Sitting pretty in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, Blackheath exudes country charm. Whether you’re exploring jaw-dropping hiking trails or lingering in charming cafes, this is a pocket of NSW that you will fall in love with, just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Sydney.



Spectacular hikes 

If you’re unsure where to begin your explorations, head to the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre for advice and information about world-class bushwalks. The team here might point you in the direction of the Clifftop Trail from Govetts Leap, which follows a cliff edge to Evans Lookout. Enjoy inspiring views over the iconic Grose Valley while you wander through dense, windswept heathland. It’s a great spot for birdwatching, so keep your eyes peeled for yellow-tailed black cockatoos and king parrots. The heath comes alive with colourful displays of wildflowers in spring, attracting nectar-loving birds such as the white-naped honeyeater.  

Couple looking at the scenic view at Govetts Leap Lookout, Blackheath

Govetts Leap Lookout, Blackheath

Meanwhile, the rainforest-clad  Grand Canyon Track is one of the rare locations where you don’t need specialist hiking or abseiling equipment to explore a canyon. Marvel at sheer sandstone walls, ever-present waterfalls and abundant native plants on this loop track that takes you into the heart of this World Heritage-listed landscape.  

Local style

Blackheath’s eclectic shopping scene is all about local and retro. Visit the Victory Theatre Antique Centre adorned with a colourful Jenny Kee mural, for quality antiques and collectibles. With almost 60 dealers offering an enormous variety of items for sale, this place truly has something for everyone. Or make a pilgrimage on the second Sunday of every month to the popular Blackheath Growers Market. Here, you can pick up everything from freshly cut flowers and organic fruit to just-baked bread, locally made cheeses and wines.  

Inspired by the delis of Europe, This Little Piggy Deli is not for the indecisive. What to order? Perhaps a wedge of Crozier blue with artisan lavosh. Maybe a Colombian coffee and slice of just-baked mud cake. Definitely a loaf of Bilpin sourdough and thinly sliced cold cuts. Bring your empty picnic hamper and load up on goodies to fuel your day of exploration, including ready-to-go meals like soul-warming soups, risottos, and seasonal hot-cross buns and pies.  

The fresh and local theme continues in Blackheath’s vibrant dining scene. Linger in drool-worthy cafes such as Sanguinary, where you can enjoy specialty coffee and homemade pastries, and Ates Mediterranean restaurant; relax over a local cider or wine at the bustling Blackheath Bar & Bistro; or enjoy inspired fine dining at Blaq, within the Kyah hotel – the views are almost as good as the food. 

Interior of Blaq at the Kyah Hotel restaurant, Blackheath

Blaq at Kyah Hotel, Blackheath - Credit: Steven Woodburn

Seasonal colour 

With its oak-lined main street and bountiful cool-climate gardens, Blackheath is ablaze with colour in autumn and spring, attracting visitors keen to capture a leaf-peeping. Celebrate the beauty as well as the quirky local culture at the annual Rhododendron Festival every November, which also hosts a 10-day art fair. Or visit the lovely Campbell Rhododendron Gardens to admire its displays of deciduous trees and exotic botanica. This manicured park is a magnet for native birds and animals.  

Rhododendron with gum trees in the background at Campbell Rhododendron Gardens, Blackheath

Campbell Rhododendron Gardens, Blackheath - Credit: Campbell Rhododendron Gardens

Where to stay 

Blackheath offers plentiful accommodation, including the secludedParklands Country Gardens and Lodges as well as countless self-contained cottages and cabins such as the spectacularly-located Woolshed Cabins in nearby Kanimbla Valley. 

Following an extensive and playful renovation, Kyah evokes the nostalgia of family holidays of yesteryear – although with design-driven attention to detail. Character-filled rooms are set across wings named after the region’s famed Three Sisters rock formations, and are part Art Deco and part Palm Springs in design – think pastel hues, cacti arranged just-so, archways and curves, and velvet flourishes.  

Kyah Hotel, Blackheath

Kyah Hotel, Blackheath - Credit: Steven Woodburn

Getting there  

Blackheath is a 1.5-hour drive from Sydney and just 10 minutes from Katoomba, passing the grand white edifice of the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath. You can also catch the train direct from Central Station, which takes around two hours and 15 minutes.

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