A Two Day Getaway To Blackheath in the Blue Mountains

A Getaway to Blackheath is the perfect choice for a Blue Mountains weekend with some of the region’s best views, best eats and lowest crowds. While there are some wonderful hotels in Blackheath, for this weekend, we decided to rent a cottage as we were travelling in a group and wanted a little more space.

We thoroughly enjoyed our self-catered Blue Mountains weekend getaway in Blackheath at Illalangi Cottage. Read on for our tips on visiting Blackheath and the upper mountains and our review of this lovely property.

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Why Choose Blackheath for your Blue Mountains Getaway?

If you are familiar with our website, you may have noticed we are big fans of the Blue Mountains. At just over 1 hour 30 mins from Sydney, a weekend here is a great way to escape big city life, soak up some mother nature vibes and return to the city relaxed. Provided you miss the Sunday afternoon traffic jams back down the mountain, that is 😉

We decided to stay at Blackheath this time to allow us to explore some of the beautiful walks that start in this part of the Blue Mountains National Park.

The area also attracts few tour coaches, so it has a much more local vibe than Leura or Katoomba. There is a more extensive selection of restaurants and cafes, so for us it seemed like the perfect fit for an extended stay.

Where we stayed in Blackheath

Because we had settled on a three-night weekend in Blackheath, we were looking for a self-catering accommodation to help keep down the cost. Illalangi Cottage was the perfect fit for us.

The cottage is a mix of heritage and modern convenience, and has everything you need for a comfortable stay in the area. Once home to the village’s first bakery and fruit shop, the current owners have added a nice dose of personality to this very charming property.

Getaway to Blackheath at Illalangi Cottage Blackheath
The family style kitchen made me want to move in!

The kitchen was well set up with everything you need to create like a MasterChef. There was also a small stock of basic condiments and an impressive coffee machine!

Adjoining this room was a small living space with a super comfy couch and a large TV with plenty of channels to keep you occupied if the weather sets in or you have had enough outdoor time. Pleased to say we barely had time to turn it on.

An open fire and a gas heater which I am sure are put to use in the winter keep the place cosy. We visited in November, and surprisingly, it did get a little chilly, but not enough to light the fire.

living room Illalangi Cottage

Three comfortable bedrooms sleep six guests, making this is a good choice for families. We appreciated the games cupboard and the book selection. I could easily imagine spending a week here, and with NBN internet I could easily work when I needed to.

Check the current price and availability of Ilalangi Cottage here

 Illalangi Cottage back garden

The backyard was extensive, with a BBQ and a charming little cubby house.

 Illalangi Cottage cubby house

There is also a herb garden and some veggies are you welcome to use in your cooking.

Our Two Day Blackheath Itinerary

I thought I would share our itinerary to give you an idea of just some of the things to do in Blackheath.

Day One – Bushwalks and fossicking for treasure

We arrived in at the cottage just before lunchtime and after checking out our new digs headed into town for a much-needed coffee.

The view from Govett's Leap Blackheath
The view from Govett’s Leap Blackheath

Looking out over the Grose Valley at Govett’s Leap, I think this view is more impressive than the infamous view over the Jamison Valley at Echo Point.

Govett’s Leap is the starting point for several walks including two of our favourites the Cliff Top Track, a 3km one-way walk between here and Evans Lookout and the Grand Canyon Walking Track, which many agree is one of the most beautiful in the entire region.

Cliff Top Track Signage Blackheath
A great walk between two fabulous lookouts

There is a large information centre here called the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre that will be able to advise you on the best walks to take for your group and ability. There is something for everyone, including a very easy pram friendly track called the Fairfax Heritage Walk.

The Fairfax Heritage Walk on a cold winter morning.
The Fairfax Heritage Walk on a cold winter morning.

After our first walk, we needed lunch and coffee.

Time to head indoors

Even though it was November, the weather had turned cold and very windy, which is not unheard of here but also not that common this late in the year. We had been told not to miss the large antique centre that is located in the old cinema, so decided it was time to have a bit of a fossick.

Victory Antique Centre is open every day from 8am to 4pm. Be sure to check out the mural on the wall outside. It was designed by Australia fashion designer Jenny Key, who is a Blue Mountains local.

Blackheath Antique centre
The Vintage Antique Centre is a great way to spend some time out of the weather

It was an impressive set up with lots of small dealers having stalls that are unmanned but price tickets letting the main cashier know who the sale was for. Some were a mix match of things.

Victory Antiques

and others specialised in one thing, like this book and music dealer

Records at Victory Antiques Blackheath
Books and vinyl at reasonable prices

At the front of the building is a cafe where we grabbed a burger and chips to rebuild our energy for our sunset walk.

Burger and Chips at Blackheath
What diet?

After a bit of a nap at home from the carb overload, we headed out to find our sunset photography spot.

We decided to drive to Sunset Rock lookout with its views out over the Megalong Valley. It’s just 9-minute further west along the Great Western Highway. We parked our car, and it was only a 5 min walk to this lovely spot.

Sunset Lookout Mount Piddington
Sunset Lookout Mount Piddington

We didn’t time it too well, so we had quite a bit of time up on the hill waiting for the sun to go down.

Sunset Lookout Mount Piddington
A sunset worth waiting for!

One tip: if you are here in summer by the time sunsets and golden hour ends at 8:45 pm and you’re heading back looking for dinner many of the local restaurants have stopped taking orders. Grab some dinner and leave it in the cottage for your return.

Day Two – Sunrise and Gardens

Today we got up well before the birds and made our way down to Govertts Leap for sunrise. It was quite magical watching the sun come up in the distant valley.

We set aside day two as garden day. After a quick morning coffee at Anonymous Cafe (which has now turned into a cocktail bar), we made a short drive to the Rhododendron Garden, which is only just a few minutes’ walk from the cottage.

Rhododendron season had just about ended, but we did manage to find a few pretty blooms. The area has an annual Rhododendron Festival held in October and early November each year that is very popular. Accommodation at this time of year needs to be booked well in advance.

Campbells Rhododendron garden
Campbells Rhododendron garden is entry by gold coin donation

We then made the 30-minute drive to the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens and did a free guided tour; these are held most days at 11.30am. Part of the reason for our trip was to work on our photography skills, and the garden provided much inspiration for this. You can also grab a bite to eat or a coffee from Tomah Cafe.

Mount Tomah is the only botanic garden in the world located within a World Heritage area. At 1000m above sea level, it’s an excellent chance to see cold climate plant life that is not that common in Australia.

I love that from within the garden you look out over the national park; it is quite challenging deciding where to point your camera.

Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens
Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens

If you have two days and have a car at your disposal, then I think this garden is every bit as beautiful as many of the big attractions further down the mountain.

In the afternoon, we drove into Katoomba and followed Cliff Drive to check out every lookout we could find. We shared our favourites, including Google map info, on our article How to Find the Best Blue Mountains Lookouts.

We have written a few itineraries for exploring the Blue Mountains by car itinerary if you want to check them all out.

Once we got to town, we parked and took a walk to check out Beverley Place and its murals. There are at least a dozen artworks here, and they change every so often, so it’s always worth a look.

Street Art walk in Katoomba
Street Art walk in Katoomba

Night views

Right down the bottom of the street from our lovely little cottage that sits on Hat Hill Road is Pulpit Rock lookout. Our hosts had mentioned it was a great spot to see the night sky, so we decided to check it out. It’s only a 400m walk to the lookout from the carpark, and you will be rewarded with 360-degree views. We Are Explorers have written an excellent review of this location.

Related: Check out our list of 50 Things to do in the Blue Mountains

Day Three – Food and views for miles

Our final morning in the mountain started with a hearty breakfast at Anonymous, we had enjoyed the coffee so while we did want to try the General Store just a few doors up; we ended up back in the same place again.

Corn beef sandwich with homemade pickles
Corn beef sandwich with homemade pickles

I suggest you spend your last day exploring Wentworth Falls on a morning walk down to the lookout before visiting Leura for a quick look on the way home.

Wentworth Falls,
Wentworth Falls

Other sites you might like to consider if this is not your first visit to the Blue Mountains or if the weather turns nasty include:

Places we are going back to see next time

We ran out of time on this weekend to do quite a few of the things we had planned, but we are already planning our next visit to check out the following spots in the Megalong Valley:

  • Megalong Creek Estate
  • Tea Rooms in Megalong Valley
  • Logan Brae Orchard for pie

Would we do it again?

Illalangi Cottage was a perfect base for our long weekend in the mountains. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a little bit of historic comfort. There are so many walks just waiting to be discovered here your time will fly.

If you are planning a weekend here, you might want to check out our three self-drive itineraries for more ideas about what to see and do while you are here.

Want more weekend getaway ideas? Check out these beautiful places:

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4 thoughts on “A Two Day Getaway To Blackheath in the Blue Mountains”

  1. That cubby house is so adorable! I absolutely love Blue Mountains. They feel a million miles away from the buzz of Sydney.

    And right now I wish I was in Blackheath – I bet it’s at least 10 degrees cooler than Sydney! Perfect spot to escape the heatwave.

  2. This sounds lovely. David and I have a good friend who lives at the mountains (Leura) so we go there from time to time. It has been quite a while since we stayed overnight though. We used to take the boys when they were young and bushwalk and do things like ride on the Zig-zag Railway – I am not sure if it is still running.

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