. I::*;1-; ;:|:;;|S!#:;S
ajp* : rJjpBS
| 1 :::■:; ■■i ■■
- ; ■ ■ Igl IlH
' A^* < J . Ji #
■ -. «</- • ,
"f ‘ # -
<’v»* * -^i •„#? ■w#v
' K tPS ', %; "':.
’ * ... ::■ '■ ."v'K ^Lajfef
The Giant Stairway (in preparation)
Katoomba Municipality comprises the towns of Katoomba and Leura. which occupy adjoining spurs on the main range, and meet in the gully which separates them. The Municipality ranks fourth among the country Municipalities of the State, its gross revenue exceeding £80,000 per annum. Notwithstanding this big income, the rating is remarkably low, being less than that of most other local governing areas in this State, inclusive of the Metropolitan Municipalities.
Civic progress has been the watchword of Katoomba Municipality since its incorporation in 1889. Its Councils ever have prosecuted a bold course, while exercising care to import strict business control to all innovations. Thus, at the present time, the Municipality is provided with water, sewerage, electricity and gas. This means that visitors are furnished with every comfort of a modern city, plus the glorious mountain air, and some of the most gorgeous scenery which the world affords.
Katoomba possesses four hotels, one of which is situated immediately opposite the railway station at Leura. The remainder are within BOARDING a stone’s throw of Katoomba HOUSES. Station. All are thoroughly up-
to-date, comparing rather more than favourably with hotels in other tourist resorts. The accommodation houses, according to experienced travellers, are unsurpassed the world over. Certainly they are unequalled in Australia. Central heating and hot water services are features of the majority. Most are equipped with their own ballrooms ; they are well lighted and lavishly appointed ; and, perhaps most important of all, their charges are distinctly moderate.
Furnished and unfurnished cottages, flats, etc., can be obtained at COTTAGES, FLATS. moderate rentals. There are several hundreds of these places available for the visitors.
The Katoomba Municipal Council owns its own electricity generating plant, and the town is one of the best lighted in the continent. Even the byways are adequately supplied with street lamps. In addition to the ordinary street lamps, permanent festoons of light
and Heating '
are strung across the main thoroughfares, transforming the night into day.
The Katoomba and Leura Gas Company Ltd. has its works in the Municipality, and its mains extend along practically all of the streets in the area.
The Municipality of Katoomba possesses possibly the purest and best water supply in the world. As the whole district is composed of sandstone, it acts as a gigantic filter, with the result that local streams are crystal clear, and remarkably free from organic substances. The catchment area is scientifically conserved, and surrounded with a high fence of fine mesh netting. This fence is so placed that all water falling outside it runs away from the catchment area ; only water falling inside gravitates to the conservation dams. Thus, pollution is impossible. If Katcomba grew to be the size of London, its water supply still would be pure. The water is lifted from the dams by electric pumps, and stored in reservoirs at both Katoomba and Leura ; then it gravitates to the service pipes.
Although the number of visitors to Katoomba and Leura during the period October to June frequently exceeds 35,000, and the average population for the year exceeds 20,000, there has never been a shortage of water, and restrictions have not been necessary. The two large dams, which hold 108,000,000 gallons of water, assisted by an adequate rainfall, have provided an ample supply for this enormous tourist population.
The dams are approximately two miles from Katoomba, and permits to inspect them, and the pumping station, can be obtained on application at the Town Hall.
This popular resort has enjoyed the advantage of a sewerage system for many years.
BANKS. Most of the leading banks have branches in the Municipality, thus facilitating financial arrangements for visitors.
In Katoomba Street stands one of the finest School of Arts in the Southern Hemisphere, with a lending library containing 7000 volumes SCHOOL OF of the latest fiction, a very fine ARTS. reference section, and special
shelves for children. It has a billiard room equipped with five modern tables, a card room and a club room for ladies. The membership fee is exceedingly low, and special weekly, fortnightly and monthly rates are arranged for visitors. These fees cover all available facilities.
The shopping quarters of both towns are excellent. Big emporiums worthy of comparison with leading city shops, flourish locally, and it is SHOPPING, generally conceded that local prices are at Sydney parity. To meet the convenience of visitors, all shops are open on Saturday nights. As every requirement of modern life is pro-
Radiating from Katoomba Railway Station are a wealth of ’bus services, connecting OMNIBUS with the principal sights and centres
SERVICES. in the neighbourhood. These
vehicles are thoroughly up-to-date, and are inspected by Municipal officers daily to assure their fitness and cleanliness. The fares are also regulated by the Council, and are extremely cheap.
