Katoomba Scenic railway, John Baker / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 7923

Originally named Crushers but renamed a year later, Katoomba stands at an elevation of 1017 metres and is the region's principal tourist destination. Blue Mountains National Park lies to the north and south of town. The explanation for why these mountains look blue lies in the eucalyptus trees covering them; they disperse eucalyptus oil into the atmosphere, highlighting the sun's rays of blue light.

Visitor Information

Echo Point Rd; 1300 653 408


Nearby national parks

  • Blue Mountains National Park

    Blue Mountains National Park presents an astounding and unique landscape to its millions of visitors. The terrain ripples and folds, a world...more

  • Kanangra–Boyd National Park

    Kanangra–Boyd National Park’s majestic landscape of wild rivers and waterfalls, mountainous terrain and deep gorges is rimmed by...more

  • Wollemi National Park

    Wollemi National Park, the second largest national park in the state and its largest wilderness area, is a primeval landscape of precipitous...more

Nearby towns

  • Blackheath

    This pretty resort town, the highest in the Blue Mountains, has breathtaking views. Known for its guesthouses, gardens and bushwalks,...more

  • Glenbrook

    Glenbrook is a picturesque village on the edge of the Blue Mountains. It was originally known as Watertank because it was used for the...more

  • Lithgow

    Lithgow promotes itself as being 'surrounded by nature'. Easy access to several of the state's finest national parks and the city's charm...more

In Town

The Edge Cinema: daily screenings of The Edge (images of Blue Mountains) on a 6-storey screen; Great Western Hwy (access through Civic Pl); programs (02) 4782 8900.

The Carrington Hotel: Katoomba's first hotel; Katoomba St.


Leura Considered the most urbane and sophisticated village in the Blue Mountains, Leura has a beautiful tree-lined main street with impressive gardens, specialty shops, galleries and restaurants. Everglades Gardens (Everglades Ave) is a celebrated 1930s garden with a gallery devoted to its creator, Paul Sorensen. Leuralla (Olympian Pde) is a historic Art Deco mansion with a major collection of toys, dolls, trains and railway memorabilia. There are spectacular mountain views from Sublime Pt and Cliff Dr. The Leura Gardens Festival is held in Oct. Lyrebird Dell, near Leura, is an Aboriginal campsite estimated to be 12 000 years old. Relics can be found throughout the area, including rock engravings, axe-grinding grooves and cave paintings. All Aboriginal sites, discovered or undiscovered, are protected and are not to be disturbed by visitors. 3 km E.

Blue Mountains National Park Echo Pt is the best place to view the Three Sisters, which are floodlit at night. Aboriginal Dreamtime legend tells of 3 beautiful sisters, Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo, who lived in the Jamison Valley with the Katoomba people. The girls fell in love with 3 brothers from the Nepean people, but tribal law forbade their marriages. The brothers would not accept this and attempted to capture the sisters, causing a major battle. A witchdoctor from the Katoomba people feared that the girls were in danger, so he turned them to stone to protect them, intending to return them to their true forms when the battle was over. This was not to be, however, as the witchdoctor was killed in battle and the 3 sisters, at 922 m, 918 m and 906 m high, remain trapped as a magnificent rock formation. Nearby Orphan Rock is thought to be the witchdoctor. Also at Echo Pt is the Giant Stairway: 800 steps leading to the valley floor. Near Wentworth Falls, 7 km E , is an eco-designed cafe with great views, and the Valley of the Waters picnic area. For other parts of the park see Blackheath and Glenbrook.

Blue Mountains Scenic World Scenic World takes in some of the best scenery in the national park. Read More

Explorers Tree: blackbutt tree reportedly carved with initials of Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson (there is some question about whether this was done by the explorers or by early tourism operators); west of town, off hwy.

Hazelbrook: small village with Selwood Science and Puzzles featuring a puzzle room, science kits, bookshop and local artwork. Hazelbrook hosts Regatta Day in Feb on Wentworth Falls Lake; 17 km  E.

