Katoomba is the main town of the City of Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia and the administrative headquarters of Blue Mountains City Council. It is on the Great Western Highway 110 kilometres west of Sydney and 39 kilometres south-east of Lithgow. Katoomba railway station is on the Main Western line. Katoomba is well known for beautiful mountain views and extensive bush and nature walks in the surrounding Blue Mountains. In the 2006 census, Katoomba had a population of 7,623 people in 2006 according to the 2006 census.
Katoomba's main industry is tourism based on scenic mountain scenery. The Three Sisters (the famous rock formation) which is viewable from Echo Point about two kilometres south of the main town, is the most famous feature. Other features of the Jamison Valley which can be seen from Echo Point include Mount Solitary and the Ruined Castle. A short walk from Echo Point leads to The Giant Stairway which has access to a number of nature walks through the Valley. Some of these are quite rocky and not recommended for the inexperienced walker. The local geography includes extensive areas of dense sub-tropical rainforest, hanging swamps and a range of fantastic waterfalls.
Other attractions include Scenic World, a tourist complex in the southwest of the town. This site has the steepest funicular railway in the world, the Katoomba Scenic Railway, which was originally built to enable coal and oil shale mining in the Jamison Valley. Scenic World also offers the Scenic Skyway cable car, which travels over one part of the Jamison Valley and has great views of Katoomba Falls and Orphan Rock. In 2004 the original Skyway car was replaced by a new car with a liquid crystal panel floor, which suddenly becomes transparent as the car moves.
Katoomba contains many hotels and guest-houses, the oldest and most noticeable of which is the Carrington Hotel, established in 1882 and is located in the highest point in town. Leura, a nearby village also features several well-appointed hotels and health spas. The 5 Star Lilianfels at Echo Point is home to Darley's Restaurant, which has a Two Chef Hat rating. The busy town centre, which is located on Katoomba Street, features many cafes and restaurants, including the Paragon which dates back to the early 1900s, in addition to a number of secondhand book and antique stores.
Scenic World – at Katoomba in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains of Australia – offers a range of experiences found nowhere else on Earth.
And Katoomba is less than two hours from Sydney by road or train.
In any season, Scenic World is a must see for overseas and interstate visitors - and a great day out for those who live in Sydney and neighbouring regions.