One of the Three Sisters rock formation

Katoomba is the largest and best-known town in the Blue Mountains, around 100 km (60 miles) west of Sydney and 1,017 m (3,337 ft) above sea level.


Katoomba developed as a popular mountain resort town in the early 20th century, with holidaymakers taking advantage of the train services along the current line from Sydney. The town reached an early heyday in the period between the world wars, attested to today by the numerous examples of art deco architecture and shop fronts along the main street of the town.

Today it serves as the main base for travellers to the Blue Mountains, and the main gateway to the two most popular tourist spots at Echo Point and Scenic World. It has the most shops with all the supplies you need, tourist offices, motels, transport restaurants and even some nightlife. However, it has lost the quaint village charm to Leura, its immediately adjacent neighbour to the east.

Get in

By car

Katoomba is located just off the Great Western Highway, and is a well signposted destination. Parking is available in town, with timed parking on the street. Parking fees are charged at Echo Point and availability is limited, so if you are also visiting Scenic World, consider parking there in its large car park, and walking to Echo Point from the Scenic Skyway terminus.

By train

Sign at the Katoomba railway station

  Katoomba Station is at the northern end of the town centre. Train services run from Sydney via its western suburbs on a mostly hourly basis. From Sydney Central the adult fare is a maximum $8.30 (each way), and the Opal Card can be used for the trip (with its discounts and fare caps).

Get around

From the train station the 686 bus goes every 30 minutes during the day from Katoomba Station to Scenic World and Echo Point. You can use your Opal card on the service.

Alternatively, you can take one of two Hop-on-hop-off services.

Blue Mountains Trolley Tours charge $25 for a day's hop-on/hop-off (around 9AM to 5PM) but ask nicely at their sales office near the train station and you may get stamps for extra days for free. Their ticket office is across the street from Katoomba railway station. The regular bus departs each hour and goes to Leura, along the canyon edge to Three Sisters, Echo Point, Scenic World and back also stopping at some resorts, golf courses and museums. The starting point for Trolley's buses is outside Carrington Hotel, around the corner from the ticket office. The Trolley Tours HOHO ticket also allows you to take the 686 bus (which they call the 'express trolley').



Scenic Skyway as seen from Echo Point



Traditional pubs, less heavy on live entertainment than the Clarendon, cluster around Katoomba railway station. The nightlife is this area is not fantastic - by 9PM on a Friday night the streets are almost empty - but those looking for a drink should try:

All live music venues in Katoomba publish advertisements listing their upcoming attractions in the entertainment section of the Blue Mountains Gazette, which is published on Wednesdays and can be bought at newsagencies.





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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 09, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.