Katoomba’s popularity can draw large crowds, especially in the summer months – try to book any Scenic World activities in advance, and arrive early.
Katoomba is the administrative centre of the Blue Mountains region, and is the most popular destination for those visiting the area. The name derives from an old Aboriginal word meaning “shining falling water”; the waterfall in question drops into the nearby Jamison Valley just below the Harrys Amphitheatre escarpment.
My Way or the Skyway
More famous these days, though, are the spectacular Katoomba Falls. To enjoy these, you have a couple of options. The first is to head to Scenic World, located in the south-west of town, where you will find, among a range of activities, the cable car known as the Scenic Skyway. Some may find this hard to stomach, as it travels as high as 270m above the valley floor, but it does provide an inimitable vantage point from which to take in the falls and the surrounding valley.
The second option is to take the bushwalking trail from Echo Point to the famous Three Sisters rock formation, where you will find the top of the 800-step Giant’s Stairway, which takes you down to the valley floor. From here you can take the Federal Pass Trail all the way to the base of the falls, offering a fresh perspective on this beautiful natural phenomenon.
If you don’t feel like walking, take your car along the Cliff Drive, which skirts Katoomba while hugging the clifftops, and is one of the most picturesque roads in Australia. Back in town, you can explore the Waradah Aboriginal Centre, on the World Heritage Plaza, which contains some fine native art and hosts 15-minute shows throughout the day which offer an interesting introduction to Aboriginal culture.
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