Katoomba

Location: Blue Mountains
Katoomba is the principal tourist destination in the Blue Mountains, offering breathtaking vistas and a wide variety of accommodation. It is the largest settlement in the Mountains and is also the administrative centre for the City of the Blue Mountains. Totally geared for tourism, Katoomba is the central attraction in the mountains.

Katoomba is the largest town in the Blue Mountains and has become a hub for visitor activities in the area. It is the place where most tours of the central Mountains area are based. You can admire deep valleys, sandstone plateaus, waterfalls and native animals from the many walking trails and lookouts near Katoomba.

Location: 106 km west of Sydney, 1017 metres above sea level.

Visitor Centre, Katoomba: Echo Point. Ph. 1300 653 408

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Lookouts


Echo Point: Any visit to Katoomba should start at Echo Point, which is located at the end of Echo Point Road (an extension of Lurline St). Not only does it offer superb views but the Blue Mountains Tourist Centre on the site will provide you with all the maps and information you can possibly require. This extraordinary vantage point offers exceptional views of the Three Sisters, Mount Solitary, the Ruined Castle and the vast Jamison Valley. A tourist bus operates throughout the day from Katoomba railway station to Echo Point. An easy 1-km return walk to the Three Sisters provides outstanding views and is wheelchair-friendly.



Cahill's Lookout: Further west beyond the Scenic Railway, along Cliff Drive, is Cahill's Lookout which offers outstanding views west along the Megalong Valley. An easy 500-metre return walk traverses the area. The site is signposted from Cliff Drive.
Waterfalls

Bonnie Doon Falls: along Pulpit Hll Road (by the explorers tree) is a turnoff on the left into the unsealed Nellies Glen Road. On the eastern side of this road are Bonnie Doon Falls. At the point where Bonnie Doon Falls Road becomes bitumen the precipitous 42-km Six Foot Walking Track starts.



Cliff Drive and Leura Cascades: back in Katoomba, Cliff Drive also heads east along the cliffline to Leura. This road is a highlight of any visit to the area. The views across the Megalong and Jamison valleys, the different angles on the Three Sisters, the Ruined Castle and Mount Solitary, the variety of excellent picnic spots and the range of lookouts make this a must for anyone wanting to experience the full beauty of the area. One of the highlights of Cliff Drive is Leura Cascades. There is a beautiful picnic area on Chelmsford Drive (which runs off Cliff Drive) with a 3-km return walk leading to Leura Cascades, Leura Falls and on into the Leura Forest.

Minnie Ha-Ha Falls: located in a reserve in North Katoomba at the end of Minnie Ha Ha Rd which runs off South St.



Katoomba Falls: West of Katoomba, via Cliff Drive, is Katoomba Falls Reserve where there is a picnic area. From the kiosk (opposite the caravan park) visitors can embark on the 1-km Round Walk. This circuit track offers excellent views, birdlife and lush rainforest. Continue west along Cliff Drive towards Blackheath. A signposted turnoff on the left lleads to Narrow Neck Lookout. A difficult 8-km return bushwalk takes in the Golden Stairs and the Ruined Castle and offers excellent views.

Attractions


Scenic Skyway: west of Katoomba, via Cliff Drive, is a signposted turnoff into Violet Drive which takes visitors to the cliff edge where they will find Scenic World, and the Scenic Skyway which crosses the Jamison Valley. Scenic World has a restaurant and souvenir shop. Suspended 270 metres above ancient ravines, the Skyway provides a unique thrill as breathtaking views are revealed beneath your feet through the electro-glass cabin floor. For the less adventurous, seating and solid flooring is also available. With 360 views, the 720 metre journey provides the best views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, and Jamison Valley stretching to the horizon.



Scenic Cableway: The Skyway, the first horizontal passenger-carrying ropeway in the Southern Hemisphere, was completed in 1958 and, together with the Scenic Railway, has become one of Katoomba s top tourist attractions. The 545 metre journey gently descends into the Jamison Valley and also returns visitors to the top of the escarpment. The Cableway s fully enclosed cabin provides a unique vantage point for viewing the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and Katoomba Falls. Disembark at the bottom station to access the Scenic Walkway and stroll through 2.4 kilometres of Jurassic rainforest.



Scenic Railway: operating from the same site is the Scenic Skyway. It has its origins in local mining operations which used coal skips to ferry miners down the cliff face to work. Tourists can now take the thrilling descent on board what is said to be the steepest incline railway in the world. The railway descends 230 metres into the Jamison Valley via a cable car which carries 80 people and operates every ten minutes. At the bottom is a 300-metre, wheelchair-friendly wooden boardwalk which extends into the rainforest. Part of the journey is a 10-minute slide show on a large screen at the entrance to the disused coal mines.
From the bottom of the Scenic Railway it is possible to undertake lengthy, scenic, rainforest bushwalks such as the Ruined Castle Walk (12 km return, medium difficulty) which follows the route once used by shale and coal miners, and the hard-going Furber Steps/Ruined Castle/Golden Stairs Walk (12 km return), which involves a walk up steps to the cliff top at Echo Point.