Katoomba’s registration of motor cars is the highest outside the Metropolitan area. MOTOR TOURS. These cars are available for trips to noted beauty spots, or for private hire. They also are rigorously inspected and controlled by the civic authorities.
Six highly qualified medical practitioners reside permanently in the Municipality, MEDICAL which possesses, in the Blue Moun-FACILITIES. tains Anzac Memorial Hospital, one of the most modern and efficiently-equipped hospitals in the State, including a modern X-ray plant. Thus, visitors have the best advice and treatment at their disposal in the event of sudden illness.
curable, tourists are freed from the trouble and inconvenience of bringing supplies with them when holidaying.
Katoomba contains an ornate theatre, where “talkies” are shown both in afterTHEATRES. noon and at night. It is a tribute to the importance of the Municipality that all pictures are “first releases” ; that is, they are shown in Katoomba prior to any other town in the State, Sydney included.
AMBULANCE. Katoomba possesses a modern ambulance, with motor vehicles and a competent staff.
The educational facilities compare favourably with those of the cities. There is a SCHOOLS. High School, two Primary Schools, Convent, Boys’ Grammar School, Girls’ Grammar School, and a Private School for the younger boys and girls.
CHURCHES. Morning and evening services.
Katoomba and Leura can boast of two of the most picturesque and beautiful golf links in New South Wales. The links at Katoomba have cost GOLF, the Council more than £2,0,000 to construct, and it is most gratifying to the ratepayers to know that a recent inspection of the greens by an
controlled by the Municipal Council, are very popular, and the excellent condition in which the greens and fairways are kept and the very moderate fees attract many golfers. The fees are 2/6 per half day, 3/6 per day, 12/6 per week, £1/1/- per fortnight, and £3/3/- per annum.
officer of the Department of Agriculture resulted in a report being made to the effect that the greens were the best he had seen in the State.
Both the Katoomba and Leura links comprise 18 holes, and the greens and fairways are always in first-clall order.
Visitors are always welcome to play on the golf links. The Katoomba links, being a public links
The Council has provided for the use of visitors five (5) hard courts. These courts are kept in perfect playing condition, and are only five TENNIS, minutes from the railway station at Katoomba. They are brilliantly lighted for night tennis. The charges are 1/- per day, 3/- per week for men and 2/6 for ladies; 5/- per fortnight for men and 4/- for ladies.
Most of the leading hotels and accommodation houses have their own tennis courts.
The Katoomba Bowling Greens are famous, and that local players are right up to best standard is evidenced by the fact that Katoomba BOWLS, team was successful in winning the “A” Pennant against the whole State. Carnivals are held on the local greens during Christmas and Easter holidays each year. The charges on the local greens are 2/- per day, 5/- per week, and 7/6 per fortnight. Annual membership involves £3/3/-.
The Municipal Swimming Baths are picturesquely situated at the famous “Meeting of the Waters.” They are constructed of concrete, SWIMMING, the water ranging in depth from waist high to 13 feet. A diving tower and springboard are available for use. The baths are fed by a permanent spring, and the water is always overflowing a cement spillway provided for the purpose. This ensures perfect hygiene.
Swimming carnivals are arranged during the season.
Distinct from the vast national reserves and scenic beauties, both Katoomba and Leura possess a wealth of parks and playgrounds. In the Mall at Leura there is a beautiful rest park, and the facilities at Gordon Falls are world-famous.
Katoomba has Russell Hawke Park right beside the Railway Station, always a blaze of floral glory, and containing a beautiful little lakelet. At Echo Point are more gardens, from which the visitor surveys one of the finest panoramas in the world. Adjoining it is Lilianfels Park, equipped with swings for children and similar facilities. At Leura Falls are more swings and see-saws. Added to this, the upper section of Russell Hawke Park is similarly equipped. At Katoomba Falls is another fine Reserve, buttressed by a camping ground for motorists.
