The most visited town in the Blue Mountains, Katoomba combines stunning scenery with a vibrant cultural scene and UNESCO World Heritage-listed wilderness while retaining the charm of a small community—and it's just over an hour's drive from Sydney. Here's where to eat, drink and sightsee while you're in town.
Tucked away off the main drag, the coffee at Cassiopeia Specialty Coffee is so good that it's supplied to a number of other cafés in the mountains. For a meal with all the bells and whistles, Echoes Restaurant & Bar—located within the luxurious Echoes Hotel—pairs local produce with Asian-inspired flavours. Perched on the edge of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, the restaurant has the trifecta of mountain, clifftop and rainforest views.
Belgian couverture chocolate meets local produce at Blue Mountains Chocolate Company, whose shelves overflow with house-made products, including more than 20 chocolate bar flavours. The venue has an in-house café (tip: don't miss the hot chocolate) and runs regular chocolate-making workshops. For hat fanatics, The Hattery is the only place to go. The boutique store specialises in Australian Akubra and Barmah styles, but stocks a full globe-spanning range. Even within this strongly arts-driven community, Lost Bear Gallery stands out as a beacon for contemporary Australian art. Once a grand old guesthouse, the building is now home to 12 light-filled rooms and an expansive central space used for regularly rotating exhibitions.
If there's only one place you go during your trip to the Blue Mountains, make it Scenic World. The all-in-one tourism business offers a range of breathtaking sightseeing experiences, such as the Scenic Skyway, a glass-clad cable car that suspends visitors 270 metres above ancient ravines and rainforest, with panoramic views over Blue Mountains' most famous sights. There's also a range of on-site eateries and retail options.