Although you will find autumnal hues splashed throughout the mountains, the best locations are Leura, Blackheath and Mount Wilson. Drive or walk around either town, soak in the atmosphere of the season, then stop for lunch in one of the many cute eateries.
Particularly recommended is the small copse at the bottom of the Everglades Garden in Leura. The Everglades is at the end of Everglades Ave, about 5 minutes drive from Leura village (as they so quaintly call it these days). You can walk there from the station in 20 minutes or catch the Trolley bus.
There is a small admission fee to the garden – which might make you baulk - but is worth it. You can make a day of it, picnic on the grass or on one of the conveniently located benches. There's also a tea-room and gallery on site.
The Copse at the bottom of the Everglades Garden, Leura, in it's autumnal glory.
For something more visually dramatic, take a drive to Mount Wilson. This tiny, English heritage style village of about 200 citizens, is sequestered in the midst of gum rainforest and jungle style ferns. It can only be accessed by car.
If coming from Sydney take the M2 and M7 taking the Richmond Road Exit till you get to Richmond. From there follow the signs towards Lithgow passing through the townships of Kurrajong Heights, Bilpin and Mt Tomah along the Bells Line of Road. Between Mt Tomah and Bell take the Mt Wilson turnoff.
If coming via Katoomba, head West towards Mount Victoria, a 20 minute drive. Turn right at the towns lights into Station Street. This road changes into the Darling Causeway which leads you to the Bell's Line of Road.
Bring food if you want to eat and water to drink while at Mount Wilson. Supermarkets and shops don't exist in this neck of the woods.
This is a place to park the car. Stroll through the corridor of elms, beeches and linden trees. Spot the fairy-tale like mushrooms that crop in the grass, for this place is far from the conveniences of modern life. It's a place to dream, escape the hustle and bustle, and touch place with another part of ourselves.
Timing is everything when it comes to viewing the fall colours in their prime. Mid-March to mid-April is generally the key window of opportunity, although that depends on the oft unruly weather. Bear in mind Autumn tends to commence slightly earlier in Mt Wilson, although I couldn't tell you why.
My final, yet most important advice is to rug up. Pack a scarf, gloves and winter jacket. Chances are it will make all the difference between a chilly power-walk and a pleasant amble. When that icy wind blows, a forerunner to impending winter, you might thank me.
If you dont have a car and want to experience the wonderful Mt Wilson you can ring up Nyla from TCP Garden Tours. Jacky Bailey has written a great review of this business on Weekend Notes. Just type in TCP Garden Tours in the search button and read what Jacky thought.
we were in the mountains just a couple of weeks ago, apple picking in Bilpin, Mt Tomah area and we had a picnic in the botanical gardens, which had free entry.
What a magnificent day, the kids loved the fresh apples, and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere and different birds and flora.
Will be back again!
Well Linda, we did your "tour" yesterday and were very impressed with the Everglades Gardens. The people were all extremely friendly and made us feel welcomed. It is definitely worth a visit to the tea rooms just to see the house, which is a genuine 1930s abode complete with many original features. We thought the bathrooms were amazing!