Hinkler Memorial Park, which has a frontage to Katoomba, Lurline and Warialda Streets, has been planned by leading experts in Sydney to be one of the most attractive and best equipped park and playground in Australia. One section is devoted entirely to flower-beds, lawns and trees. An ample number of comfortable seats have been provided. The other section, fronting Katoomba Street, is now being converted into a modern playground for children, and parents can now feel satisfied, when planning their holiday, that the children are well catered for at Katoomba and Leura.
Few Municipalities are so excellently provided with parks, gardens and playing areas.
On 3rd December, 1932, the unique floodlighting installations of Katoomba and Leura were officially switched on by Major the Hon. C. W. C. Marr, D.S.O., M.C., M.P., Minister for Health and Repatriation.
The instantaneous success and popularity of this remarkable undertaking is doubtless already well known to our readers. The following information is given, however, to enable visitors more fully to appreciate the viewing of the sights lighted, both from a technical and scenic point of view.
The installation so far completed is divided into two distinct sections, each section being entirely different from the other, both in treatment and effect, providing an admirable contrast of two distinct types of lighting.
These two sections comprise :
(1) The Three Sisters, which are viewed from the Lookout at Echo Point.
(2) Chelmsford Bridge, The Meeting of the Waters, and Leura Cascades, which are viewed from the track leading from the Municipal Swimming Baths to the top of the Bridal Veil. The entrance to this track (at the Swimming Baths) is readily accessible, and about one mile distant by road either from Katoomba or Leura.
The Three Sisters are floodlighted by six narrow beam copper projectors, situated just below the lower lookout at Echo Point. Each pro-THE THREE jector is fitted with a plain lens, SISTERS. and gives a beam candle power of
448,000. The unique and remarkable rock formation of The Three Sisters, always spectacular and awe-inspiring, have become doubly so under floodlighting conditions.
An interesting feature of the lighting in this section is the installation of an intermittent time switch, set to give the lights one minute on and fifteen seconds off. This switching on and off of the lights gives a striking contrast between the blackness of the night and the entrancing effect of the lights.
The Leura Cascades area forms a remarkable contrast to the Three Sisters, and can aptly be described as scenic lighting, as THE LEURA opposed to direct floodlighting. CASCADES. This class of lighting reveals the scenery under new conditions, and enables consideration to be given to the beautiful effects made possible by the blending of light and shade.
The area is lighted by 28 copper projectors of varying beam candle power, ranging from 10,650 to 137,000, according to the purpose for which they are required. The projectors have been specially designed, each for its own particular purpose, as each scene lighted had to be treated in a different manner, necessitating the use of the most suitable type of lens and beam candle power, as well as the most careful consideration of the position of the projector in order to obtain the desired effect.
Much of the wiring to the projectors is done underground in specially laid galvanized piping, to avoid interfering with the natural beauty in the daytime by overhead cable construction. The cable used is of special type and the gauge calculated to give each projector its correct voltage to ensure efficiency of the beam and the life of the lamp.
The supply is no volts, being transformed down to this voltage at two substations specially erected.
The track lights are of special design, as it was necessary that the lights should not be bright, otherwise they would interfere with the effects produced by the projectors.
The approximate consumption of the 28 projectors in this area is 18 units per hour.
The lighting of the Main Cascades is best viewed on the upward journey, as the concentration of light is on the falling water over the cascades, which cannot be seen looking downwards.
A rustic bridge gives access to a specially constructed vantage point beneath light 26, from which a magnificent view of the cascades is obtained.
The whole area is easy of access, having a first-class track and a minimum of steps, so that a complete tour of inspection may be made without undue fatigue.
The lights both at Echo Point and Leura Cascades are switched on each evening for approximately two hours (increased to three hours during holiday periods), the time of switching on reanging from 7 to 8 p.m., according to the lengthening or shortening of the days.
In the Cascades area the track lights remain on about thirty minutes after the projectors are switched off, in order to enable visitors still in the area to see their way.
Visitors who seek thrills should link up with the local Alpine Club. The Secretary is Mr. Eric Lowe, “Langdene,” Cascade Street, Katoomba. The members specialise in rock-climbing, and possess complete equipment for this dangerous work. They habitually scale cliffs and eminences where the uninitiated would scarcely credit a fly could crawl. Membership fees are modest, and special rates are given to tourists. All climbing material is supplied.
