Gregory Blaxland was born in England in 1778. He came with his family to Sydney in 1806 as a free settler. He had been a farmer in England and soon he owned large areas of farming land in the settlement. He wanted to find good grazing land for his sheep and cattle. After exploring the Warragamba River in 1810, Blaxland thought he could cross the Blue Mountains.
Blaxland was joined by William Lawson and William Wentworth. William Lawson was born in England in 1774, and came to Sydney in 1800 as a soldier. William Wentworth was born in 1790 on a ship sailing to Norfolk Island, where his father was in charge of convicts. ln 1812 Wentworth was given land on the Nepean River. Here he grazed cattle.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who was in charge of the settlement, believed that the land around the settlement should be used to grow food. He did not agree with land owners like Blaxland using the land for pasture, as large areas were needed to graze cattle and sheep. The Governor's written permission was needed before anyone could travel west of the Nepean River. In 1813 Blaxland visited Governor Macquarie and was given permission to attempt a crossing of the mountains.