Renaissance Centre/Mount Saint Mary’s for sale

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

The Renaissance Centre/Mount Saint Mary’s site is for sale again. Perfect if you have a lazy $7m and willingness to take on a difficult site which hasn’t been well maintained.

The advert mentions the previous development approval for 120+ apartments.Mt St Mary's site

The 4 acre site is the largest development site left within the central Katoomba area.

Three Sisters Pale? Katoomba to get a brewery.

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Industry publication The Shout reports the team at the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba are readying a new boutique brewery.

With three beers initially planned, Three Sisters Pale Ale, Chimney sweep Porter and Great White Fleet American Pale Ale, the brewery will be housed in the former power plant near the Cellars/Deli.

The new venture will cap off a decade of renovations that have transformed the hotel.



Target slated for Katoomba

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Upper mountains residents forced to trek to Lithgow or Winmalee for basics since Kmart closed will be pleased to hear that Wesfarmers is planning a Target Country variety store in Katoomba Fair. The site, in Pioneer Place previously occupied by Franklins, has been owned by the Coles group for many years, and was used to deliver Lay-by items last Christmas for Kmart shoppers following that stores closure.Target_signage

With no external building work required, the new shop could be open later this year.

Meanwhile, work continues on the old Coles/Kmart site, now owned by Woolworths and subject to redevelopment work to add parking and floorspace for the new Woolworths Supermarket and BigW stores. The battle between the retail duopoly saw front page news last month with claims of dirty tricks as each group sought control of the other’s real estate.

Work on the Woolworths/BigW site is expected to finish in 2014, dramatically increasing retail space in the region.


Katoomba Community Christmas Fair – Sun 25th November

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Katoomba Public P & C and Connect Family Services are hosting a Community Christmas fair this Sunday 10-2pm (entry on Waratah St Katoomba). The Fair is focusing on community and trying to keep the dollars in the mountains as well as save people a trip to Penrith to do their Christmas shopping. There will be live music, food and a big FREE jumping castle for the kids (up to 12 years)as well as other kids activities so parents can shop whilst the kids play – yay !! Stall holders will be selling local and handmade products so some fabulous and unique gifts will be on sale and the P & C will be selling pre-loved clothes, books and bric-a-brac. Come along and support local artisans and some great Community groups including RFS, Men’s Shed and Women’s Health Centre.

Optus Broadband coming?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Interesting to see Optus doing some duct work in Leura. This could indicate they intend to add DSLAMs to upper mountains exchanges, finally giving some competition to Telstra in the area. With no ADSL2+ ports currently available in Leura exchange, and nearing capacity at both Blackheath and Katoomba, it certainly looks like the demand is there (capacity source:

As always, the best broadband deals are published on Whirlpool, just be cautious as many providers offer substantially different plans where they have their own ADSL infrastructure, versus where they buy it off-net from Telstra. Make sure the plan you want is available at your location.

Roller Derby Bout in Katoomba

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Blue Mountains Roller Derby’s first home bout is against HARD at the Katoomba sports and aquatic centre on Saturday the 15th September. Tickets are available at the door for $10 (kids 12 and under free). Snacks and drinks are available, and over-18s who get there early can get trackside in the ‘suicide seats’.

Katoomba FootLight Festival

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The Katoomba FootLight Festival  – Promoting Sustainable Living. It’s all about a fun, family day out, while discovering new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Stalls selling all manner of re-cycled, up-cycled, pre-loved, organic, fair trade, locally made and locally grown products. Entertainment including Snez, King Parrot Samba, Paco Peasants, the Fortunes, Crowd Around, Honey Stompers, Vocal Locals, Theresa West and David Tobin, Pete Maw, Little Sings and the Blue Mountains Roller Derby.

The FootLight Festival is an annual event run by Katoomba North Public School P&C. It will be held on Saturday 8th September 2012 from 12 midday to 6.00pm at Katoomba North Public School. Entrances to the school are in Barton Street and Mistral Street, Katoomba North.