It has long been recognised that some magical elixir is contained in Katoomba air. Contagious diseases are virtually unknown. The Government Medical Officer, commenting on Katoomba’s air, stated that it was “definitely aseptic and antiseptic.” That disease germs cannot survive in it is beyond question.
FEDERAL PASS—Distance from Leura Kiosk to Katoomba Falls Kiosk, 4 miles. There are 4779 steps—Katoomba Falls Kiosk to Linda Falls, 2543 1 Linda Falls to Dairy Dell, 421 ; Fairy Dell to Leura Falls, 792 ; Leura Falls to Kiosk, 1023. The Pass is entered from the Leura side, a few hundred yards beyond the Linda Falls, and ends at Katoomba Falls.
Picnickers are well catered for, there being many tables, seats and fireplaces at convenient points and under beautiful tree ferns. Numerous caves provide shelter during rain showers. The tracks and steps are in good condition, and are regularly patrolled by Council’s Rangers.
Onr Scenic Wealth
Standing nearly 3500 feet above sea level, Katoomba Municipality nestles on the giant ridge which traverses the Blue Mountains from East to West. Across this central ridge runs the railway line and the Great Western Highway. On both sides of it stupendous gorges rive the mountains asunder, from whose bosoms sweep the keen currents whose breath is the elixir of life. The bottoms of these colossal gorges lie 2000 feet lower than the town, and are girt by majestic cliffs which are quite perpendicular. The streams from the central ridge flow to the edges of these cliffs, and leap downwards in torrents of spray.
These falls lie on the southern extremity of the town from which they take their name. It begins KATOOMBA as a typical mountain burn, swirling FALLS across a beautiful series of cascades
before taking its giant leap into space. A stairway, containing the major portion of 1000 steps, has been constructed down the side of the gorge into which it plunges, and visitors delight in descending to the cool valley, through which the waters purl away into the long stretch of valley beyond.
From the foot of Katoomba Falls, the far-famed Federal Pass winds through wild mountain scenery to the remarkable series of falls FEDERAL PASS, which take their name from the township of Leura. On the way it skirts Linda Falls, an extraordinary “chute,” down whose inclined face a babbling stream hurtles to the fern-girdled bed beneath.
Continuing along the Pass, the traveller opens up Leura Falls. First he reaches the Weeping Rock, a strange formation, across which LEURA FALLS, the waters spread fanwise, concentrating in a rocky bed to take the leap known as “The Second Leura Fall.” Immediately above the Weeping Rock lies the world-famous Bridal Veil. The water flows down the face of a bell-shaped rock, covering it with a veil of diffused water, gleaming silvery in the refracted light of the sun.
Fern Bower is reached soon after passing the lofty semicircular perpendicular cliff of the Amphitheatre.
Fern Bower is one of the most exquisite spots on the mountains. It is beneath a huge projecting dripping rock, well screened from the hot rays of the sun by tall rain forest trees, whose dense canopies of dark glossy leaves exclude the sunlight altogether, and is one of Nature's most charming and fascinating ferneries that many plant admirers would love to possess.
Another series of steps, eased by recurring planes, leads to the top of the cliffs, where the tourist either swings to the left and emerges at a well-known “lookout” which commands the Jamieson Valley, or takes the path to the right and reaches Leura Cascades. Following the track beside these beautiful Cascades he comes to the Meeting of the Waters, and thence to the Municipal Baths. A picturesque walk takes him to either Leura or Katoomba, as he desires.
Higher up the creek is Lyre Bird's Dell, one of the most glorious picnic spots for kiddies which it is possible to imagine. Its countless LYRE BIRD’S waterfalls (too numerous to men-DELL. tion) comprise but one section of
the varied “sights” in Katoomba
On the north of Katoomba, distant about three miles by a good road, are Minna-Ha-Ha Falls. This pretty leap is possessed of a MINNA-HA-HA greater volume of water than FALLS. any other fall in the district.
„ A swiftly flowing creek, of generous proportions, leaps the sheer and impacts upon a ledge some 50 feet below. It is deflected by the ledge at a peculiar angle and falls precipitately into an alleged “Bottomless Pool.” Naturally, it is nonsense to declare that this lakelet is bottomless ; nevertheless, it remains true that no sounding line yet has found bottom.
