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Leura Guidebook

Leura Guidebook

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Leura Streetscapes & Landscapes

Leura Streetscapes & Landscapes

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Leura is renowned for its shops – you can spend an entire day browsing and buying. We love the petite unique shops with unusual and elegant products. Many have multiple rooms - they have been converted from turn-of-the century uses to present-day Leura. All are unique and unlike the typical ‘retailers of sameness’. The shops we highlight here are at the core of why we all visit Leura. Check the village map for locations.

Megalong Books

Address: 183 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 1302
Hours: Open 7 days, Mon–Sat 9am–6pm, Sun 10am–5pm

As a book lover, we are drawn to the wonderful independent bookstore, Megalong Books where walls and walls of books line shelves from floor to ceiling. The shop is a Leura icon, a long-time mainstay on The Mall, and offers a version of ‘comfort food’ for bibliophiles - calm, reassuring and with something for every palate.

Staff are knowledgeable readers, and happy to make suggestions for fact or fiction. Service is personal and prompt and if you adore books, well, having 15,000 titles in stock is an ample reason to hang around and browse. Or, if you want a little help, take a look at the ‘Staff Picks’ on the website. Each book has a description of each pick … you won’t find that on Amazon!

We have observed recently that Megalong is frequently quite crowded! Visitors are browsing longer. In this unsettled world, are we longing for the familiar – the tactile feel of a book? Recent statistics from 2016 show that ‘antiquated’ print books are outselling ebooks! Of course, we must examine the stats for reliability, but who would have thought that print was holding its own in 2017, according to a survey by the Association of American Publishers?

Tucked away on the quirky shelves are some must-reads: fiction and non-fiction, geography, history. Travel and specialty photography books about the Blue Mountains are in plentiful supply if you’re seeking a memento of your visit. Don’t overlook Megalong’s outstanding titles on walks and trails around Leura and elsewhere in the Mountains.

Grandparents: the selection of children’s books is quite extraordinary. If you have a reluctant reader, you’ll want to browse the many choices. Of course, you’ll find the perfect book for that little one back home who is learning to read and expecting a gift. This is one remarkable bookstore!

Quidditas General Store

Address: 199 Leura Mall
Phone: 02 4709 4000
Hours: Open 7 days 10am–5pm

Now in its second year, the General Store is such a joy! Items curated from around the world are stocked - many are quirky, all are eclectic and dazzling - perfect mementos of your trip to the Blue Mountains.

Textiles are always at the core of the Quidditas scene - hats, bags, socks, scarves and throws - in unusual and striking fabrics. Gorgeous Turkish handmade jewellery savours its moment in the limelight of a display case while competing with vibrant jewellery, flower and bug designs (Melody Nelson) and many other designers, Australian and international. All are chic and classy. These are items you won’t find elsewhere.

The General Store is a shop of ideas, one to tweak and unlock your options, and devoted to the unusual.

Teddy Sinclair

Address: 177-179 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 3154
Hours: Open 7 days 9.30am–5.15pm, Sun 10am–5pm

Teddy Sinclair claims a high rung on the ladder of great shops - two shops under one umbrella, each with a separate shopfront and entrance and each with extraordinary items for women or men. This is unusual for Leura, but proprietors Lindy and Paul Du Moulin seem to manage this unique arrangement with ease and flair. (In each shop, you will find the unusual and items priced to fit every pocketbook.)

The women’s side of Teddy Sinclair is the equivalent of discovering the best of Christmas surprises every day. Smart and chic leather Amelia Earhart aviator-style jackets or hip double-breasted biker jackets that awaken our fantasy to ‘hit the road’. Not-your-nanna’s travel bags in wonderful colours, soft and durable, prove a favourite. Scarves, many made exclusively made for Teddy’s, along with belts and bags of every style and colour adorn the walls throughout.

Teddy’s ‘man cave’ shop is stocked with modish leather jackets and gorgeous wools or cashmeres for men. Two items you won’t want to overlook are the gorgeous chocolate leather satchels and the very popular soft leather wallets.

