Blackheath in The Blue Mountains is rich in history: Governor Macquarie personally named the town himself in 1815; Sir Charles Darwin stopped there for a drink in 1836; and 'The Don' Bradman once scored a century off just three overs in 1931, playing for the local team at Blackheath Oval in a game against Lithgow. The sense of history is materialized furthermore by the proliferation of antique stores and old wares – the most impressive of all being Victory Theatre Antique Centre.
The centre is housed in a reincarnated art deco theatre, which is a very fitting setting for the rebirthing of old wares going on inside. With 50 dealers represented daily, variety is guaranteed. Whether you're after a statement piece of furniture, some opulent Victorian jewellery, or just Beatles memorabilia, you can be guaranteed to find it here. Even if you're not after anything in particular I highly recommend going in for a browse, you can lose hours gawking over wartime curios and retro children's toys – but be warned that you may find your wallet unexpectedly lighter and a 1950's cocktail cabinet in your arms, as I did.
Much like the collections, the prices are also varied. Many of the dealers have a thorough knowledge of their goods, and subsequently of what they can charge for it. I didn't find things over-priced, but don't expect to bag a bargain – the more exquisite finds will have higher price tags.
After you've scoured every nook and cranny of the two-storied hall, you'll probably be in need of a sit down and a cup of tea. Conveniently there's a nice little café right out the front of the centre. The café hasn't anything extraordinary to boast of, but you can get a decent coffee and a tasty bite to eat that will placate most city-slicker pretensions.
Blackheath claims to be the biggest antiques and collectibles hub west of Sydney, so if your old wares hunger hasn't been sated, be sure to check out the other stores around the town (many of which are on the same street). A friend raved about one in particular that's located on the opposite side of the tracks. It specialises in retro goods and displays them in themed rooms, however it was closed for the winter when we went (yes, the whole winter! Apparently vintage shopping should be treated like Pimms and reserved for summer months only).
Located on the outer edge of the Blue Mountains, Blackheath is a bit of a trek to do there and back in one day, but still achievable (approx 2 hrs each way). A visit would best be included as part of a weekend or over-night trip to the mountains.