Fishing spots near town

Lithgow to Mudgee 39 km

Early settlers following in the footsteps of Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson took three weeks of hard trudging to cross the majestic Blue Mountains. These days the drive from the Penrith plains in western Sydney takes... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Picnicking in the Blue Mountains 22 km

Take a picnic up to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in Mount Tomah at any time of year and you will not be disappointed. At 1000 metres above sea level, it is usually cool in summer, brimming with flowers in spring,... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club 44 km

As a globetrotting professional golfer of the 1970s and ’80s, Graham Marsh won more than 60 titles across five continents. The key to his success was his approach to the game. Every shot was thoughtfully... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

The Conservation Hut Cafe

This award-winning establishment resembles anything but a ‘hut’. The original meeting place of conservationists has given way to a relaxed cafe nestled in the World Heritage–listed Blue Mountains... Find out more

Darley’s Restaurant

Darley’s is one of the jewels in the Lilianfels crown, a country manor and five-star Orient Express hotel surrounded by perfectly groomed gardens set high in the mountains. Not content to trade on the spectacular... Find out more


The philosophy is simple at Echoes – it’s all about the food and location, location, location. Boasting a view that has to be seen to be believed (right on the edge of the Jamieson Valley at Echo Point), this... Find out more

Hominy Bakery

Stop in at Hominy Bakery for the best bread in the Blue Mountains – its signature loaf is the crusty sourdough. The recipe for the starter dough has been in circulation for over two decades. You will find Hominy bread at... Find out more

The Rooster

Find out more


This bustling Italian restaurant adds a dash of city style to the relaxed mountain town of Wentworth Falls. It delivers fantastic food with informal European charm, so don’t worry about spilling any of that... Find out more

Silks Brasserie

It’s like taking a trip to Europe when you step through the door of this gorgeous local darling. From the distinctive tiled floor to the Parisian bar, elegance emanates from the walls of this little brasserie, and... Find out more


In a heritage-listed weatherboard cottage, this award-winning, tranquil restaurant enjoys a prime spot on scenic Cliff Drive, with uninterrupted vistas of the Jamison Valley, all the way to the Southern Highlands. The... Find out more

Campsites around town

Walk-in camping 8 km

Self-sufficient backpack walkers can camp in the national park to the south of the Great Western Hwy. Camping is not permitted within 200 m of any public access road, visitor facility or constructed walking track.... Find out more

Old Ford Reserve camping area (walk-in camping) 8 km

This is a flat, grassed camping area on Megalong Creek, about 500 m south of the Six Foot Track crossing with Megalong Rd. It’s a little more than 8 km from the trackhead. There are toilets here, as well as good... Find out more

Acacia Flat camping area (walk-in camping) 12 km

This is a simply gorgeous bush camping area in Blue Gum Forest in Grose Valley. The modern conservation movement is reputed to have been born in this forest, and after a night spent sleeping beneath the majestic blue... Find out more

Coxs River camping area (walk-in camping) 13 km

At 15.5 km from the trackhead, you need to carry in drinking water to this walk-in campsite; gas/fuel stove preferred. This site is in a pleasant clearing above Coxs River. There is a swing bridge giving access to... Find out more

Perrys Lookdown camping area 13 km

Perrys Lookdown campground has fabulous views of the Grose Valley and Mt Banks. Campers can only stay 1 night and no wood fires are permitted. It’s 9 km from Blackheath via Hat Hill Rd, and there’s a short... Find out more

Ingar Campground 15 km

At Ingar Campground you can swim or paddle in the dam on Ingar Creek, or strike out on a walking or mountain-biking track. From Wentworth Falls, take Tableland Rd and turn onto Queen Elizabeth Dr then Ingar Fire Trail.... Find out more

Alum Creek camping area (walk-in camping) 17 km

This walk-in site is 22 km from the trackhead. Carry drinking water, and a gas/fuel stove is preferred.... Find out more

Murphys Glen Campground 18 km

Murphys Glen Campground is tucked away among turpentine, angophora and eucalypt, 6 km south of Woodford via Bedford Rd off Railway Pde. Note that this is 4WD access only. It’s a short walk from the carpark to the... Find out more

Burra Korain Flat camping area (walk-in camping) 18 km

This is a walk-in bush camping site for self-sufficient walkers, reached from the Victoria Falls Lookout. It’s a strenuous 6 km, 5 hr return trip, so you may as well take a tent with you and savour the experience.... Find out more

Lockyers Trackhead camping area (walk-in camping) 21 km

If you’re a walker with a penchant for European history, you can follow part of the original route across the Blue Mountains on the Lawsons Long Alley and Lockyers Loop Rd (4 hr, 11 km return), setting out from... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Katoomba Falls Caravan Park 2 km

Located in a quiet off-highway location, this neat well-appointed park is very close to Katoomba’s cable car and scenic railway. It is an ideal park for a few days stay to explore the area. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Blackheath Glen Caravan Park 9 km

In the heart of the Blue Mountains, this park is situated in a pretty parkland setting opposite the Rhododendron Gardens, and within walking distance of the town centre and Govetts Leap lookout. There are good basic... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town