Stalls and workshops on climate change, sustainable dream homes, solar chandeliers, solar cooking, making mosaics from recycled materials, slow food cooking, re-cycling bikes, foot powered wood turning, growing fruit and nut trees and permaculture blitzing.
Great food, including vego, vegan and organic. Great coffee and chai.

Sat September 8th, 12-6pm.
Katoomba North Public School
cnr Barton and Mistral Sts, Katoomba North

Time Warp 1983

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

John Merriman, the BMCC Local Studies librarian has uploaded a fantastic set of colour photos of mountains streetscapes from 1983.
Highlights include Golden Fleece petrol stations (48c per litre), Fosseys, Toranas and Kingswood’s a plenty.
Service Stations

Street Views

fireworks $10 at one of the 3 (!) KAtoomba toy shops

Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba new construction plans

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Today’s post is a round up of local development applications for proposed building works. First up, an application for retail development in Wenty. The application for six new shops plus residential unit upstairs boasts that it will bring Wenty up to speed with the other local towns that have seen recent development. Not sure Lawson, Leura and Katoomba would agree the developments have been desirable. At least it appears to be reasonably sensitive to the built environment.

Nobody will be accusing the developers of the approved units at the GWH off ramp for Leura of sensitivity to the local environment. More like an attempt to outdo the Spires in hideous presentation. Apparently, the council gave in after they were advised the development application was complying and they would lose in the Land and Environment Court if they opposed it. At least there is some schadenfreud that the absentee landlords in the Spires who paid $360,000 off the plan a decade ago will have neighbours who paid $260,000.

And the largest development in the area, a sixty unit residential apartments, plus retail, originally approved in 2007 looks set to go ahead in Goldsmith Place Katoomba. It says something about how bad the similar scale Leura apartment developments are that this block starts to look reasonable. The three building plan is six stories tall at the tallest point, but owing to the below grade site it will appear no more than three stories tall. Mind you, if work doesn’t start by May they will be back to the drawing board as consent will lapse.

Dr Eric Dark Memorial Dinner and Lecture in Support of Varuna

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Varuna, the Katoomba writer’s retreat, is hosting inaugural Dr Eric Dark Memorial Dinner, held to honour the legacy of Dr Eric Dark and celebrate “Doctors Who …” create, innovate, advocate and collaborate for the “health of the nation”. Dr Dark and his wife, literary author Eleanor Dark, were the original owners of Varuna, prior to its establishment as a writer’s centre with the cooperation of their son, Mick.

The dinner will include the inaugural Dr Eric Dark Memorial Lecture by Associate Professor Grant Blashki as well as a Q&A panel featuring well known medicos such as Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans with a literary bent, allong with Dr Tanveer Ahmed: psychiatrist, author and opinion columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald acting as MC for the night.

The dinner is on Saturday 10th March at the Fairmont.

Full details at Varuna’s Doctors who…website

Katoomba ALDI Liquor rejected

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The Casino, Liquor, Gaming and Control Authority has ruled against ALDI’s application for a liquor licence in Katoomba.
This news follows recent approvals for Woolworths Liquor in Leura and the Katoomba Dan Murphy’s.
The SMH quotes Chairman Chris Sidoti as saying:
“”I don’t know if there are areas that have too many bottle shops but certainly there are areas that have enough,” Mr Sidoti told the Herald.
He said two bottle shop licences had been granted in Katoomba in the past two years, which the authority had ”agonised over”.
”In granting those two we said, ‘OK, this is it. For the current level of population, our view is that it’s reached the level of density where any additional ones will have an impact on harm within the community.”
Those behind Cole’s mooted First Choice Liquor in Katoomba must be pondering their next step.

More industry comment at The Shout, reporting that ALDI sees their offer of limited range and non-refrigerated products as minimising immediate consumption and the associated harm.

Image: George Stojkovic;

Blue Mountains Pet Photography

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

For all Katoomba and Leura dog lovers, we’re celebrating our move to the Blue Mountains with a $50 session special. Previously based in Sydney, we’re proud to finally call the mountains home and so we’d like you to help us celebrate! If you have a pampered pooch or cat that you regard as a special member of your family, give us a call today.