Adjacent to Leura Falls is the pretty Linda Falls, already referred to. It is the culminating effort of a creek which winds amid a LINDA FALLS. veritable fairyland. Golden sands and an extraordinary profusion of ferns adorn its course ; and a thoughtful Council constructed a rustic track beside the creek-bed, which crosses and re-crosses it perpetually by quaint bridges improvised from the boles of giant sassafras trees. Half-way down is the celebrated Fairy Dell, where the creek divides into twin falls, which leap a miniature cliff, and rejoin at the precise spot where they plunge into a solemn fern-girt pool.
At the extreme end of Leura’s main street lie Gordon Falls. From this GORDON FALLS, vantage point is surveyed a superb panorama of Burra-gorang and Jamieson Valley. On its left are the falls, plunging downward in a smother of silver waters.
The magnificent view obtained from Echo Point, Katoomba, is looked upon as the grandest natural sight on the Blue Mountains. The ECHO POINT. Ruined Castle, Mount Solitary, Katoomba Gap, Jamieson Valley, a section of Federal Pass, the Three Sisters, King's Tableland, and the “Gib” at Bowral can all be seen from Echo Point.
The Council has spent thousands of pounds in the improvement of the gardens and rockeries on this popular reserve.
Every effort has been made to provide the conveniences and comforts that visitors require for their enjoyment, without undue interference with the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Interesting direction and name plates, showing the distances from Echo Point and the heights above sea level, have been provided by the Council.
The numerous seats have been placed in sheltered positions, which command excellent views. The recently constructed shelter shed is liberally fitted with seats and tables.
During the year 1932 the Council constructed at Echo Point, Katoomba, a unique Lookout Platform.
This platform is the only one of PROJECTING its kind on the Blue Mountains, PLATFORM. and has few peers, if any, the world over. The visitor is literally suspended in mid-air, surveying one of the most glorious panoramas in the universe.
It is built of reinforced concrete and is 20 feet wide, projecting from six to eight feet over the cliffs, which, at this point, are practically vertical for hundreds of feet. The cantilever beams which carry the platform are 20 feet long, and are anchored down with steel rods let into the rock and with concrete counterweights. The whole is designed to be perfectly safe even when the platform is crowded. The platform is surrounded with a railing of steel pipes, electrically welded, and small mesh chain wire netting.
Echo Point is about miles from Katoomba Railway Station.
The number of “look-outs,” where glimpses of exquisite scenery are obtainable, is amazing. In this connection none should miss visiting Echo Point, Sublime Point, Gordon Falls, and the various points above the more famous falls. From these aerial platforms, securely fenced with iron railing and stout netting, the tourist gazes down 2000 feet upon the tops of towering gums, and hears the music of hidden waters. Rolling away almost to infinity stretch the sunken valleys, bounded by grim escarpments which flash many hues in the sun. Prominent landmarks, to be seen from most of them, are Mount Solitary, the Ruined Castle, The Emu, Mount Clear, King’s Tableland, the Valleys of Burragorang, Jamieson, Megalong and Kanimbla; and in the distance the blue-shrouded Southern Tablelands.
At the northern end of Megalong Valley is the famous Nellie’s Glen. It consists of a narrow cleft between towering cliffs, whose NELLIE’S GLEN, bosom carries a crystal streamlet. A picturesque road zigzags down the glen. This glimpse of fairyland is only 30 minutes' walk from Katoomba. The Council
recently reconstructed this track, and placed in position an interesting direction board and sketch of this walk.
The Devil's Hole lies between the Narrow Neck and the Boar’s Head. It is reached by a bush track
DEVIL’S HOLE. leadl”g from the Cir,cular D™v<r' in the vicinity of the Golf
Links. Winding down a thin crack in the sheer walls of the cliff, it passes under a huge rock, which is wedged in the crack, and leads out to the fertile valley of Megalong. Those descending by this track can return via Nellie’s Glen, thus completing a round trip.
On the Great Western Highway, U miles west of Katoomba, are the remains of the world-famous Explorers' Tree. It died many EXPLORERS’ years ago ; but a stone wall, coped TREE. with protecting wire, guards its
decaying stump, and the Council has taken such steps as have suggested themselves to preserve the historic relic for posterity. When Wentworth, Blaxland and Lawson crossed the Blue Mountains, and opened the way to the Golden West, they camped for a night under the shade of this tree. Next morning they carved their initials in its trunk with a tomahawk. Traces of these initials still persist, and a little care enables the visitor to discern them.
