Royals hail breathtaking Australian mountains and say they will return

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge view the Three Sisters rock formation from Echo Point in the Blue Mountains, Katoomba. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 17, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Tour. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge view the Three Sisters rock formation from Echo Point in the Blue Mountains, Katoomba. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 17, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Tour. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are eager to return to Australia again having seen the breathatking views from one of the country's most visited beauty spot.

William described the breathtaking Three Sisters viewing point across the Blue Mountains as "a great place for a picnic" while Kate discussed bush walking and said they would come back. Source: PA

The royal couple spent the day touring the Blue Mountains region close to Sydney that suffered devastating bush fires last October and met families whose homes were burnt to the ground.

Before the Duke and Duchess arrived in the town of Winmalee to hear the story of survivors there was a minor incident involving two men, allegedly harassing well-wishers waiting for the royals to arrive, who were moved on by police.

A spokeswoman for New South Wales Police said: "At 1210 today police stopped and spoke to two men aged 37 and 21 who were allegedly harassing members of the crowd who were gathered at the corner of Single Ridge Road and Vista Road, Winmalee.

"The pair were moved on from the area prior to the motorcade coming past."

The mood lightened when the royal couple arrived at Echo Point, Katoomba, to see the famous Three Sisters rock formation and were greeted by around 3,000 well-wishers lining crash barriers.

William and Kate, who wore a Diane von Furstenburg wrap dress and wedges, were welcomed by cheers from the crowds and walked down to a platform to see the majestic views across the Blue Mountain range.

The Duke of Cambridge (centre) looks over the edge of a cliff as he and the Duchess of Cambridge visit the Narrow Neck Lookout and observes abseiling by the Mountain Youth Services group in the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba, west of Sydney. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 17, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Tour. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire
The Duke of Cambridge (centre) looks over the edge of a cliff as he and the Duchess of Cambridge visit the Narrow Neck Lookout and observes abseiling by the Mountain Youth Services group in the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba, west of Sydney. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 17, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Tour. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire


With the iconic Blue Mountains in the background the Duke and Duchess were greeted by Aboriginal elders representing the indigenous landowners of Echo Point.

The trio presented the Cambridges with a possum skin cloak for their baby son Prince George and the couple received a kangaroo coat for themselves.

William said: "That's fantastic thank you very much, he'll love that - very warm."

Elder Aunty Sharon Brown, chairwoman of the Gundungurra Tribal Council, explained that traditionally a baby would be given a possum cloak and for every significant milestones during its life, another pelt would be added to the garment.

The Duchess of Cambridge receives a flower from a girl as she meets locals during her visit to the Blue Mountains suburb of Winmalee, west of Sydney, during the eleventh day of their official tour to New Zealand and Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 17, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Tour. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge receives a flower from a girl as she meets locals during her visit to the Blue Mountains suburb of Winmalee, west of Sydney, during the eleventh day of their official tour to New Zealand and Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 17, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Tour. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire


The royal couple moved forward to look at the view which attracts more than three million visitors every year and were joined by senior figures from two tourist companies that run attractions in the area.

Anthea Hammon, joint managing director of Scenic World, which runs the visitor centre at the beauty spot, acted as the Duchess's guide while the Duke spoke to Randall Walker, chief executive of Blue Mountains Lithgow and Oberon Tourism.

The Blue Mountains, which start around 30 miles outside Sydney, are so called because of a blue haze that hangs over them, caused by light refracting off eucalyptus oil in the air.

From Echo Point visitors can see the Three Sisters and get a panoramic view of the mountains.

According to Aboriginal legend, three sisters called Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo fell in love with three brothers from a rival tribe.Unable to marry because of tribal law, the brothers decided to go into battle against the sisters' tribe to capture them by force.

A witch doctor is said to have turned the sisters to stone to save them from being harmed in the battle, but he was killed in the fighting and could not reverse the spell.

Before leaving the royal couple went on a short walkabout meeting the crowds who had been patiently waiting to meet them.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pose with Winmalee Girl Guides after planting a Summer Red Eucalyptus at Winmalee Guide Hall in Yellow Rock during the eleventh day of their official tour to New Zealand and Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 17, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Tour. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pose with Winmalee Girl Guides after planting a Summer Red Eucalyptus at Winmalee Guide Hall in Yellow Rock during the eleventh day of their official tour to New Zealand and Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 17, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Tour. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire


Sarah Barman, 22, said: "William came over and said 'what a great spot for a picnic'. He was so charming, he was lovely, I've been waiting three hours but it was worth it."

Ms Hammon said after speaking the Duchess: "She loved it, it's a pretty stunning day. She was amazed about how far you could see.

"I was talking to her a little bit about bush walking, she likes walking and there's lots of places to walk here in the Blue Mountains. She said she was keen to come back."

Mr Walker said about the Duke: "He was very impressed with the spectacular views and he was interested in the Aboriginal legend about it. He was surprised to learn it's the most visited regional site in Australia."



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