- Home of the Three Sisters and the principal tourist destination and residential area of the Blue Mountains
- Gateway to a host of magnificent valley and mountain views
- 110 km west of Sydney, population 9,000
Why go there
Excellent accommodation, restaurants and cafés make Katoomba a great base for exploring the Blue Mountains.
At Echo Point you'll find the stunning rock formation known as the Three Sisters, which overlooks the Jamison Valley. According to Aboriginal legend, they were once three sisters, turned to stone by a medicine man who sought to protect them.
The town sits in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. The mountains look blue because of the eucalyptus trees covering them; they disperse eucalyptus oil into the atmosphere and make the blue light rays of the sun more prominent.
Coal mining brought settlers to the region in the 1800s, and in 1878 the once ramshackle collection of dwellings known as Crushers became the town of Katoomba.
Before World War I, Katoomba started to attract holidaymakers, who were drawn to the area by the mountain air. The town blossomed into a tourist centre that boasted a number of guesthouses and retreats.
Things to do
- Visit Echo Point Visitor Information Centre to get an understanding of the area and enjoy a great view.
- Eat in fine-dining restaurants or have coffee and cake in one of the Art Deco cafés.
- Take a guided bushwalk or a 4WD drive, or learn to abseil – all in the splendour of this majestic wilderness area.
- Wines of the West in Katoomba, Australia Day long weekend in January.
- The Blue Mountains Music Festival, in March, features folk and blues music.
- Six Foot Track Marathon, a 45 km-track from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves.
- Winter Magic Festival and Yulefest throughout the Blue Mountains villages in June.
- Spring Gardens Festival, from September to November.
- Daily screenings at The Edge Cinema, with its six-storey screen and feature film on the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains.
- The Three Sisters rock formation at Echo Point.
- The Carrington Hotel, built in 1882, an elegant reminder of a bygone era.
- The Paragon Café, a 1930s establishment with a charming Art Deco ambience.
- The Scenic World Skyway – a 720 metre journey offering 360 degree views of the magnificent Jamison Valley.