All details and pet galleries are on our website:

All creatures great and small are welcome! We are also available for [human] family sessions, contact us to see a sample session. Be quick, book early to avoid disappointment!


Roaring 20s – Katoomba and Leura Walking Tours

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Blue Mountains Tourism is running a “Roaring Twenties” promotion in the upper mountains and central west in February. It’s a nice idea with dinners, dances, accommodation specials and other activities all themed around the the 1920s era.
One activity that looks particularly interesting is the historical walking tours of Katoomba and Leura offered on the Thursday 10th – Saturday 12th in February. Recounting stories of the time and giving insight into the buildings left behind it looks to be educational and fun. Details on the Carrington Website.

Dan Murphy’s Approved for Katoomba – Media Coverage

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Tuesday night’s council meeting reversed its previous decision (or deferral of a decision) on the Dan Murphy’s development in Katoomba, and the shop will now go ahead.

This attracted media coverage on ABC 702 (it’s not 2BL anymore!) with Mayor Myles interviewd on Deborah Cameron’s show. You can listen here.

The Gazette reports here.

Katoomba Primary School Asbestos Risk

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Reported today is news that asbestos remediation work was carried out at North Katoomba primary by an incorrectly licensed contractor. It is claimed that demolition work began on a covered walkway that had previously been identified as containing asbestos. Proper handling measures were not initially taken to deal with the possibility of asbestos contamination.

Inhalation of asbestos fibres can potentially cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, fatal diseases.  NSW Health publishes a fact sheet on asbestos risks that notes prolonged exposure is typical of those who eventually contract the diseases, which can take decades to appear following the exposure.

The incident at North Katoomba saw the demolition work halted when the risk became known, but local parents are concerned they were not notified until 5 weeks after the incident.

Following the incident, work to remove the material was conducted outside school hours. Concerned parents have been advised to consult their doctor should they be worried about medical issues.

RFS adds additional “Safer Places”.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

The RFS has added the Council Chambers and car park at Katoomba, Pioneer Place at Katoomba and Mt Victoria Park to its list of safer places shoud residents seek a last minute refuge in case of catastrophic fire.

Still no sites between Leura (the golf course) and Glenbrook (Whitton Park), which remains concerning.

Full list at the RFS Website.

ABC 4 Corners examines Homelessness in Katoomba

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Locals might be surprised to see how centrally Katoomba features in this week’s 4 Corners documentary about families facing accommodation crisis in Western Sydney.

The documentary, The Last Chance Motel,  features interviews with a number of families in housing stress, many who pass through Katoomba in the search for a permanent home. Unflatteringly, a local  landlord is also portrayed as exploiting these people.

The video and transcript can be found here.

Renaissance Centre/Mount Saint Mary’s Convent For Sale

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

After sitting vacant for over a decade, the old Convent at Katoomba is set for an auction on the 23rd of July.

The building was built as a convent and used as a boarding school before being sold off. The site re-emerged as the Renaissance Centre for a short stint as a tourism/cultural centre before sitting empty since the 1990s.

Regular coverage in the media in 1998, 2001, 2002 and heritage listing in 2003 kept the site in the public eye. If you are curious to see inside and views from around the 4 acres of grounds, check out the listing

Katoomba suffering high mortgage failures

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Ratings agency Fitch reported yesterday that Katoomba experienced the fourth highest rate of mortgage delinquancy in its latest review of the state of loan solvency.

While still at historically low levels, the high ranking is a concern for mountains residents as it points to a potentially growing number of locals struggling to make ends meet.

KAtoomba Maternity closure forces birth by side of road.

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

The media is reporting the lack of an anaesthetist should a woman in advanced labour require surgery prompted Katoomba maternity staff to insist the woman be transferred to Nepean.

Apparently, her contractions were only a minute apart when the call to make the hour long transfer was made. The baby was born near Glenbrook, and fortunately both mother and baby are healthy.

It seems that the government has decided this is a reasonable outcome, as it still has not adequately staffed the Katoomba maternity ward, despite repeated earlier promises.

Winter Magic Festival – 21st June 2008

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Katoomba’s Winter Magic Festival falls on the solstice this year, the 21st of June. More information at the official site: