The westernmost village in the Blue Mountains, Mount Victoria is brimming with historic charm and natural attractions. Originally a stockade for convict chain-gangs, and later an important staging post for Cobb & Co coaches, the town became known as Mount Victoria in the 1860s when the railway came to town.
History and culture
This rich history is revealed as you walk around the sleepy village, passing the grand Imperial Hotel (currently under renovation), the Victoria and Albert Guesthouse and the old Tollkeeper’s Cottage. For railway memorabilia and an eclectic collection of local artefacts, visit Mount Victoria Museum at the 1868 sandstone railway station.
Enjoy a charming blast from the past at Mount Vic Flicks, an independent arthouse cinema that captures the golden age of Australian country picture theatres. Grab a choc top or cup of tea in a real china cup and settle back for a retro movie-watching experience.
Surrounded by bushland, Mount Victoria boasts some easy trails to lookouts over neighbouring valleys. From Mount Piddington, walk to Hornes Point for incredible views over the Kanimbla Valley; or take the winding track to Fairy Bower Reserve. At Mount York there is a monument to early explorers; while nearby, Berghofer’s Pass – the original route for motor cars tackling the descent into the Hartley Valley – is an easy walk of historical significance.
From Mount Victoria, take the alternative route back to Sydney via the Bells Line of Road, detouring to visit the garden village of Mount Wilson before continuing through the apple orchards of Bilpin, home to the award-winning Bilpin Cider and the new Hillbilly Cider Shed. And don’t miss the incredible Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, a spectacular cool climate garden featuring thousands of plants from around the world.
Getting there and where to stay
Mount Victoria is easily accessible via both the Great Western Highway (1hr 45min from Sydney) or Bells Line of Road via Richmond and Bilpin (a two-hour drive). It’s also a comfortable two-hour train ride from Central Station on the Blue Mountains line.
The former summer retreat of newspaper baron John Fairfax, the Manor House built in 1876, is now the location for Hotel Etico, Australia’s first social enterprise hotel providing employment opportunities for people with intellectual abilities. The grand Victoria and Albert Guesthouse is another option for accommodation steeped with old-world charm.