We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
26 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

We are planning a four-day trip from Sydney the first part of February: Two nights in Blue Mountains and two nights in Huskisson. We have already booked our reservations on Jervis Bay. Now, where to stay in the Blue Mountains?

My first question is -- It looks like the two towns with the most accommodations are Leura and Katoomba. I was wondering if anyone has any information on the two towns -- how are they different, is one less touristy than the other, what kinds of restaurants/shops can we find at both? We are looking for something as a base from which we can explore the sites, do some hiking and generally relax. We are a couple traveling without children. We would enjoy being able to walk to restaurants and town centers.

My other question is -- do you suggest we rent a car to explore the Blue Mountains, or do you feel that with our limited time, we could explore many of the beautiful areas (including hiking) without a car. I see that the train goes from Sydney to both of these towns and it looks like public transportation/buses are plenty.

Is traffic/parking an issue in these towns during the month of February?

Our original plan was to rent a car from Sydney for 5 days and drive around and tour the area. I'm just trying to make a good estimate whether or not we need to rent a car for the Blue Mountains.

Thanks in advance!!!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6,475 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

I'd rent a car. If you're coming from Jervis Bay/Huskisson, you can do a nice loop via Berry & the Southern Highlands (Bowral, Moss Vale etc.,)

Katoomba and Leura are both well serviced with restaurants etc., and although you could walk around both quite easily, you will have a lot more flexibility with a vehicle.

Parking in the main streets of both can get a bit crowded on the weekends, but February will probably be fairly quiet as the school holidays will have just finished and everyone will be back at work. It's all relative though. Keep in mind, these are smallish mountain towns, so nothing like downtown Baltimore on a busy day!

They're both touristy. Other visitors like you also like to go there.

That said, they and all of the other Blue Mountain towns are also home to lots of people who work there or commute to Sydney. Of the two, I like Leura better, but had friends there, so I'm possibly a little biased.

Personally, I prefer to stay in & around Blackheath these days - but I'm a local who has no need to see any of the famous sights.

You might consider going up via the M4 (Great Western Highway) and back via the Bells Line of Road, past the Botanical Gardens at Mt Tomah http://www.mounttomahbotanicgarden.com.au/

and Bilpin.

If you do, the Apple Bar at Bilpin is very worth a stop for Lunch or later. Think they're open Wed - Sunday

http://www.applebar.com.au/

Wentworth Falls...
Level Contributor
172 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

Hi,

For the Blue Mountains check out www.visitbluemountains.com the regional info orgnsation for accommodation, drives walks etc.

If you have a car you will certainly get around to a lote more pplaces outside the main areas of Katoomba / Leura - parking is not a problem, or if you are after a holiday that you as well can relax and not drive - as you say the train is an excellent way to go, see www.cityrail.info you can buy a CityRail Blue Mountains Explorer Link which includes return train and the hop on hop off bus for 3 days and unlimited train travel in the upper Blue Mountains for 3 days including going to the restored Zig Zag - if kids like trains.

If you do the train option - check out the explorer route map and you can stay anywhere on the circut so that you get from the station to and from accommodatoion easily as well. Hotels on the circuit include - Hotel Blue, The Carrington, 3 Sisters Motel, Echo Point Motel, La Maison, Fairmont Resort, Waldorf Leura Gardens.

The Faimont also has resort facilities such as pool and large common areas, gardens etc and right on cliff edge

So up to you but easily do able without a car

Sydney Australia
Level Contributor
8,097 posts
98 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

I also prefer Leura and I also would prefer to have the flexibility of a car, but it depends on what you plan to do. You can certainly spend a lovely couple of days without one.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
Level Contributor
30,492 posts
1,583 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

Another vote for Leura, definitely hire a car as you will see heaps more.

Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
26 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

All great suggestions. Thank you very much. We have decided to stay in Leura and are renting a car. Can't wait!!!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
480 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

great choice SilverPearl, Leura is a lovely small village with lovely shops and some great eating spots. I hope you get to enjoy some good weather to take in some of the lovely walks in the area.

7. Re: Katoomba vs. Leura / Rental car or no?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:33 am, March 06, 2013