Blaxland



Blaxland - the beautiful city within a city. Well, not quite. The town has a population of 7451 according to the 2016 census, but it is part of the Blue Mountains City Council area, which also makes it a part of the Blue Mountains World Heritage region. In other words we, the residents, are supposed to be famous.

It is, though, an amazing area topographically. When Europeans arrived in New South Wales and began to colonise it (it wasn't called NSW in those days) they slowly but surely expanded. Eventually the call of adventure, exploration and the pressing need for cultivatable land resulted in many doomed attempts to cross the Blue Mountains, which were blocking the path to the inland. It took decades to finally find a route, decades during which the penal colony, which Sydney was, suffered much due to drought and the over-all non-European climate.

Eventually three men, supported by convicts, found a way through. Instead of following creeks and rivers, which at every turn finished in waterfalls and dead-ends, they followed the ridges. Despite making mistakes and following yet another ridge which ended in a cliff, they finally arrived at a spot close to what is now called Mount York. Those three men were William Charles Wentworth, Gregory Blaxland and William Lawson. Each of them now have townships named after them - Wentworth Falls, Blaxland and Lawson.

Blaxland is in what is generally referred to as 'The Lower Blue Mountains' and, in this station's case, stands 240 metres above sea level. The site administrator's son, who lives in the 'Upper Blue Mountains', has a weather site which is almost exactly 1000 metres above sea level, but that's 20-odd kilometres to the west.

Others will disagree with this, but this site considers itself to be close to 65 Km from Sydney and a wee bit farther from the coast. Those 'others' seem to think it's a kilometre or two less than 60 Km.

A penalty for living in Blaxland, as in many places in Australia, is the danger of bushfires. We, as residents, are surrounded by millions upon millions of 'Gum' trees - Eucalypti. The main highway from Sydney to the west is called The Great Western Highway except where it isn't. The path across the mountains passes through many small towns, some of them almost grown into one, with small spurs off to each side when the terrain permits. In some ways Blaxland is part of suburbia but in others it has the feel of a country town. One thing that can be said is that it's a nice place to live.

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