The Narrow Neck possibly has no parallel the world over. It is a giant promontory, jutting some ten miles in a southerly direc-NARROW NECK, tion between the valleys of Jamieson and Kanimbla. It is joined to the mainland by a narrow neck of rock which one almost could leap across. Later it swells to about three miles in width, again to constrict at the “Second Narrow Neck” into another slim rib of rock. It is possible to descend from its extreme end, and follow Gailong Creek down to Cox River, which runs through red basalt and shining walls of granite, ultimately to join the Nepean.
The curious now have an excellent opportunity of learning at first hand how the sheer cliffs form the sloping masses of detritus at DOG FACE ROCK their feet. Between Ka-LANDSLIDE. toomba Falls and Narrow
Neck, reached by a good road for perhaps half a mile, stands a point known as Dog Face Rock. During the year 1931 tiny fissures began to develop, which a little later developed into a giant crack. Daily it grew wider, until a huge vertical split was in evidence, separating thousands upon thousands of tons of solid rock from the mainland. This huge island slowly swung farther and farther outward, until one day it collapsed in ruin of tumbling stones and driving sand. Huge trees were beaten flat, and the whole aspect of the contiguous scenery altered. To-day, the traveller may stand on the new line of cliff face and gaze down upon the ruins of its remains.
MINNA-HA-HA FALLS.—As indicated in the above sketch, the 'bus service is available for the major part of the distance from Katoomba Station to the Falls. From the 'bus terminus a winding path is followed to one of the deep-walled gorges for which the district is famous. The Falls have a drop of 120 feet, and always carry a fairly large volume of water. A peculiar twist in the fall, about half-way down, is a striking feature of Minna-Ha-Ha (Laughing Water). There is a deep basin at the foot of the Falls, which is popular as a swimming place. The stream flows between huge boulders and eventually finds its way into the Grose Valley.
One of the best-known landmarks at Katoomba is the sequence of isolated rocks known as The Three Sisters. They stand just east of THE THREE Echo Point, from which vantage SISTERS. point a fine view of them is obtained.
A good track leads to The Sisters, but tourists will note that it ends abruptly just above them. The Council has constructed a track past The Three Sisters to connect with the Federal Pass.
A new attraction for visitors to Katoomba, this Giant Stairway has been carved from the face of a mighty rampart of Nature, and des-GIANT cends 640 feet into the valley. There
STAIRWAY. are 916 steps, but these are not of a wearying nature, as full advantage has been taken of ledges, erosions and projections, so as to intersperse the actual steps with areas of gently inclined track. It is a stairway that old and young may negotiate, and, to render the way more pleasing, a liberal number of comfortable seats are placed at scenic viewpoints. This magnificent Stairway gives a new contrast with the descents at Katoomba and Leura Falls, as it is open on the cliff front from top to bottom, whereas the other descents wind through gorge and fern-clad gully. The whole track is perfectly sheltered, and peace and calm reign supreme even on the wildest of days.
The steps begin on the eastern side of the Jamieson Valley Lookout at The Three Sisters. They are securely fenced with galvanized piping and are netted, making them safe even for the most timorous. The Three Sisters Lookout is placed in a most unique position immediately beneath the chin of the first of the famous “Three Sisters,” known as “Queen Victoria,” on account of the resemblance to the crowned head of our late beloved Queen. Viewed from Echo Point, this unmistakeable likeness is sure to be appreciated. There are so many vantage points traversed on the Stairway as to baffle description. One may sit for hours watching the wonderful, ever-changing sunshine and shadow effects, and very often the beautiful and awe-inspiring rolling mists that fill the whole of the Valley for miles around. Down, down, steadily down, the track proceeds. Now the visitor descends steps hewn from the living rock, anon, he traverses a narrow ledge, later he employs a staircase of wood leading from one rock to another —but the railing is there and all is safe! Christmas bush abounds, and towards the end of January its dainty flower paints the hillside scarlet. Here and there a waratah lifts its stately head, and stalwart gums have established themselves wherever a foot of soil exists.
