Standing regally atop the sandstone cliffs on the edge of the Jamison Valley since 1908, the Mountain Heritage Hotel and Spa Retreat is the perfect luxurious base for any would-be explorers wishing to spend their days hiking to the endless natural beauty spots of the picturesque Blue Mountains.
Once the largest timber-framed building in the entire Southern Hemisphere, this hotel is steeped in history and houses what could be Australia's largest private collection of historical photographs; documenting the early history of Sydney and The Blue Mountains. Just a ten minute stroll above the secluded mountain town of Katoomba, this 41-room boutique hotel provides an intimate, caring experience for its guests, who will leave after their short break or romantic retreat feeling cared for and refreshed.
As well as the countless walks, hikes, guided tours and other activities one can embark on in the Blue Mountains, the Mountain Heritage Hotel and Spa has a plenitude of relaxing facilities to keep you cosily occupied during your downtime. Enjoy a perfectly-crafted cocktail while drinking in the breath-taking rolling, viridian-carpeted Blue Mountain ranges on the spacious veranda, or curl up by the roaring fire and delve into the fantastical world of a novel selected from the hotel's in-house library.
Food, drink & entertainment
The ever-changing, seasonal A la Carte menu of Mountain Heritage Hotel and Spa Retreat's in-house Jamison Views Restaurant will delight any diner with its wide range of modern Australian cuisine and comprehensive Australian wine list, complimented beautifully by the tinkling tones of the restaurant's resident pianist in the background. If you fancy something a little different, nearby Katoomba is brimming with restaurants and cafes; the town's main culinary interests lying in Italian and Indian cuisines.
Sport, games & activities
Indulge in any number of relaxing treatments between hikes in the Mountain Heritage's in-house day spa, swim a few lengths in the outdoor pool, or keep in shape during your vacation in the fitness centre. For those wishing to take full advantage of the surrounding terrain, challenge yourself to a hike through the mountains to see such natural monuments as The Three Sisters and Wentworth falls. Take a cable-car ride above the canopy of the ancient rainforest, or take a horseback ride through the wilderness. Then, go and find a unique souvenir in the off-the-wall vintage boutiques of Katoomba.
Guests can choose from nine styles of accommodation when staying at the Mountain Heritage Hotel and Spa Retreat, from the charming Heritage Rooms to luxurious Valley View suites, many of which come with a spectacular view of the Jamison Valley. Even the most basic of rooms available are rustically decorated in a vintage, cosy country style which will make you feel right at home, and come with amenities such as an en-suite with bath and shower facilities, a TV and DVD player, a fridge/mini bar, an iron and board, and windows which open to allow guests to inhale the fresh, eucalyptus fragranced mountain air.
Sprawled across the South-East coast of New South Wales, between the Tasman Sea and the stately peaks of the Blue Mountains, Australia's first city was founded in 1788 by Captain Arthur Phillip, and has grown exponentially ever since to become the 12,367km² multicultural metropolis that it is now.
Sydney is the perfect destination for those seeking a holiday that is brimming with a variety of unforgettable activities, sights and experiences. Spend a day learning to catch a wave on the world-famous white-sand crescent that is Bondi Beach, or lose yourself in the shopping districts of the towering city. Take a stroll around the beautiful natural harbour by day, or take a dinner cruise by night, taking in the lit-up landmarks of the harbour while being served a delicious, world-class meal.
To truly immerse yourself in the region's beauty and history, a holiday in Sydney's Blue Mountains is an experience not to be missed. A one and a half hour drive from Sydney, lovers of outdoor pursuits will love breathing in the pristine mountain air, swimming in secluded, crystal-clear billabongs, and hiking to natural outlooks to best view the stunning forest-covered scenery stretching out below like a viridian blanket. For gastronomically-guided guests, Hunter Valley is Australia's oldest wine-growing region, boasting over 150 cellar doors. Hunter Valley's cultural focus is strongly pointed towards providing the best in local wine, food, and art; and plays host to a great number of events and festivals based around these subjects.
Sydney's weather is influenced by the East Australian Current, which is at its strongest in Sydney's summer - between December and March. During this time of year, warmth from tropical North Queensland travels down to Sydney, and water temperatures average at around 22°C - perfect for swimming. Summer in Sydney often brings temperatures upwards of 30°C, and sees the city and it's beaches host a large number of festivals, including Mardi Gras, Tropfest and the Sydney Harbour Party. If you are looking for a holiday brimming with sandy beaches, exhilarating water-sports and enormous parties, then this is the ideal time of year for your visit.
Sydney and the Sydney Area truly does have something to cater to every guest's desires. When staying in the city itself, the bank of activities is almost bottomless. For a diverse cultural tour of Sydney, try visiting The Aboriginal Heritage Museum, the outlandish Sydney Museum of Words and, for an artsy souvenir, The Balmain Markets. Take a once-in-a-lifetime whale-watching breakfast cruise, or go snorkelling with starfish and baby sharks at Gordons Bay. Embark on one of the many guided tours around Sydney and its surrounding areas, learn to surf like a true Sydneysider on one of the city's seventy beaches, or take a shopping trip to the designer outlets and glittering boutiques that line Sydney's shopping precincts.
One-third of Sydney's population were born overseas, and the city's range of cuisine reflects this diversity of culture. A different taste sensation lies around every corner in Sydney, from delicious, cheap street-food at the Chinatown Night Market or Harry's Cafe De Wheels; to a gourmet meal with a spectacular view of Sydney Harbour at Quay Restaurant - which currently sits comfortably at number sixty on The World's Best Restaurants list.
Hunter Valley is the wine capital of Australia, and many of the vineyards have award-winning, in-house restaurants. As well as this, there are several restaurants that advertise themselves as BYO - bring your own...wine, that is. This way, you can source your own locally-made wine during the day, and bring it with you to dinner, ensuring a perfect and custom dining experience.
Wander through Sydney at dusk and you will find bars, pubs and clubs brightly illuminating the streets and rooftops. Slip into the cosy Fortune of War - the oldest pub in the city - to find a wide selection of beers and wines, while listening to the live music sets in this almost 200-year-old venue. To gaze over the incandescent moonlit city from above whilst sipping a jewel bright, sugar-rimmed cocktail, go to Bar 11; located on the eleventh floor of the Four Points by Sheraton building on Sussex street.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.