Leura occupies one of the most spectacular locations in the Blue Mountains. Perched on the edge of the vast escarpment that gives way to the Jamison Valley, Leura is one of the most elevated of the Mountain towns. Naturally, this means that Leura enjoys a cool climate - a fact which has played a major role in its history. Throughout the nineteenth century, many Sydneysiders craved nothing more than an escape from the heat, humidity and congestion of the city. As soon as a route into the Mountains was established, increasing numbers of affluent city dwellers sought to holiday – or in fact reside – here. The architecture and urban design of Leura reflects this. The town must be one of the state’s most picturesque, with many of the town’s graceful period buildings and elegant streetscapes remaining. Cool climate parks and gardens thrive here and Leura is a focal point for many of the state’s most ardent gardeners in October, when many private gardens are opened to the public. Now as before, Leura is a highly sought after destination, providing residents with a superb lifestyle along with access to a World Heritage listed expanse of bushland.
Restaurants & Cafés
If ever you find yourself reading a guide to the state’s best regional dining, chances are you’ll encounter references to Leura’s amazing food scene. Locals and tourists have a great range of cafés to choose from, including the Bon Ton and Wayzgoose Café. There are numerous local restaurants serving Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Thai food, and some restaurants offering fine dining. Le Goblet is renowned for its dining, as is Silks Brasserie. If you’re seeking views, be sure to book a table at The Alexandra Hotel; it offers panoramic views from its back verandah.
Leura’s numerous notable historic sites can be enjoyed by taking the Leura Walking Tour, which begins at the Alexandra Hotel and ends on The Mall at the Redmond Memorial. The walk encompasses private homes, public buildings and churches. One of the key sites is Leuralla, the former home of NSW Parliamentarian C.R. Evatt. His family still owns and manages the property which is now home to the NSW Toy and Railway Museum.
Sports, Fitness & Recreation
If the bushland surrounding Leura does not inspire you to activity, then possibly nothing will. Leura is adjacent to one of Australia's great national parks and it attracts international and local travellers each year. Opportunities to walk, run and cycle are abundant. A network of tracks extends from Links Road to Echo Point which takes you past the Pool of Siloam, Leura Cascades, Leura Falls, Jamison Lookout, Linda Falls and the Dardanelles Pass before ascending to Echo Point via the Giant Stairway. Locals also have access to the many local sporting competitions played throughout the Mountains, and Leura has its own golf club and tennis club, local fitness centres are also available. Yoga is much practiced locally, and you'll find numerous classes on offer each week.
Real Estate & Design
Much of Leura’s charm can be attributed to the quality of the local architecture. Many homes were built at the turn of the nineteenth century and these cottages - usually weatherboard – tend to have been sensitively enlarged and restored in recent years. The town also boasts some excellent examples of Art Deco architecture. The appeal of Leura means that many more recently constructed homes have had the benefit of an architect’s involvement; there are some spectacular contemporary homes in this bracket, along with more modest homes that are also of recent construction. Given the extraordinary views on offer, the most desirable residences are those that best capture them.
Schools, Education & Institutions
Although Leura's population does not exceed 5000, there are excellent services for children. The Katoomba/ Leura Preschool and ABC Child Care Centre both cater to under-fives. Leura Public School provides education from kindergarten to year six, as do a number of independent schools in the locality. Public Secondary education is provided by Katoomba High and a number of independent secondary schools are also located in the Mountains. Wentworth Falls TAFE provides a wide range of courses for tertiary students, as does the nearby University of Western Sydney.
Although Leura retains a village atmosphere, it nevertheless offers excellent shopping. You'll find some delightful boutiques and specialty stores on The Mall, along with bakeries, patisseries, delicatessens, butcheries and general stores. Woolworths is located just off The Mall and a Coles supermarket is located in neighbouring Katoomba.
Distance from the CBD & Transportation
Leura is about 100 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD. Leura train station provides access to the Blue Mountains Line, which provides a regular service east to Sydney and west to Lithgow. Buses operate locally, providing links between Leura and other Mountains towns, including Katoomba.