This is the most visited town in the Blue Mountains. There are several variations on the name, but they all refer to the “shining falling waters” or multiple waterfalls in the area.
The town came about because of coal mining. The coal was obtained from the side of the mountain near Orphan Rock. A cable car brought the coal to the top. Today visitors can still share in that experience as Scenic World now operates on this site. The Scenic Railway still operates in the original cutting in the mountain. It is the steepest railway incline in the world and a huge tourist attraction for the town.
Unfortunately we didn’t see a lot of the town’s attractions as it was all covered in mist. According to all the tourist brochures there are a lot to discover in this area and we definitely plan on going back to experience it all.
If you plan to visit sometime soon, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Three Sisters Motel. They have great package deals and large, clean and comfortable rooms. Our hostess was simply a delightful woman. She had no problem with changing a few details (no extra costs or complaints) to suit us. We had dinner at the restaurant: hearty and tasty meals prepared to your specifications.
We did venture into the Blue Mountains National Park. As a keen native flower photographer I was delighted with the variety of flowers I found in a small area. The mist also lifted just enough for us to capture a quick photo or two of the mountains – just enough to wet our appetites and ensure that we return to this beautiful place.
Should you find yourself in Katoomba on a clear day you could travel along Cliff Drive to marvel at the scenery at any of the following lookouts: Eaglehawk Lookout, Landslide Lookout, Narrow Neck Lookout or Cahills Lookout. While travelling east along Cliff Drive will take you to the Cascades, Katoomba Falls, Cliff View Lookout, Wollumai Lookout, Allambie Lookout and Lady Darly Lookout.
Katoomba is most famous for the Three Sisters which are located at Echo Point. This striking formation is also floodlit at night for an even more dramatic effect. Another famous landmark you’ll find at Echo Point is Giant Stairway. It is a mere 800 steps down to the valley floor.
Another attraction in town worth investigating is The Edge Cinema. At 6 stories high its screen is one of the largest in the southern hemisphere. A spectacular film to watch is “The Edge” featuring places in the Blue Mountains we will more than likely never discover ourselves.
While travelling along the Great Western Highway you might notice a caged tree trunk. It is the remains of the tree that has the initials of the explorers Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson engraved on it and dated 1813.
One last thing I would like to mention for all the hikers and adventurous people is Six Foot Track. It starts near the Explorers Marked Tree in Nellies Glen Road and ventures from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. Every year in March the town hosts the Six Foot Track Marathon. For more wild flower images of this area go here.