Burning Mountain at Wingen has been burning for centuries, first discovered in the 1800s explorers thought it was a volcano because it was constantly smouldering.
National Parks and Wildlife Service say it is actually a natural combusting coal seam which has been smouldering under the surface of the earth for an estimated 5500 years.
The unique coal seam is within Burning Mountain Nature Reserve near Murrurundi and Scone. The Aboriginals thought it was the “fiery tears of a woman long since turned to stone by Biami, the sky god”.
A geologist named Reverend Charles Wilton examined Burning Mountain in 1829.
Ros wrote that geological studies had shown that Burning Mountain was made of “marine and coal-bearing sediments dating back to the early Permian period (around 300 million years ago)”.
The first white person to examine the phenomenon was a settler who saw the smoke while shooting in the mountains.
The Aboriginals told him they didn’t start the fire, but it had been “burning for an unknown number of moons”.
Two explorers went on a four-month expedition from Sydney to visit the site. They observed the fire, the sulphurous vapours, the hot ground, the burnt stumps, the bituminous coal-like layers in the fractured rocks, but found no sign of eruption and no lava.