Explorers' Tree: on the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Medlow Bath is the bottom half of a dead tree surrounded by a fence and protected by a roof. It is claimed to be the remnants of a tree into which the initials of explorers Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth were inscribed when they made the first European crossing of the Blue Mountains in May 1813. For many visitors, stopping at the tree is a none event as there is no sign of the inscription.

The Edge: The Edge is a six-storey cinema screen that showcases the grandeur of the Blue Mountains.

Convict Graves: such cannot be said of the nearby convict graves, however. There are six unmarked graves in total (no names, just headstones cut out of rock), being of convicts who died while working on the construction of the original Cox's Road across the mountains.

Walking Trails

Prince Henry Walk (Katoomba Falls to Echo Point): Time: 1 Hr. 3 km S of Katoomba. Length: 1.9 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 186 m
This walk is a lovely clifftop walk above the Jamison Valley, with extensive views out to Mt Solitary. The Three Sisters make a wonderful highlight, along with great views from Echo Point Lookout. The walk takes in many additional lookouts along the way, each with its own unique view of the Blue Mountains. Duration: 1 hour; Length 1.9 km one way.
  • Track guide

  • Rainforest Circuit Walk (Scenic World to Three Sisters via Furber Steps): Time: 5 hrs 30 mins. 3.2 km S of Katoomba. Length: 5.8 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 689 m
    This walk starts from the popular Scenic World, in Katoomba, and winds down the Furber steps into the Jamison Valley, following the bush track around the Three Sisters, before climbing up the Giant Stairway and returning along the clifftops. This walk takes you on a crash course of the Blue Mountains National Park, providing you with great views, green forests, and iconic rock formations. Duration: 5-6 hrs: Length: 5.8 km one way; Grade: moderate difficultty.
    • Track guide


    • Wallumal Falls

      Farnell Road to Nellies Glen Lookout return: Time: 1 hr 30 mins. 1.7 km SSW of Katoomba. Length: 2.2 km Blue Mountains(LGA). Climb: 215 m
      This short walk explores the Blue Mountains National Park just west of Katoomba, winding around the cliff tops to the Nellies Glen lookout, and offering a side trip to the Therabulat Lookout, both of which provide great views across the Megalong Valley. This walk can be enjoyed by the whole family and offers a great introduction to what the National Park has to offer.
      • Track guide


      • Giant Stairway

        Echo Point to Scenic World via Giant Stairway: Time: 5 hrs 30 mins. 3.2 km S of Katoomba. Length: 5.8 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 689 m
        This walk starts at the most popular lookout in the Blue Mountains, and passes one of Australia s most famous landmarks, The Three Sisters. After descending into the valley and enjoying the views along the bottom of the cliffs you catch the scenic railway back up the hill. With great views of the valley, and a beautiful forest environment, this is a popular walk. All the more because at the end, the world s steepest railway is available to take walkers back up to the top of the cliffs. This walk is not suitable for people with heart or breathing difficulties and for those with a fear of heights. Duration: 3 hrs; Length: 4.8 km one way; Grade: moderate difficulty.
        • Track guide

        • Bridal Veil View and Olympian Lookout Walk: Time: 1 Hr. 3.5 km SE of Katoomba. Length: 2 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 170 m
          This walk is relatively short and takes in some magnificent views. The walk visits Olympian, Bridal Veil View and Tarpeian Lookouts, which are all perched high on top of the cliffs. A great walk, exploring some of the quieter, but still very spectacular, lookouts in the Blue Mountains.
          • Track guide

          • Echo Point to Leura Forest Circuit: Time: 3 hrs. 3.7 km SSE of Katoomba. Length: 4.8 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 570 m
            Forming a circuit around the cliffs and then the valley floor, this is a walk more then capable of convincing a walker of the beauty of the Blue Mountains National Park. There are plenty of fantastic views including Echo Point, Tallawarra Lookout and Honeymoon Point. Leura Forest is a great spot to break for lunch, and there is even an opportunity to cross a bridge to one of the Three Sisters. This walk has it all.
            • Track guide

            • Katoomba Falls Park to Cliff View Lookout: Time: 15 mins. 3 km SSE of Katoomba. Length: 0.6 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 25 m
              This wheelchair accessible walk starts from the Katoomba Falls Park, on Cliff Drive. The walk explores the cliffs and dense vegetation in the area, and enters the Blue Mountains National Park to enjoy the views from the Cliff View Lookout. The lookout provide great views up the Kedumba Valley. The walk is well signposted and includes braille signs for people with visual impairments. The optional side trip described is a nice walk, but is not wheelchair accessible.
              • Track guide