The Stairway connects with the Federal Pass just east of The Three Sisters, approximately midway between Leura Falls and Katoomba Falls. Within 20 yards of the bottom of the Stairway, beneath a lip of rock, Nature has provided a crystal spring of pure ice-cold water to refresh the traveller. The visitor may turn left to Leura Falls, or right to Katoomba Falls, or may picnic on or near the Federal Pass.
There is no more ideal hike than to descend The Giant Stairway, spend a pleasant day in the valley, and return either by Katoomba or Leura Falls, or alternatively by means of the popular and highly spectacular Scenic Railway. Picnic tables, fireplaces, firewood and fresh water are always available at either Katoomba or Leura Falls end of the Federal Pass.
There may be somewhere in the world the equal —-but there cannot be the superior—of the Majestic Giant Stairway. A visit to Katoomba can never be complete without seeing this great wonder of Nature, which was constructed by Katoomba Municipal Council in 1932.
The Orphan Rock is a similar structure, but composed of one rock only. It is reached by an excellent track leading from the top of ORPHAN ROCK. Katoomba Falls. By some trick of erosion, a hole has been worn by the elements completely through the rock. It is plainly visible from the Federal Pass, and travellers should watch for it when nearing Katoomba Falls.
The Boar's Head, undoubtedly, is one of the most remarkable pieces of natural sculpture extant. The best view of this freakish master-BOAR’S HEAD, piece is obtained from the Nar-• row Neck. Perched on the verge of the cliffs to the west of The Neck, stands a huge rock. It is a perfect presentation of the head of a great boar. The beetling snout, the slavering jaws, the curved tusks ; they all are there to excite man's wonderment at the vagaries of Nature.
Leura is justly proud of certain of its more conspicuous rocks. Chief of these are known as The Olympian, Elysian and Tarpeian Rocks. They stand a little west of Gordon Falls Lookout, and superb views are to be seen from their crests. The rocks actually form a triad, with the Olympian in the centre. It is flanked on the right by the Tarpeian Rock and on the left by the other. All three are perched dizzily on the cliff’s verge, apparently in readiness to hurtle into the valley at a breath. This, of course, is but a delusion. In reality they are as stable as the Rock of Gibraltar, and no fears need be entertained about mounting them.
Chelmsford Bridge has won a deserved fame. It is a picturesque causeway of roughly dressed stone, spanning a stream on the windMEETING OF ing bush road which connects
THE WATERS. Leura with the Municipal
Baths. Leaning upon its railing, one surveys the Meeting of the Waters, and catches a distant glimpse of the top of the sequence of cataracts known as Leura Cascades. This scenic gem is now floodlit (see Floodlighting).
The circular drive or walk shown in the above sketch shows the cliff frontages from the sheltered and beautiful Park Reserve at the intersection of Merriwa Street and Carrington Avenue via Scenic Drive to Echo Point. It is rich with interesting and historical landmarks. Distance, 3,[ miles. The Leura Falls 'bus (blue 'bus) may be taken to intersection of Merriwa Street and Carrington Avenue. A sheltered roadway along the cliff frontages to Echo Point is approximately 1 \ miles in length. The 'bus can then be taken from Echo Point to Katoomba Station.
Sublime Point begins at Leura Golf Links, and projects into the rolling Valley SUBLIME POINT, of the Jamieson, through the heart of which winds the musical waters of the Kedumba Creek. A good track traverses Sublime Point, and from its extremity a glorious view is seen.
Another track, little known, leads from Leura Golf Links to Inspiration Point and the Valley of the Waters. This locality is a veritable INSPIRATION nursery of highly scented boronia, POINT. whose incense impregnates the air
in the flowering season. There are few prettier spots than the ridge spur which separates the source of the Valley of the Waters from the broader reaches of Jamieson Valley, but it presents its dangers to those unacquainted with bushcraft.
Mount Hay is a dyke of basalt, protruding through the sandstone. It is evident that it is of much later origin than Mount Wilson and MOUNT HAY. other similar formations in the district, for the process of erosion is very incomplete. Huge boulders of basalt litter the sides of the mountain, between which vegetation luxuriates in the fertile volcanic soil. This mountain stands on the bank of the Grose River, 13 miles from Leura. From its crest one can view the crystal stream 2000 feet below. The view is awe-inspiring. A bush track connects Leura with Mount Hay; but it is not advisable for any but experienced bushmen to essay the trip.