Cloudlands, originally built for the Swiss consul, is a remarkable lodge crafted from jarrah and redwood timbers. In the beautifully terraced gardens a writers’ retreat, modelled on the main house, was erected in... Find out more

Echoes Boutique Hotel

Echoes Boutique Hotel is perched on the edge of the Jamison Valley and offers uninterrupted panoramic views of Blue Mountains National Park. Each of the 14 guest rooms is the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. There... Find out more

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa

Elegant, timeless and luxurious, Lilianfels is a spectacular mountain haven. Originally a 19th-century ex-governor’s retreat, it is now a European-style country guesthouse set on landscaped English-style gardens... Find out more

Bunjaree Cottages

Bunjaree Cottages offers four well-appointed cottages set amid secluded bushland in the Blue Mountains. Families will love the special ‘kids’ cottage’ on-site, designed like a giant cubby house with... Find out more

Whispering Pines

Whispering Pines is a heritage-listed cottage (c. 1898) surrounded by gardens, with majestic oaks, cedars, dogwoods and pines. It has two deluxe suites: the Charles Darwin, which has its own verandah with stunning views... Find out more


Located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, Kooyong is a self-contained 1890s homestead with three bedrooms. Every corner of the retreat has been lavishly furnished to complement the high ceilings and polished floorboards,... Find out more

Old Leura Dairy

This is an award-winning ecotourism retreat comprising six buildings, which have all been renovated using recycled materials (the communal spa is an old milk vat). Each self-contained building is decorated in rustic,... Find out more

The Falls

The creators of The Falls mountain retreat and luxury apartments have revolutionised the concept of mountain accommodation with these cutting-edge, self-contained studios, loft studios, and one- and two-bedroom... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Old Leura Dairy 2 km

This creative collection of six buildings, which can sleep up to 30 people in various combinations, has been renovated and fitted out with all manner of recycled bits and bobs. There are old oven doors, rusted corrugated... Find out more

Jemby-Rinjah Eco Lodge, Blackheath 7 km

One of the first working examples of large-scale sustainable tourism to exist in Australia, Jemby-Rinjah has advanced eco-accreditation, and one of the most extensive systems of composting toilets in the country. Ten... Find out more

Bunjaree Cottages, Wentworth Falls 7 km

Great for families, Bunjaree Cottages have been designed to make a small environmental footprint, with full solar power and earth-brick insulation. One is built with recycled car tyres and mud, providing even better... Find out more

Kanimbla View, Blackheath 8 km

Solar-powered, the two- and three-bedroom cottages here are surprisingly large inside. They are partially constructed from recycled and salvaged timbers, have composting toilets and a great view of the Kanimbla Valley... Find out more

Woolshed Cabins, near Blackheath 9 km

Eleven kilometres from Blackheath and surrounded by a glorious natural amphitheatre of towering sandstone walls, the Woolshed Cabins sit on 100 hectares of cleared farmland (a working cattle farm) in the Kanimbla Valley,... Find out more

Wollemi Wilderness Retreat, Bilpin 25 km

These unusual self-contained cabins of various sizes feature passive solar design and are mainly constructed from recycled and salvaged materials. Although not high-class, they all have a spa and are in isolated bush... Find out more

Dargan Springs Mountain Lodge, Clarence 26 km

At the soft end of ecotourism, this pleasant lodge and wellness retreat has advanced eco-certification. It is surrounded by a mountain ash forest dotted with waratahs, the habitat of wombats and wallabies. With a maximum... Find out more

Jenolan Cabins 32 km

These basic but cosy self-contained cabins, 6 kilometres up the steep hill past Jenolan Caves, are earth-sheltered for climate control and have composting toilets and rainwater. There are great views over the mountains,... Find out more

Clonturkle Sanctuary 53 km

Join the experiment in sustainable living and tourism at Clonturkle Earth Hamlet and Forest Sanctuary. Located at Yetholme, there are four cabins set on 240 hectares of mostly eucalypt forest, with 15 kilometres of... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Lake Wallace park area 40 km

T/O 51km E of Bathurst (L) or 11km W of Lithgow (R)

Located 2km north of the highway on the shores of the lake.

Sunny Corner camping area 53 km

T/O 34km E of Bathurst (L) or 28km W of Lithgow (R)

Secluded area surrounded by trees 7km north of the highway.

What's on around town

Blue Mountains Festival of Folk, Roots and Blues: Mar.

Six Foot Track Festival: Mar.

Winter Magic Festival: June.

Yulefest: throughout region; June–Aug.

Spring Gardens Festival: throughout region; Sept–Nov.

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