In the midst of the Upper Blue Mountains is a quiet, progressive town with a touch of cosmopolitan traits. This town, approximately 108 km to the west of Sydney, is Katoomba, home of the Magic Winter Festival and the access point to the renowned Three Sisters of the Blue Mountains.
Katoomba which is nestled in the heart of the Great Dividing Range boasts of several attractions. This is one of the main reasons why this quirky town is a favourite amongst tourists and locals especially during the weekend. Its clandestine mountain range, covered with centuries-old and high arching trees as well as a plethora of colourful flora and fauna, distinguishes it as a relaxing destination.
Besides natural wonders, this serene town of Katoomba is abundant with numerous memorabilia shops and cafes that line the bustling streets from across the station. Most of these shops cater to every local and foreign tourist, selling various crafts made from wood and fibre. Around the town centre are eccentric but stylish cafes and restaurants, offering an array of gastronomic and mouth-watering dishes. Visitors to the area will definitely salivate with all the different options one can have, which range from the west to the east.
Walking along the main road provides an enviable view for the wanderer who wanted to have a better time to see up close and personal several old architectural wonders. Most of these were built in the late 1800s. Notable amongst them is the Carrington Hotel which is heritage listed. This historical hotel would not be missed as its grand and sophisticated façade faces Katoomba Street. Along the main street, three churches can be seen – the Uniting Church, St. Hilda’s Anglican Church and St. Canice’s Catholic Church, all of which have their own unique architectural qualities.
Another striking feature of the main street is the Katoomba Town Clock. This clock is centuries old, providing voyagers a timeless piece of a bygone era.
In the outskirts of the town centre are old federation houses and modern apartments which were surrounded with lush and wide gardens. Many of them are mesmerizing with elegant and attractive front yards, providing an environment of perfect retirement.
With its solitude scenery, Katoomba is a perfect place for vacationers who either wanted to unwind after a weeklong work from the busy haven of the metropolis or, gallivant along the natural reserves, gaining relief from its ecological frontiers. Needless to say, Katoomba embodies a natural haven for people of all sorts and ages.
How To Get There
The most accessible way to get to Katoomba is via the CityRail’s Blue Mountains Line. From Central Station in Sydney, it is approximately 2 hours.
Other means is through organised bus tours and via a private transport through the Great Western Highway and M4.
Where To Stay
Since Katoomba is one of NSW’s iconic tourist spots, numerous hotels and hostels are available. Backpacker accommodation is also available in the area.
Fast Facts of Katoomba
- Its name is derived from the Aboriginal term, Kedumba or Katta-toon-bah, which means ‘water coming over the hill’.
- Based on the 2011 Australian Census, its total population is around 8000 with predominant Anglo-Saxon heritage.
- Katoomba is the administrative seat of the Blue Mountains City Council.