But it is the jewellery that keeps loyal fans returning to this wonderful shop. Check out Ayala Bar, and Teddy Sinclair’s own brand of unusual earrings, rings and necklaces. To find the shop just follow the crowd.

Shop 175

Address: 175 The Mall
Phone: 0400 507 157
Hours: Open 7 days 10am–5pm

Eclectic and elegant, this shop features a substantial collection of antique, vintage, retro and new homewares, gifts, jewellery and clothing. Perhaps a ‘rub and wish’ on Aladdin’s Lamp could have delivered more choices but we’re not convinced. With glamorous and posh items on display throughout this petite shop, the proprietor of Shop 175 is not to be outdone by a ‘temperamental and often wicked’ genie.

We are somewhat compromised in our visual field when many choices are offered – we must look carefully and perhaps twice. So, we recommend that you set aside ample time for browsing. Ask questions and be sure to see some of the gorgeous jewellery up close. Our proprietor attends estate sales around the country – he learned the trade at the knee of a skilled relative, owner of an auction house – and he has an eye for the unusual when it comes to clothing, jewellery or art.

Don’t miss the Japanese kimonos – a stunning example is often hanging on the wall. And from the UK, colourful opera shawls of velvet and silk are standouts.

A framed pencil sketch of artist Bill Coleman could be the start of your art collection – you’ll find affordable 20th century artists at Shop 175. If you have always wanted your own Waterford collection, this is the shop for you.

And for those chilly winter days, a large collection of scarves is on hand – cashmere and Australian wools in colours you will love. A sophisticated shop, but you’ll find something for everyone.

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Leura Toy Shop

Address: 167 The Mall
Hours: Open 7 days 10am–5pm

Under a ‘starry, starry sky’ the petite toy shop is so filled with toys that visiting children are left speechless - for a moment only, then shrieks of excitement explode when they realise this is the shop for them!

The owner, who is ‘Papa’ to two lovely girls, stocks fun toys along with serious educational toys. Toys and puzzles that help develop motor skills of pre-schoolers are now in stock and always available are the loveable plush animals. Recent additions - charming Cinderella Ball gowns by Pink Poppy and tutu dresses by our own local Chloe’s Boutique - take centre stage in the display window. These tiny gowns are perfect for a dress-up with playmates or a special birthday party.

We’ve noticed 10-12-year-old kids often get bypassed by the toy industry, but the Toy Store stocks fascinating and colourful construction sets that will certainly challenge this age group. Don’t overlook the puzzles - some difficult others less frustrating! This is a wonderland, a labyrinth of trucks and china tea sets, dolls and prams and enormous toy cars. There are toys from floor to ceiling with some hanging from the stars above, sure to keep young imaginations afloat! Childhood dreams come true in this Toy Shop - the Blue Mountains’ only toy source!

Gifts-n-Things Leura

Address: 134a The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 3832
Hours: Open 7 days 10am–5pm
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Of the numerous shops along the Mall, Gifts-n-Things stays true to the Edwardian-look of Leura. The deep slate of the exterior and a peppermint green door are reminders of 1885 Leura. But inside, this is the 21st century’s ‘Little Shop of Delights’.

Strappy colourful sundresses in summer and trendy autumn sweaters for when the weather turns chilly form part of the eclectic stock. From beautiful scarves and wraps to Jendi, Holiday, Brave+True and Orientique fashion, you’ll find something special for every season.

Check out the accessories - so many choices. Don’t overlook the Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries and fragrances near the counter; Gifts ‘n’ Things is an appointed stockist.
Over the years, we’ve observed that owner Jo Davidson is always charming and treats every customer as a special guest, rare in today’s hustle and bustle. Jo is a second-generation proprietor - her father taught her the trade.

From its front verandah through the multiple rooms (with open fire), this is the ultimate gift shop. You’ll need browsing time, as each room has its surprises - remarkable gifts and homewares line the shelves of this turn-of-the-century building and will charm their way into your heart and home.

