.
The surrounding reserves still contain numerous Nattai Aboriginal sites, including axe grinding grooves, engravings, cave art, shelter caves, open camps and surface artefact scatter sites. It is likely that many more sites have yet to be recorded.
Direct access to Mt Jellore is difficult but it occupies a large part of my north easterly view beyond a gorge that separates me. The sun rising from, and setting against it, gives me many lovely photographic opportunities.