This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Leura Guidebook

Leura Guidebook

Click here to purchase


Leura Streetscapes & Landscapes

Leura Streetscapes & Landscapes

Click here to purchase

Go Travel Leura: Le Coq Gaulois -- our rooster in the mountains


The Rooster Restaurant

48 Merriwa Street, Katoomba

Phone: 02 4782 1206
Hours: Open Daily - Breakfast 8am-10am
Lunch 12pm-2.30pm
Dinner 6pm-late
Bookings advised
Music: weeknights and long weekends

Located midway between Leura and Katoomba, The Rooster, built 125 years ago and looking very European, sits on the cusp of the escarpment. Perhaps the most stunning unimpeded view of Jamison Valley and the escarpment belongs to The Rooster. Out front, tables and umbrellas offer a casual lunch setting for trekkers and backpackers - or perhaps that celebratory glass of champagne after a successful rock climb.

Inside, windows open out to the escarpment, and a fully stocked and beautifully polished timber bar creates an impressive reception area. In the dining area, period chandeliers, fresh flowers and white linens continue to impress.




Imbued with Edwardian style, the Rooster is elegant, yet inviting - lunch is informal - formality is reserved for evenings where the traditional French menu is superb: slow cooked veal, duck comfit gently and slowly cooked and served with lentils in potato baskets, grain-fed beef with onion compote and of course, desserts to throw all diets to the wind: Chocolat, Crèpes Suzette, Crème brulee or Gènoise with fresh berries. Fresh flowers at each table add to the ambience and excellence that Rooster's patrons have come to expect over many years.

A TripAdvisor Reviewer writes recently:
"Perfection on a Plate"… "A Taste of France with super fast and friendly service"… 

Go Travel Leura: It's In The Genes. . .

Ainsley Fine Jewellery -- 175 Leura Mall -- 02 4784 2807 -

Where do those who ‘fly solo’ in the business-world find their moxie [moksi:] courage combined with inventiveness? Where did they find their creativity and their drive?  Where do they find stamina, enough to keep a business solvent and vital?


   Ainsley Whelan, Jeweller

This week, we asked those questions of Ainsley Whelan, our ‘Leura soloist’ --  a ‘30-something’ businesswoman who opened shop in Leura in 2015 – Ainsley Fine Jewellery. Where did she find her moxie?


Ainsley as a young child loved drawing, coupled with a love of gem stones.  Collecting all she could find, she stored away the bits and bobs of stones – perhaps not of great value to others – much like a little squirrel preparing for winter.   She was fascinated with them as only an intense eight year old could be. An artist in the making.

With artistic intelligence and competency along with keen  ‘attention to detail’, Ainsley now sees a link back to her dad, a Sydney scientific-instrument-maker by trade – and someone who lives his life in the world of detail.



Following her paternal heritage, Ainsley is the only manufacturing jeweller in Leura and her love of detail infuses her designs – designs which begin as imaginative drawings and take on form and life as she works with gold, silver and other precious metals to manufacture beautiful jewellery.  From original drawing to finished ring or necklace is for Ainsley a creative challenge, but the process is also the creative stimulus. Challenge and stimulus – creating is what she loves.



At 18, her imaginative ability took form in a jewellery design course at TAFE. An apprenticeship with a Double Bay female jeweller followed.  It was a strategic and resourceful walk in the park from that point.  Jobs with a couple of Sydney jewellers followed and provided more experience and probably confidence as well. She knew well by her late twenties that a business of her own was in the cards.  Again she followed her lineage and she had a strategic direction. Both maternal and paternal grandfather had been entrepreneurs, solo businessmen. Perhaps there is a gene at play here.



We asked, what is most difficult in your business? Of course, the answer has its intricate and its knotty parts. Ainsley: Complicated quotes! Factoring in materials, labour and design costs – it’s a bit of a black art. The nitty gritty of running the business from the financials to sourcing materials to marketing – it is a lot. Of course, if being in ‘start-up-mode’ isn’t enough, being parents to a toddler and an infant keep Ainsley and her ‘attention-to-detail’ husband on their toes.



Advice to other young women with an itch to start their own? ". . .understanding how important marketing is to the business Equally time consuming for an owner is keeping up with the technology such as social media which seems to change all the time", she advises. When she purchased the Blackheath jewellery business, changed its name and moved it to Leura, Ainsley felt marketing wisely was the biggest challenge.


For many entrepreneur-artists, the thorny parts of business may be a struggle, but they don’t kill off the love. And so with Ainsley. Often you hear the pundits say, 'follow your passion'. Perhaps the passion is in the genes: we think it is wise to look to your lineage.