Birches of Leura

Address: 2/156 Megalong Street
Phone: 02 4784 3146
Hours: Open 7 days 10am–5pm

Looking through the nursery-centre gate, we get the distinct impression of a ready-made garden: herbs, cottage plants, seedlings and trees and, in the garden, two beautiful flowering Japanese Cherry. Handsome gurgling water features strategically spaced throughout provide a sense of tranquility.

A recent addition is the handmade ornamental terracotta, truly Tuscany works of art. Fired in a century-old furnace, these are so unique and so beautiful you’ll want to consider one or perhaps more for your garden.

Cut flowers are always in stock and the gift shop overflows with beautiful decorative items for the home. So many unique and charming items you won’t find anywhere else. We do love shopping here – it is a petite shop and our creative juices start to flow with every visit.

Birches of Leura is home to the Scarecrow Competition at the Leura Harvest Festival each autumn - creative, inventive and unconventional entries hang throughout the garden in May.

Art returns to Leura

Some years back, Leura was home to several artists – their galleries intermingled with the commercial scene of Leura. And as with changing times, most closed with only Gallery Lane holding fast. Today, the art scene is alive and well, but, you must seek out the galleries as they are hidden away off The Mall, down lanes, the back of arcades and next to a popular Leura eatery. All are well worth your time.

Gallery Lane (Fine Art)

Address: 87 Railway Parade
Phone: 0417 824 618
Hours: Fri–Sun 11am–4pm and all public holidays

From the Leura carpark and through the fence of a small back garden on Post Office Lane, Gallery Lane is a hidden Leura treasure, tucked away in a quaint Blue Mountains cottage. Small but not inconsequential, the gallery exhibits the art of Loraine Droga and other local artists. With landscapes as her artistic focus, Droga utilises a variety of styles – watercolour, charcoal and mixed media – which often surprises and pleases visitors. If you enter from Railway Parade, the petite gallery is down the driveway between two medical offices.

Ainsley Fine Jewellery

Address: 166–168 Aspects of Leura Arcade, Shop 10
Phone: 02 4784 2807
Hours: Open 7 days 10am–5pm

Up the steps at the back of Aspects Arcade, is the working gallery and shopfront of jeweler and artist, Ainsley Whelan (Fine Jewellery). Exceptional gemstones abound – amethyst, garnet, lemon quartz and a ‘stop-in-your-tracks’ pair of gold and silver spiral aquamarine drop earrings. Ainsley is a jewellery designer, gemologist and diamond grader. With such impressive credentials, we were surprised to find such a young talent behind the design desk. Ainsley’s attention to detail and design is unusual and exciting for her years.

Fine Art Images Gallery

Address: 166-168 Aspects of Leura Arcade, Shop 4
Phone: 0410 422 243
Hours: Open 7 days 10am–4.30pm

Photographer Melinda White is the main exhibitor of this gallery; her work is collected worldwide and she is internationally known for her iconic images of Bondi Beach. This artist-run gallery provides a rare opportunity to meet the artist. Her images are inspired by Australia’s rugged landscape, made up of impressive mountains, blue oceans and white sandy beaches.

Light & Shadow Fine Art Gallery

Address: Shop 2, 19 Grose Street
(adjacent to the Leura car park)
Hours: Open Wed–Sun 10am–4pm

The Gallery has three exhibition rooms to peruse. The main downstairs gallery has a permanent display of the iconic photography of Max Dupain AC OBE, Australia’s influential photographer. The upstairs galleries are dedicated to local artists and photographers who have mastered the art of narrative composition, imaginative perspective, and light and shadow.

Everglades Gardens Gallery

Address: 37 Everglades Avenue
Phone: 02 4784 1938
Hours: Wed–Sun 11am–3pm

This light-filled gallery on the Everglades grounds changes exhibitions throughout the year. Limited edition photographs, handmade prints and small-scale sculptures were a recent exhibition. Exhibitions are diverse as are medium. Leura and the Blue Mountains are a fabulous getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Leura has been a favourite of Sydney-siders since its earliest days in 1892. Back then they arrived by train. Today, visitors arrive by car, tour bus, train - and sometimes helicopter!