Distance, 4f miles. A picturesque walk or drive from Katoomba Station via Katoomba Street, Katoomba Falls Road and NARROW NECK Kiosk, Golf Links to Narrow CIRCULAR DRIVE. Neck Road and Lookout and thence past the Reservoirs to Main Western Road at Shell Corner. Short side tracks lead to some of the most magnificent lookouts in the Mountains, including Katoomba Falls, Dog Face Rock, Narrow Neck Plateau, Boar's Head, Devil's Hole, and Orphan Rock. There is a regular 'bus service from Katoomba Railway Station to Narrow Neck Lookout and the Golf Links. The round trip is a popular drive for picnic parties in the fleet of charabancs that are for hire in the town.
The Council recently obtained from the Director, Botanic Gardens, Sydney, a most interesting report dealing with the trees and BLUE MOUNTAIN plants that are growing within FLORA. the Municipality of Katoomba.
The report is being printed in book form, and arrangements are being made for inclusion in the book of information regarding Blue Mountain Fauna.
The far-famed Jenolan Caves, which rank among the world’s finest limestone caverns, are situated 50 miles from Katoomba. Daily JENOLAN CAVES, car services run from Katoomba, calling at the various accommodation houses and hotels for those who have booked passages. Arrangements for seats in these cars can be made at any accommodation house, or at the booking office in town.
Katoomba Colliery Ltd. has provided at the coal mine, 200 yards beyond Katoomba Falls Kiosk, a Scenic Railway which provides a SCENIC form of entertainment and veritable RAILWAY, thrills. Visitors descending the Giant Stairway, or traversing the Federal Pass from Leura, and wishing to avoid the upward climb, may use this Railway. The charge is nominal.
A volume could be written on the innumerable beauty spots immediately surrounding Katoomba and Leura. The Falls, whose heights SCENIC are stupendous ; the vertical cliffs,
GRANDEUR, whose weathered faces glint in the sunlight and reveal a tone fantasy in orange and chromes ; the glorious gorges ; the starry clematis, whose white florets gleam in the tops of forest trees ; the ruddy-blossomed sassafras, shooting up to the sunlight from twilight gullies ; the fragrant boronia, filling in the air with incense ; the stately waratahs, turning the hillsides to scarlet in November ; the queenly Christmas bush, blooming two months later than its cousin of the lower levels ; the gorgeous ground orchids, exquisite as polished gems; the babbling mountain burns, whispering among drooping ferns. It would require the pen of a poet to accord Katoomba justice ; but its glories await the tourist.
Some excellent guide books are on the market, and may be purchased from any stationer in Katoomba or Leura. Those who desire more explicit directions, or who wish to visit the outlying country, should
inquire at the Town Hall, Katoomba. The Town Clerk will be pleased to direct them to local bushmen, who will gladly furnish directions free of charge, and possibly will volunteer to guide them.
The Three Sisters
KATOOMBA — LEURA — BLUE MOUNTAINS
ROUND DRIVE.—Leura Mall via Malvern Road and Honour Avenue to Gordon Falls, Reserve and Recreation Ground, thence via Olympian Parade to Leura Mall. Distance, 2,\ miles.
LYRE BIRD’S DELL.—Steps commence at Honour Avenue. One of the best picnic grounds in the Municipality. Pool and sand for children. -
POOL OF SILOAM.—Approximately \ mile from Gordon Falls Kiosk; the track has been reconstructed. Good picnic ground with pool and sand for children.
Nellie’s Glen—Marked Tree to Bonnie Doon Falls, i mile.
Narrow Neck Road to Devil's Hole, f mile.
From Explorers’ Tree via Nellie’s Glen and Devil’s Hole to Narrow Neck Road, 5! miles.
The tracks are all wellmaintained and are regularly patrolled by Council’s officials. Although steep in places, the tracks are safe and popular, being considered the most interesting and beautiful walks on the Blue Mountains.
For those who may find the walk via the Glen and Devil's Hole to Narrow Neck (5 \ miles) too strenuous, it is suggested that they travel in one of the motor or horse-drawn vehicles to the end of the vehicle track, 12 chains beyond the Marked Tree.
The Circular Drive via Narrow Neck Road, Golf Links and Katoomba Falls is a popular one, and motor parties are arranged for this trip each day.