Right on the doorstep of the Blue Mountains and one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, the arty and laidback suburb of Katoomba is quickly becoming a popular and more affordable alternative to city living in nearby Sydney.
With a charming, village feel Katoomba is a great suburb for nature lovers. It has spectacular views, a range of bush walking tracks and a few more pulse raising activities on offer such as rock climbing, canyoning and mountain biking.
It has a bohemian flair with a strong music and arts scene and is home to many artists, writers, musicians and poets.
In terms of property, Katoomba hosts a mix of art deco houses, restored colonial cottages, federation and estate homes, classic double brick houses and heritage listed buildings alongside a number of guest houses and weekenders.
There are however a few downsides to this historic town, notably the large number of tourists throughout the year and the extreme weather conditions, particularly in the depths of winter and summer.
Top things to do in Katoomba
1. Visit Australia’s most photogenic sisters – There are several popular look out spots in Katoomba, but none as impressive as Echo Point, which gives you uninterrupted views of the Three Sisters and their impressive valley backdrop. While there’s always bound to be some tourists around, it’s a great spot to catch a sunset.
2. Ride the steepest incline railway in the world – This train ride is available through local provider Scenic World, who also offer tickets for the cableway, walkway and skyway. At a 52 degree incline, a ride in these glass-roofed carriages offers expansive views of the rainforest setting and spectacular Jamison Valley below.
3. Blue Mountains Music Festival – Visitors and locals alike can enjoy the Blue Mountains Music Festival. Held in March every year, it is a three day folk, roots and blues music festival that really mirrors the vibe of this artsy suburb.
- Postcode– 2780
- Vacancy rate– 2 per cent
- Median house value– $506,250
- Median unit value– $346,988
- Price growth – House prices in Katoomba have increased by 39.65 per cent in the past three years while unit prices have also grown 26.36 per cent in the same period
- Rental returns– The average house in Katoomba has a weekly median rent of $445 and average rental returns of 4.44 per cent, while units have a median weekly rent of $350 and average returns of 4.93 per cent
- Average listing duration– 53days for houses; 49 days for units
- Average weekly income– $675
- Dwelling type– The majority of properties are houses (70 per cent)
- Occupation– The majority of residents are professionals
- Ownership– The majority of properties are rented (35 per cent) while 32 per cent are in the process of being purchased and 30 per cent are fully owned
- Birthplace – 72 per cent of Katoomba residents are Australian
- Age – The majority of residents are in the 50-64 age group, closely followed by those in the 0-19 age group
Places to eat in Katoomba
Katoomba has an assortment of eateries, catering for most tastes and budgets. There’s a mix of family run, eclectic cafes, fine dining restaurants and more casual eateries. Favourites with locals (and tourists) include Yellow Deli Cafe, Little Paris Café, Up Beet Juice and Espresso, Darley’s Restaurant for fine dining and Avalon Restaurant which serves hearty dishes in a retro setting with striking mountain views.
Transport in Katoomba
Katoomba has its own railway station in the town centre, located on the Main Western line. The suburb is also well served by local buses.
Hospitals and healthcare in Katoomba
The Blue Mountains Hospital is located in Katoomba, is Katoomba Medical Centre and several other GPs. There is also a skin cancer clinic, a pharmacy, optometrist and paediatrician, as well as services for dental, imaging and podiatry.
Education and childcare in Katoomba
There are several local schools including Katoomba High School, Katoomba North Public School and Katoomba Public School. And there are several childcare options in the area including Cherry Blossom Early Learning Centre.
Shopping in Katoomba
There are plenty of brand names stores in Katoomba alongside smaller, independently owned shops. There are several options for groceries with a Woolworths, Coles and Aldi all in close proximity, as well as natural food store Blue Mountains Food Coop.
If you’re looking to shop for one off pieces you won’t be disappointed – Katoomba has a selection of unique galleries and antique stores. There are also a number of adventure shops if you need a new pair of climbing boots before you hit the trails.
Sports and recreation in Katoomba
Katoomba is the place to be for anyone who’s into adventure and the outdoors. Take your pick of walking, hiking, climbing, abseiling, canyoning, mountain biking and abseiling, just to name a few. Don’t fear if you’re not all that adventurous – there are still plenty of less extreme ways to keep active in Katoomba including Blue Mountains Lyengar Yoga Studio, Plus Fitness 24/7 and Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre. There are nice parklands and green spaces for picnics or taking the kids for a play including Katoomba Falls Reserve, which has play equipment as well as picnic facilities. If you’re more of an indoors type, you could wile an afternoon away at Katoomba’s Purse Museum or Katoomba Library.
Entertainment in Katoomba
Katoomba has its own United Cinema (The Edge). There are also several bars in the area including The Old City Bank (within The Carrington Hotel), an 1880s watering hole, Station Bar & Pizza, a modern bar with live music, and the Harp and Fiddle (also at The Carrington), an Irish bar that often has live music.
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