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Leura Guidebook

Leura Guidebook

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Leura Streetscapes & Landscapes

Leura Streetscapes & Landscapes

Click here to purchase

Leura is an enchanting village located in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia. With its Edwardian storefronts and 19th century cottages, Leura sits framed upon a background of stunning natural wonders: sandstone escarpment, dense eucalypt forests and rugged terrain.



ALERT! The Glenbrook Visitor Information Centre on the Great Western Highway at Glenbrook is closed for a remodel. It will look great after the big work is done. Once it reopens the hours are: Daily, 8:30am to 4pm Monday - Saturday. 8:30am to; 3:30pm Sundays.

LEURA HARVEST FESTIVAL IS ON, SUNDAY 6th MAY. Join in the 3rd annual Scarecrow Competition displayed at Birches Gardens & Gifts. Scarecrows must be made of recycled materials only. For details of the competition, 02 4784 3146 or For Details

SCULPTURE @ SCENIC WORLD 2018 OPENS FRIDAY, 13th, its 7th year. 38 stunning artworks delicately installed by a team of professionals  among the pristine Jurassic rainforest through May 13th. You won't want to miss this exhibition. For details and for accommodation

ROOSTER RESTAURANT (48 Merriwa Street located midway between Leura and Katoomba) with its traditional French cuisine now offers a Monday, Tuesday and Friday Lunch Special.  Head over before you take in Sculpture at Scenic World -- we suggest bookings. With a view out to the escarpment and beautiful sunny days Un coq chante (the rooster crows). Circa 1895 Traditional French Lunch Specials

THE ALEXANDRA HOTEL, 62 Great Western Highway has the perfect outlook over look, lunch or dinner on the terrace is perfect in this weather. Book on weekend nights.  02 4782 4422.

CAFFINE & GASOLINE CAFE, 82 Railway Parade opened some months ago, but we didn't make the turn off The Mall, so we missed out on a charming cafe with terrific coffee and yummy sweets! Seating is rustic both interior and out front -- the perfect way to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. See us on Instagram. Better yet, see us on Railway Pde

MEGALONG BOOKS, Leura's independent bookstore (182 The Mall) -- stop by when you are up in the mountains. Great book choices and, you'll find a staff who reads! [grandparents alert -- a great gift ] This week's recommendation is for young readers. 'Secret of Ron Mor Skeery' Ten-year-old Fiona takes a nostalgic journey back to the islands of Scotland and to the home of her grandparents.  And it is here in the Western isles in a mist of fantasy, lore, and possibility, she reclaims from the sea her lost brother, who as a child became a ward of the seals, totally adapted to the life of the ocean. (Kirkus Review) [See our locator map for Megalong Books] Locate your favourite store or cafe

bentART EXHIBITION (JUNE-LONG WEEKEND). Entries open March 19 and close May 14. Held in Wentworth Falls School of Arts, the exhibition celebrates the works in the visual arts of Australian LGBTQI artists. For more info 2018 bentART

LEURA GARDENS FESTIVAL CHANGE OF DATES -- weekends only. Saturday, 29 September - Monday, 1 October. Friday, 5 October - Sunday 7 October. Mark your calendars 

HANA JAPANESE, is open for lunch and dinner. From Zomato review: 'Went there with my wife for a quick lunch before going for scenic walks at Blue Mountain. Nice atmosphere and the food was actually very good for this price. Japanese chef and waitress working in the restaurant feels like we are in Japan. Good job! '  

TREAD LIGHTLY ECO TOURS. A 2018 Adventure -- breakfast with Australia's finest -- mountain kangeroos. It's an early morning adventure, so an overnight stay is recommended. Breakfast with our Kangaroos

THE WALDORF LEURA GARDENS RESORT is surrounded by delightful gardens and Blue Mountains views. A hearty hot breakfast or, on hot days a cold breakfast is served in the on-site Olive Tree restaurant 20 Fitzroy Street overlooking the nearby golf course. 02 4784 4000. Plan ahead for your accommodation.







Creativity may be a common thread that runs through Leura shop owners. Like a bushfire it may skip some but tie others together. Creativity is what they do; unusual is how they do their work and joy they bring to those they encounter.


We talked with three proprietors (not pictured) who bring their unique personality to Leura. Each brings an unusual love of life and a love for their business and for Leura. We'll introduce them over the next three months.


Today, meet Deborah Whitford, owner of Quidditas Arts Gallery on Railway Parade and the Quidditas General Store on 199 The Mall – near Megalong Street.





A Gardner at heart:  The gardens surrounding the Gallery showcase Deborah’s love and skill. In an age of material things, a garden retrieves her and she reclaims the  link to her English heritage.



Textiles & Design: Deborah's mum was a dressmaker who loved clothing and the seeds for Deborah’s career were planted by age 12. With the HSC behind her, Deborah bumped into the limitations for women in architecture. But the door was open in design – at least for some. Only 40 placements were available in design school and Deborah won a position. After graduation, a costuming job in a Sydney dance theatre brought about the next learning to this young designer. She had skills unthought of for many women – entrepreneurial and persistence. And like many, she was not sufficiently political for the primarily male design world. Striking out on her own, a design label – her very own – of textile design and fine silk printing opened a window on the world.


The World of Many Cultures: Trendy is for the masses and is usually short lived. Exquisite, unusual and atypical is recognized by only a few -- somewhat a misfit in the world of celebrity and social media. The design scene has its limitations and its imperfections. Trade fairs in Paris and London and more recently Ausgtralia offer quality items for good value from many designers and an introduction to many cultures – here she found her milieu and her scene. 


Often cultures outside the most developed are ignored or appropriated by others – the best skills pilfered. Skills laid by the wayside, remote cultures disappear and are eventually forgotten. Yet. the linkages or interdependencies from one culture to another remain in Deborah's mind and the love remains in her heart.



A museum she created:

In past years the museum exhibits of beautiful laces – ‘A Holey Textile’ Works that require strength and skill and patience.  ‘India Wow!’ a display of beautiful craftsmanship and the excellent understanding of colour and design.


Avoid the bandits (early-day pirates) ‘Textiles along the Silk Road” is currently on display. A fascinating story in the history of trade and what we now call international trade. Slow and arduous, the silk road is a series of routes. Think sixth or seventh century (BC). Not only difficult but also unsafe. The route to and from China and let to silk, then paper, then tea!  From Afghanistan, the deep and gorgeous lapis lazuli. Exotic Istanbul, the gateway city between East and West. Routes were often the centre of conflict, of minor and major wars and transport changed from horses to dromenary camels to ships, to planes. It’s a fascinating story and the link below, Deborah has uploaded beautiful images of the exhibition pieces:


The Gallery Shop offers unusual items we can purchase. Not on the beaten path of Leura Mall, the shop offers some of the best and best priced items in Leura. Without moving into sales jargon, we recommend you find your way to Railway Parade if you want different, exotic and long lasting.




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