Leura, New South Wales
Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Leura's main street, Leura Mall, looking south-east
|Population||4,385 (2006 Census)|
|Elevation||985 m (3,232 ft)|
|LGA(s)||City of Blue Mountains|
Leura is a suburb in the City of Blue Mountains local government area 109 km west of Sydney 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. It is 100 km by road from Sydney and the train journey takes a little under 2 hours. Leura is adjacent to Katoomba, the largest centre in the upper mountains, and the two towns merge along Leura's western edge.
Leura's elevation of 985 metres above sea level leads to occasional snowfall in winter and a climate that reflects all four seasons distinctly. At the 2006 census, Leura had a population of 4,385 people.
The village centre lies on Leura Mall which is divided at this point by a wide median planted with flowering cherry trees. The historic streetscape has been largely preserved, although there has been 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 newsagency. The 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, amongst the famous boutiques, antique shops, etc.
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.
The Leura Walking Tour I 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 NSW Parliamentarian C.R. Evatt. Evatt was the brother of former Federal Labor leader and U.N. President H.V. "Doc" Evatt; his family still owns and manages the property which is now home to the NSW Toy and Railway Museum.
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. The Everglades has an outdoor theatre which often hosts productions such as Cirquinox and the Leura Shakespeare festival.
As Leura is also called 'the Garden Village', it is not surprising that every October the Leura Gardens Festival is held. The Leura Gardens 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 ever 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.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Leura (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Blue Mountains Tourist Map, Eighth Edition, 1988, New South Wales Government
- "PLACE NAMES.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1932-1982) (1932-1982: National Library of Australia). 13 May 1964. p. 61. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- Everglades Gardens
- Visit Blue Mountains
- Sydney and Blue Mountains Bushwalks, Neil Paton (Kangaroo Press) 2004, pp.212-220
- Katoomba Topographic Map, 8930-1-S, Land and Property Information, New South Wales
Media related to Leura, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons
- Blue Mountains, Leura, Katoomba and Wentworth Falls - aerial video footage.
- Leura Blue Mountains Guide Downloadable map for walking tour of Leura, and bushwalks from either Gordon Falls or Sublime Point.
- Leura Gardens Festival
- Leura Information