              • Katoomba Falls to Echo Point via Prince Henry Cliff Walk: Time: 1 Hr. 3 km S of Katoomba. Length: 1.9 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 186 m
                This walk is a lovely clifftop walk above the Jamison Valley, with extensive views out to Mt Solitary. The Three Sisters make a wonderful highlight, along with great views from Echo Point Lookout. The walk takes in many additional lookouts along the way, each with its own unique view of the Blue Mountains.
                • Track guide


                • Taro's Ladder

                  Along Narrow Neck to Taro's Ladder: Time: 7 hrs. 4.9 km SSW of Katoomba. Length:n 20 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 671 m
                  This walk follows the Glenraphael Drive management trail along Narrow Neck, enjoying plenty of great views of the Jamison Valley and across to Mount Solitary. The climb down Taro s ladder requires skill, and much care and caution should be used. There are plenty of pleasant spots to rest along the way. As this walk follows the management trail, there are likely to be people on mountain bikes sharing the area.
                  • Track guide

                  • Carrington Park to Bridal Veil Lookout return: Time: 30 mins. 2.8 km SE of Katoomba. Length: 0.9 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 69 m
                    This short walk starts from, and returns to, the Carrington park track head and takes you to the Bridal Veil Lookout, on the western side of the Leura Cascades. This lookout provides you with a spectacular view, just a short stroll from Katoomba. This is a great walk for those keen to start bushwalking. There are a couple of other possible side trips to lookouts along the way.
                    • Track guide


                    • Marguerite Cascades

                      Carrington Park to Marguerite Cascades: Time: 1 hr 15 mins. 2.8 km SE of Katoomba. Length: 1.7 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 368 m
                      This walk explores the eastern end of Federal Pass track. Starting near Carrington Park, on Cliff Drive, the walk descends steeply, passing the Jamieson Lookout, Fern Bower and Lila and Linda Falls. A couple more stair cases and the track comes to Marguerite Cascades. A side trip down to Laura Forest is also described, this is a nice spot to rest.
                      • Track guide

                      • Carrington Park to Leura Forest and pass loop: Time: 3 hrs. 2.8 km SE of Katoomba. Length: 4.8 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 674 m
                        This walk is a fantastic way to see Leura Forest. The walk descends from Carrington Park, visiting Leura Forest and following a loop along the base of the cliffs and beneath the Three Sisters, before climbing back up to Carrington Park. This walk explores a variety of forests types and a few waterfalls. Leura Forest is a lovely picnic area, a great place to relax.
                        • Track guide

                        • Carrington Park to Leura Forest return: Time: 1 hr 30 mins. 2.8 km SE of Katoomba. Length: 2.3 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 432 m
                          This walk starts from Carrington Park and winds down into the valley below, to Leura Forest. Leura Forest was a pleasure ground in years gone by, and now boasts a nice little picnic area with a shelter, picnic tables and seats. This is a great spot for lunch. Take some time to explore the forest before climbing back up the valley the way you came.
Multi Day Walks


Mt Solitary and Kedumba Valley Circuit: On this 3 day walk you will explore some remote areas around the Kedumba Valley, and some of the most famous spots in the Blue Mountains. The walks starts at Scenic World to head down Furber Steps and follow the Federal pass past the Scenic Railway, the land slide, to an optional side trip up Ruined Castle. The walk then climbs steeply up to Mount Solitary to stay the night. The next day the walk heads steeply down to cross the Kedumba River then follows the trail through the valley to stay near Leura Creek. Day three brings you back to the federal pass, the up the Giant Stairway, past the Thee Sisters and some grand lookouts back to the start of the walk.
  • Track guide

  • Cox's River return via Narrow Neck: Time: 2 Days. 0.9 km WSW of Katoomba. Length: 47.8 km. Blue Mountains National Park. Climb: 2390 m
    This walk is a great, two day walk that drops down from Katoomba to Cox s River in the Megalong Valley. From the scenic Cox s River, the walk returns to Katoomba via Dunphy s campsite and Narrowneck. The trip is two solid days of walking that takes in some breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains. These notes are now several years old, and the environment will have changed, This walk is only for people comfortable walking off track, dealing with cliff passes and steep terrain in remote areas.
    • Track guide



    • Six Foot Track (Alum Creek Reserve): Time: 2 Days. 0.9 km WSW of Katoomba. Length: 44.8 km. Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve. Climb: 2066 m
      The Six Foot Track is a classic walk which takes you from the Explorers Tree in Katoomba, following Megalong Creek south-west into the floor of the Megalong Valley and on to Jenolan Caves. Overall, this is a hard walk but with easy sections, especially once down in the valley. This walk stays the night in Alum Creek Reserve before tackling the long hill up to Black Range Road. The walk is a classic and normally done in 3 days, this two day option is for the fit and keen.





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