Katoomba is the largest and best known
village in the Blue
Mountains. Katoomba is located on the edge of
the Murchison Valley, about 100km west of Sydney.
Katoomba's town centre is brimming with cafes tea
rooms and guest houses. It has something for everyone
including restaurants, trendy cafes, shopping, antiques
and collectables whilst being surrounded by natural
The area became extremely popular with
the opening of a railway station in 1876. In the
first half of the 20th century Katoomba was a haven
for Sydney society and international guests including
royalty with grand hotels such as the Carrington
and the famous Paragon Cafe. Katoomba became know
as the honeymoon capital of Australia
Recently Katoomba has been undergoing
extensive restoration rejuvenating its cosmopolitan
For most people Katoomba is considered
the heart of the Blue Mountains offering breathtaking
views of the famous 3 sisters and over the Megalong
and Jamieson Valleys
The Three Sisters located at Echo Point
are considered one of the icon of Australia's nature
beauty. Many bush walks start here, including the
Three Sisters Walk (1km), Giant Stairway, Prince
Henry Cliff Walk (2 km one way), the Rainforest Walk/Furber
Steps/Scenic Railway Circuit Walk (2 km, medium difficulty),
and the mostly level Echo Point/Prince Henry Cliff
Walk/Gordon Falls Walk (5 km, one way) and many others.
Bush walking maps are available from the Tourism
Information Centre which is also located at Echo
The character of the Three Sisters
changes throughout the day as the sunlight brings
out the magnificent colours. At night they are floodlit
providing a stunning view set against the black mountain
1879 J.B. North opened the Katoomba
Coal Mine. The coal was removed from the side of
the mountain near Orphan Rock using a cable car to
bring the coal to the top. The famous Scenic Railway
now operates in the original cutting in the mountain
side providing an exhilarating ride as it plummets
from the mountain plateau to the valley floor. The
Scenic Railway is the steepest railway incline in
Further along the Great Western Highway
to the west of Katoomba is the famous Explorers Tree.
The tree has the initials of the famous explorers
Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson who were the first
to cross the Blue Mountain in 1813.
Places to visit
The 3 Sisters and Echo
A visit to Katoomba would be incomplete without visiting the Three Sister at
Echo Point. The views of the Blue Mountains are superb from this location including
the Three Sisters, Mount Solitary, the Ruined Castle and the vast Jamison Valley.
An easy 1km return walk to the Three Sisters provides outstanding views. The
walk is suitable for wheelchairs. After dark the 3 sisters are floodlit. It
is worth a special trip just to see this magnificent sight.
The Carrington Hotel
Formerly known as the Great Western Hotel it was renamed after Lord Carrington
who was a frequent guest. The Carrington was extensively renovated and restored
to its former glory, opening its doors to the public again in 1998
The Paragon Cafe
Located on Katoomba Street The Paragon Cafe, is listed by the National Trust.
It has a superb 1930's Art Deco interior. Try the Paragon chocolates with
a cup of fine coffee.
Scenic Skyway and Railway
The Scenic Skyway crosses the Jamison Valley. Not for the faint-hearted this
aerial cable car floats some 275 metres above the valley floor and offers
views of the Katoomba Falls and Orphan Rock. The Skyway, was completed in
1958 and was the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Said to be
the steepest incline railway in the world the Scenic Railway descend 230
metres into the Jamison Valley via a cable car. At the bottom a 300 metre,
wooden boardwalk which extends into the rainforest and is suitable to wheelchairs
Narrow Neck Lookout offers a different view of the mountains and is the start
of the difficult 8 km return bush walk to the Ruined Castle via the Golden
The giant Edge Movie Cinema has one of the largest cinema screens in the southern
hemisphere measuring six stories high. It features its own spectacular Blue
Mountains Film ‘The Edge’ which takes you beyond the Three Sisters
to explore the rainforests, valleys, rivers and gorges of the World Heritage
listed Blue Mountains. In the evening, the cinema also screens the latest
feature films in a much larger format than in regular cinemas.
The Cliff Drive winds around the edges of the cliffs to Katoomba, and the Three
Sisters. The views across the Megalong and Jamison valleys, the Three Sisters,
the Ruined Castle and Mount Solitary are breath taking.
The spring air is fresh and crisp with
the average temperature around 15 degrees Celsius.
Summer brings warm days with the occasional
cool night. The temperature in the mountains ranges
from cool and damp on the forest floors to hot and
dry on the plateaus. The summer temperature averages
Autumn is a wonderful time in the
Blue Mountains with a magnificent display of autumn
During winter the region receives
the occasional snowfall turning it into a magical
winter playground. The temperature at night can drop
as low as -8 degrees Celsius and can rise to a maximum
of 18 degrees during the day. The average temperature
for winter is 10 degrees.
Mountain weather can be unpredictable
and anyone hiking through this area should be prepared
for all conditions as you can experience quite rapid
changes in weather regardless of the season.
From Sydney the Blue Mountains can be approached
- Via Great Western Highway (M4). This is the
most direct and it is only a 90 minute drive from
Sydney to the centre of the Blue Mountains region.
- Via the Bells Line of Road through Windsor and
Richmond. This road was named after the explorer
Archibald Bell, who navigated the route in 1823.
Trains to the Blue Mountains depart Sydney's
Central Station hourly. The trip from Sydney to Katoomba
takes approximately 2 hours. Trains to Central station
can be accessed directly from Sydney airport.
Several coach companies offer services to the Blue Mountains. There are also
shuttle services available from Sydney Airport and the Sydney Metropolitan
Area to and from all Blue Mountains accommodation.
Katoomba offers a wide range of accommodation
types including luxurious hotel and spa resorts,
charming cosy guesthouses, cottages, bed and breakfasts,
Tourism Blue Mountains http://www.bluemountainstourism.org.au
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