Leura is an enchanting village located in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales. Only an hour and forty minute drive from Sydney, its Edwardian storefronts and 19th century cottages sit framed upon a background of stunning natural wonders - sandstone escarpment, dense eucalypt and rugged terrain.
What to do
Leura has many great walks and views on its doorstep, but for a different mountain view, check out Evans Lookout - 20 minutes' drive away in Blackheath, you can then continue on the steep clifftop walk to Govetts Leap. If a leisurely stroll is more your thing, Leura Cascades is a serene canopy walk through tall eucalyptus trees.
For a more relaxing level of activity, stroll the boutiques along Leura Mall and do a spot of shopping at the likes of Quidditas General Store. If you visit the first Sunday of the month, you can also hit Leura's flea market for everything from jewellery, clothes and homewares to local eats.
For a full dose of the quirky and quaint history Leura is known for, drop by the Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum, Bygone Beauty's Teapot Museum or the National Trust property Everglades Gardens. In what might be the high tea capital of Australia, the latter two are good spots to partake.
Where to eat
With the greatest concentration of good foods in the Blue Mountains region, you can find the finest handmade chocolates to the best cafes in Leura.
Echoes Restaurant and Bar is perched at the absolute edge of the Blue Mountains National Park, with views of mountains, cliff edges and lush rainforest valleys right through the Jamison Valley to Mittagong. Renowned for its modern Australian cuisine with an Asian influence, guests can enjoy a dinner that showcases the fresh seasonal produced sourced from local suppliers in the Blue Mountains area.
Uniquely located on the cliff drive between Leura and Katoomba, Solitary has an air of romance as guests can admire the Jamison Valley, while enjoying an extensive menu. If you’re looking for a delightful mix of old world charm and contemporary style, it can be found at Café Bon Ton. Serving up European influenced modern Australian food, locally roasted coffee as well as great value imported and local wines, NRMA Members can save 20% off the total bill up to $25 by simply showing their my nrma app.
Open only for breakfast and lunch, the Red Door Café is known for divine food and great coffee. Serving Spanish omelette with olive tapenade for breakfast and Tuscan sausages for lunch, there’s a tonne of gourmet options to choose from. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, then pop next door to Josophan’s Fine Chocolates for luxe treats such as roasted cacao nibs and handmade truffles. For the ultimate picnic, head to Leura Gourmet Café & Deli and pick up ready-made salads, pates and pastries, or if indoor dining is more your thing, then the outrageously popular Leura Garage is a casual eatery where on-the-ball staff busily pull beers, play with kids and squeeze wooden share platters onto tiny tables.
Where to stay
Nestled high amidst the pines and ferns sits Varenna – a lavishly appointed Edwardian residence. Consisting of four stunning bedrooms, all with their own theme and uniqueness, two bathrooms – the first bearing the original antique claw-foot bath tub and the second affording the modern luxury of a double spa bath, Varenna is not a bed and breakfast, but self-contained luxury accommodation. With unsurpassed old world charm, but with the modern comforts of today it’s only a 200 metre stroll to the heart of Leura in the Blue Mountains.
On the cusp of the dramatic Jamison Valley, Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains is the pinnacle of upscale accommodation in Leura. In addition to a choice of 222 stylish accommodation rooms and suites, the award-winning 4.5 star resort offers guests five modern restaurants, heated indoor pool and spa, outdoor pool and deck, KidsZone children’s facilities and 9.5 hectares of bushland, walk ways and gardens.
Set amongst beautifully landscaped gardens, Old Leura Dairy is where visitors can enjoy echoes of the past while bask in the luxury of the present comforts. Consisting of six distinctive private self-contained lodgings, from a cool shed studio for two, to a sprawling barn house that can sleep up to 11 people. Each is fitted out with individual flair, but all rooms have that mismatched quaintness that you’re looking for in a rural escape.