Leura, New South Wales

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Leura
Blue MountainsNew South Wales
Leura bm.jpg
Leura's main street, Leura Mall, looking south-east
Leura is located in New South Wales
Leura
Leura
Coordinates 33°43′S 150°20′E / 33.717°S 150.333°E / -33.717; 150.333Coordinates: 33°43′S 150°20′E / 33.717°S 150.333°E / -33.717; 150.333
Population 4,365 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 2780
Elevation 985 m (3,232 ft)
Location
LGA(s) City of Blue Mountains
State electorate(s) Blue Mountains
Federal Division(s) Macquarie
Suburbs around Leura:
Katoomba Blue Mountains National Park Wentworth Falls
Katoomba Leura Wentworth Falls
Katoomba Jamison Valley Wentworth Falls

Leura (postcode: 2780) is a suburb in the City of Blue Mountains local government area that is located 109 kilometres (68 mi) west of the Sydney central business district in New South Wales, Australia. It is one of the series of small towns stretched along the Main Western railway line and Great Western Highway that bisects the Blue Mountains National Park. Leura is situated adjacent to Katoomba, the largest centre in the upper mountains, and the two towns merge along Leura's western edge.[2]

History[edit]

The name Leura is derived from the Aboriginal word meaning "lava".[3] However, this seems unlikely as no volcanoes have erupted in New South Wales for at least 10 million years.[citation needed]

Description[edit]

Leura's elevation of 985 metres (3,232 ft) AHD  leads to occasional snowfall in winter and a climate that reflects all four seasons distinctly. At the 2011 census, Leura had a population of 4,365 people.[1]

The village centre lies on Leura Mall which is divided at this point by a wide grassy median strip planted with flowering cherry trees. The historic streetscape has been largely preserved, although there was local concern regarding the development of a shopping complex on the site of a former distribution warehouse. Redesigned to better suit the Leura Mall ambience after consultations with the wider community, the new shopping complex is now complete, hosting a Woolworths supermarket and liquor store. The historic post office building is now home to a news agency. Alexandra Hotel, not far from the railway station, offers panoramic views from its back veranda. There are a substantial number of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops along Leura Mall, among the boutiques, gift and antique shops.

Leura is home to many formal, English-style, cool-climate gardens, which provide elegant walks and the opportunity to visit when open to the public in early October each year.

Activities[edit]

A small waterfall at Leura. Rainforest plants here include the Southern Sassafras and the Black Olive Berry, both relics from the age of Gondwana.

The Leura Walking Tour begins at The Alexandra Hotel just above the railway station and ends on The Mall at the Redmond Memorial across from Leura Cellars. The walk offers a slow paced look at homes, buildings and churches that are the architectural history of Leura.

One of the most prominent is Leuralla, the former home of Clive Evatt, an Australian politician, barrister and raconteur. Evatt was the brother of H.V. "Doc" Evatt, a former Chief Justice of New South Wales, Leader of the Australian Labor Party, the third President of the United Nations General Assembly, the first Chairman of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, and a Justice of the High Court of Australia. The Evatt family still owns and manages the property which is now home to the NSW Toy and Railway Museum.[4]

Another major attraction is the Everglades Gardens, the former home of Belgian-born industrialist Henri van de Velde now administered by the National Trust. The Everglades includes van de Velde's Moderne-style home and 5 hectares (13 acres) of landscaped gardens designed by Danish architect Paul Sorensen.[5][6] The Everglades has an outdoor theatre which often hosts productions such as Cirquinox and the Leura Shakespeare festival.

Self-styled as "the Garden Village", the Leura Gardens Festival is held annually in October. The Festival is a registered charity and raises money for the Blue Mountains District Anzac Memorial Hospital in Katoomba by opening private gardens to the public. Not connected with the garden festival but also held at the same time is the popular Leura Village Fair.

Natural attractions include Sublime Point to the south, which offers panoramic views of the Jamison Valley, and Leura Cascades in the southwest. There is a network of tracks that goes from Links Road to Echo Point, taking in many attractions along the way, including 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. The area is popular for bushwalking and photography.[7][8]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Leura (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Blue Mountains Tourist Map, Eighth Edition, 1988, New South Wales Government
  3. ^ "PLACE NAMES.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1932-1982) (1932-1982: National Library of Australia). 13 May 1964. p. 61. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Leuralla: Famous mountain house". New South Wales Toy and Railway Museum. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Everglades Gardens
  6. ^ Visit Blue Mountains
  7. ^ Paton, Neil (2004). Sydney and Blue Mountains Bushwalks. Sydney: Kangaroo Press. pp. 212–220. 
  8. ^ Land and Property Information. Katoomba Topographic Map, 8930-1-S, (Map). New South Wales.

External links[edit]

Media related to Leura, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons