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Regional Attractions

Celebrate the opulent era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Celebrate the opulent era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

By Ellen Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

It’s almost time to clad your chassis (female body) in your glad rags (“going out on the town’’ clothes) for a copacetic (wonderful) time to celebrate the opulent era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party.

The Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz will be held throughout the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region from February 7 to 22, and is for any egg (person who lives the big life) who loves a shindig (party).

Dance your way into history at the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Dance your way into history at the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The festival will again kick off with the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge at the newly re-opened Hydro Majestic Hotel, conveniently opposite Medlow Bath railway station, on Saturday, February 7.

The challenge aims to break its own Guinness World Record for the greatest number of costumed people to dance the Charleston. It set the record with 276 in 2013, 319 in 2014 – let’s make it 350 in 2015. Registrations are now open via the festival website.

The celebration of decadence, architecture and jazz music will continue with a dizzying round of costumed balls and high teas, historical walks, fashion parades, outrageous dancing and jazz music.

There will be the exquisite Long Lunch with gourmet food and wine event at an exciting new venue, 1920s-themed transport rallies and film nights, garden tours, murder mysteries, radio plays, vintage sports and more.

Popular TV personality Claudia Chan Shaw will again be festival patron. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Popular TV personality Claudia Chan Shaw will again be festival patron. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Popular TV personality Claudia Chan Shaw will again be festival patron and Charlotte Smith, curator of The Darnell Collection of International Vintage Couture, will be its ambassador.

Festival director Angela Corkeron said it was a great opportunity for locals and visitors to dress up and relive the era of true extravagance.

“The 1920s was a time to celebrate – the drudgery of World War I was gone, people were happy and kicked up their heels to show it.

“Everything was almost a dare: the fashion, the makeup, ladies’ traditionally long hair was cut short, skirt lengths rose so that one caught a glimpse of elegant ankles and the dancing was matched by the fabulous rise of jazz and ragtime music.’’

Definitely not for a flat tyre (dull-witted, insipid, disappointing date) or Mrs Grundy (priggish, tight-laced person), the festival is the calendar highlight for flappers (stylish, brash, hedonistic young woman with short skirts and hair), fly boys (glamorous term for aviator), owls (person who’s out late) and any Sheba (woman with sex appeal) or sheik (man with sex appeal) out to whoopee (have a good time).

The festival celebrates the elegance and style of the 1920s era. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The festival celebrates the elegance and style of the 1920s era. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Daniel Myles said: “The Roaring 20s Festival has brought the chutzpah back to the original hedonistic holiday destination and given people yet another reason to visit.

“The grand hotels of the era – the Carrington, Mountain Heritage and now the Hydro Majestic – have, one by one, been restored back to their glorious heyday and are now overflowing with the wonderful characters they were made for.

“Then there’s the Glamour & Gowns Ball at Lithgow’s Civic Ballroom, which was spectacularly decked out last year, and everyone can experience the age of steam and industry at the Highlands Steam & Vintage Fair at Oberon.’’

Events will be held throughout the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Events will be held throughout the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

So get a wiggle on, don a swanky outfit and shake your gams (a woman’s legs) for a hotsy totsy (pleasing), nifty (great) time of sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.

Stay a night or three and fully immerse yourself in the era.

Go to roaring20s.com.au for more information about the Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz.

Go to visitbluemountains.com.au for accommodation, dining and activity options.

The Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge is a great activity for the whole family. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge is a great activity for the whole family. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

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The most anticipated tourism event of the year: the re-opening of the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath in the Blue Mountains. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The most anticipated tourism event of the year: the re-opening of the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath in the Blue Mountains. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

By Escarpment Group and Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

After almost six years of detailed planning and review, one of the most famous tourism landmarks in the Blue Mountains, the Hydro Majestic Hotel, will open its doors once more tomorrow, Friday, October 31.

Cats Alley. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Cats Alley. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The public opening follows an exclusive media preview in the new-look Wintergarden today attended by NSW Premier Mike Baird and more than 150 VIP travel and tourism guests.

The Hydro Majestic venues will open to the public tomorrow with a series of five exclusive high tea events in The Casino Lobby and The Wintergarden.

Beneath the famous dome. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Beneath the famous dome. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

 

 

Venues such as The Boiler House will also open progressively from Friday, October 31, and other venues such as The Salon Du The in the coming weeks, bringing the Hydro back to the people of Australia, celebrating its wonderful history and providing a broad palette of dining, event and public facilities.

The challenge of adding the next layer of history to these remarkable buildings has not been taken lightly. Rather, the Hydro Majestic’s social history and heritage and its much loved place in the memories of so many people has been examined and respected.

Department store retailer Mark Foy’s journey from when he purchased the property in 1902 was as a visionary, an ambitious and remarkable one.

The Wintergarden. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The Wintergarden. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

He created a “Palace in the Wilderness’’ on a mountain top overlooking the Megalong Valley against all odds. Guests from around the globe flocked to it: the fortunate, the famous, the fabulous and even the infamous.

It is with this same belief and confidence in the Blue Mountains region that the Escarpment Group re-opens the Hydro Majestic, re-creating the glamour and style the world remembers, while adding new and vibrant additions that talk to the past and celebrate the future.

Architect Ashkan Mostaghim of Mostaghim & Assoc has created the revised formula for the site including the new Hydro Majestic Pavilion and interpretation of the old Boiler House to create a provocative and exciting café environment with a vista over the Majestic Point Lookout.

Spectacular outlook across the Megalong Valley. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Spectacular outlook across the Megalong Valley. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The interior of the hotel has been brought back to life in the spirit and style with which it opened.

Interior designer Peter Reeve and the team at CRD have produced luxurious new and historically inspired interiors which reference the past and fold into the present with absolute luxe.

They have embraced the tradition of bespoke design to interpret the many periods of the hotel’s history, creating a unique range of carpets, paints, wallpapers and furnishings with Australian designers and suppliers based on period influences referencing the austere beauty of the Edwardian, the generosity of the Art Nouveau of the Belle Époque and moments of Art Deco.

Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Daniel Myles said: “The Hydro Majestic genuinely fits into the `icon’ category.

“From the charismatic character of Mark Foy who transformed the property into the splendid venue we all know to Peter Reeve’s exquisite restoration of today, the Hydro is a unique fixture in the history of Australia’s first tourist destination.

Exquisite refurbishment. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Exquisite refurbishment. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

“Everyone has a story to tell about the hotel and I’m sure the tales of romance, life chapter markers and even those yarns that are a little bit mischievous will continue to unfold for a whole new generation of visitors and locals.

“I congratulate the Escarpment Group for restoring one of our original tourist gems to its full glorious state. It was a mammoth task but the result is a spectacular venue the whole region can be proud of.

Grand ballroom. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Grand ballroom. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

 

“The Hydro Majestic gives visitors a most stupendous reason to visit the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region besides the magnificent Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area itself.’’

The newly renovated Hydro Majestic Hotel will also boost tourism and employment in the region and help cement the Blue Mountains’ reputation as a glamorous national and international tourist destination.

Bookings and details: (02) 4780 1305, reservations@hydromajestic.com.au or www.hydromajestic.com.au.

 

The Hydro Majestic was relaunched under Escarpment Group’s boutique label in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area which also incorporating Lilianfels Resort and Spa, Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant and Parklands Country Gardens & Lodge.

The refurbished Hydro Majestic Hotel retains many historic elements. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The refurbished Hydro Majestic Hotel retains many historic elements. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

 

Spring blooms abound in and around Oberon this weekend.

Spring blooms abound in and around Oberon this weekend.

By Oberon Plateau Tourism Association

Soak up the warm weather, leave the rat race behind and amble among the open gardens of Oberon this weekend.

Take your pick from:

Gairloch Garden at Oberon.

Gairloch Garden at Oberon.

Gairloch Garden

Take a stroll among a beautiful alpine flower garden and delightful cool climate trees such as Japanese maples and conifers. Water is featured in many parts of the garden.

Tucked away in the back of the garden are a variety of bird aviaries and Meg’s prize winning Chinese Silkies and gold and silver Seabrights

Each year return visitors will find something new to surprise and delight them.

Gairloch Garden, 27 Blenheim Ave Oberon, is the home of Meg and Peter Low. Entry: $5 donated to charity. Details: (02) 6336 0291.

 

Amble among the flowers.

Amble among the flowers.

The Oberon and District Garden Club

The club has selected six beautiful local gardens for you to enjoy between 10am and 4pm this spring.

They vary from two small neighbouring village gardens to larger rural spreads including newly-established gardens and well-established mature gardens.

Whatever the age or size, each garden will delight in the variety of cold climate plantings. Two gardens are situated in Oberon township while the other four are conveniently in the Chatham-Valley-Ginkin area, making access easy.

Entry:  $12 for all gardens. Tickets available from Oberon Visitors Information Centre, Ross St, or from individual gardens.  Details: Oberon Visitors Information Centre (02) 6329 8310.

 

The Water Garden at Mayfield Garden.

The Water Garden at Mayfield Garden.

Mayfield Garden

Inspired by the grandeur of English country gardens, Mayfield Garden is one of the largest privately owned cool climate gardens in the world.

The private garden is open each day until Sunday, November 2, although the Water Garden is now open throughout the year.

Mid week visitors can see the garden team at work, have lunch or morning tea at the newly opened café and weekend visitors can experience live entertainment, delicious catering options and a shuttle bus service between the Water Garden and the Chapel.

Mayfield Garden is at 530 Mayfield Rd, Oberon. Cost: adults $25, family $65, child $10 (6 years and under free). Details: (02) 6336 3131.

The Water Garden is open year round.

The Water Garden is open year round.

Sofala (1958). Brett Whiteley

Sofala (1958). Brett Whiteley

By Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre proudly presents the major exhibition Brett Whiteley: West of the Divide.

Curated by Wendy Whiteley and the Art Gallery of NSW, this exhibition focuses on the enduring connection that Whiteley had with the region west of the Great Dividing Range and features 35 works including painting, sculpture and drawings that span three decades of the artist’s career.

Art Gallery of NSW currator of Australian art emeritus curator Barry Pearce said: “Although Brett Whiteley became master of a spectrum of subjects, from portraits and interiors to abstractions and figure compositions in which he excelled as a draftsman of the nude with compelling vitality, it is perhaps his landscapes which best encapsulate an ability to transport us through the spaces of his imagination.”

The Day Asia Got Born (1970). Brett Whiteley

The Day Asia Got Born (1970). Brett Whiteley

From his formative years as a student at Scots College, Bathurst, throughout his life, Brett Whiteley had a lasting connection with the Central Tablelands country of NSW.

Many of the works featured are rarely seen and provide a wonderful insight into the artistic development of Whiteley from his early career in the late 1950s through to the end of his life in the 1990s.

Brett Whiteley’s affinity with the landscape west of Sydney encompassing Oberon in the Blue Mountains to the Central Tablelands through Bathurst, Orange, Lucknow, Milthorpe, Carcoar, Sofala, Hill End and south to Marulan, is little documented in the many texts that have been written on his oeuvre, yet the artworks produced of and inspired by this region are some of the most magical.

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre director Paul Brinkman said: “This exhibition acknowledges the important role the Central West and greater Blue Mountainsregion played in the artistic development of one of Australia’s most recognised and celebrated artists and in doing so further interprets the rich artistic narrative of the region.”

Marulan Bird With Rocks (c 1980). Brett Whiteley

Marulan Bird With Rocks (c 1980). Brett Whiteley

Throughout the exhibition, an exciting range of public programs will be held at the cultural centre:

Friday, September 26, at 6pm: exhibition opening

Saturday, October 4, at 2pm: In Conversation: Blackheath Portraits +2. Join photographer Graham McCarter and Curator Rilka Oakley for an insight into the exhibition and McCarter’s photographs of Brett Whiteley.

Friday, October 24, at 6pm: Artist talk with Peter Kingston, who will discuss his experimental film project featuring Brett Whiteley.

Bookings for all programs essential: info@bluemountainsculturalcentre.com or (02) 4780 5410.

Brett Whiteley: West of the Divide opens at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, 30 Parke St, Katoomba, on Friday 26 September and runs until Sunday 30 November. Cost: $5 adults, $3 concession, free cultural centre members and under-16. Details: http://Brett Whiteley: West of the Divide opens at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, 30 Parke St, Katoomba, on Friday 26 September and runs until Sunday 30 November. Cost: $5 adults, $3 concession, free cultural centre members and under-16. Details: www.bluemountainsculturalcentre.com.au.

Summer by the River of Plums. Brett Whiteley

Summer by the River of Plums. Brett Whiteley

 

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden's World Heritage Centre will receive a $100,000 upgrade. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden’s World Heritage Centre will receive a $100,000 upgrade. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

By Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Centre, located at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, will be given a $100,000 upgrade.

The Exhibition Centre was successful in receiving a grant of $50,000 from the Regional Visitor Economy Fund which will be matched by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. The funding will be used to improve the visitor experience and to increase visitation to the Exhibition Centre.

Blue Mountains State MP Roza Sage congratulated the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden on its successful funding application and welcomed the planned upgrade.

“The NSW Government’s Regional Visitor Economy Fund supports product development in Regional NSW and I’m pleased to see the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Exhibition Centre, one of our key visitor attractions, receive funding from this program.

“Tourism is a vital industry to the Blue Mountains and attractions such as the World Heritage Exhibition Centre, play an important role in driving visitation and telling the story of this special environment.”

The exhibition centre provides information on, and communicates the values of, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The exhibition centre provides information on, and communicates the values of, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The Exhibition Centre opened in 2010 with the aim of providing information on, and communicating the values of, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. It provides interpretation on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area to encourage respect for and protection of this special environment. The original project was a partnership between the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

A plan for the upgrade was provided by Arterial Design and Production Consultancy. The plan focuses on interpreting the northern Blue Mountains, the route known as the Botanists Way as it was first crossed by botanist George Caley, and on showcasing the world class canyons in the area, such as nearby Claustral Canyon, within the context of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The upgrade is expected to be completed by 2015.

Sydney Parklands and Botanic Gardens executive director Kim Ellis said: “The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is ideally placed to raise awareness of the significance of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area to domestic and international visitors, being located on one of the two main routes to the Blue Mountains and

Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Daniel Myles congratulated Blue Mountains Botanic Garden: “We were delighted to support this application which was a perfect fit with the brand values of our destination and this important attraction is delivering visitor experiences in alignment with our Destination Plan.”

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area covers 1.03 million hectares and includes seven national parks. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area covers 1.03 million hectares and includes seven national parks. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area covers 1.03 million hectares and includes seven national parks and outstanding examples of ecological processes, natural habitats and cultural associations. It is home to primitive species with Gondwanan affinities, including the Wollemi pine, and is a centre of the diversification of eucalypts.

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is the cool climate Garden of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. It is the highlight of the Botanists Way drive, the historic crossing through the dramatic northern Blue Mountains World Heritage wilderness, and is situated 1000m above sea level at Mount Tomah, less than two hours drive from Sydney. The beautiful landscaped gardens, with spectacular views, are arranged geographically to showcase cool climate plants from around the world. The garden is the largest tourist attraction in this area attracting around 160,000 visitors annually.

The grant application was supported by Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism; National Parks and Wildlife Services; Hills, Hawkesbury and Riverlands Tourism; Hawkesbury City Council and Blue Mountains City Council.

The Regional Visitor Economy Fund is managed and administered by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is home to primitive species with Gondwanan affinities including the Wollemi pine and is a centre of the diversification of eucalypts. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is home to primitive species with Gondwanan affinities including the Wollemi pine and is a centre of the diversification of eucalypts. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

 

 

School holidays with altitude at Scenic World. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

School holidays with altitude at Scenic World. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

By Scenic World Blue Mountains

Scenic World is ready for winter with early bird discounts, free Magic Pudding screenings, new light options menu and of course, the chance of snow.

Early birds arriving before 10am will be rewarded with discounted entry from 28 June – 13 July so grab the winter woollies and feel a world away. Be the first to ride the Scenic Railway, watch the morning mist on the Three Sisters or enjoy having a 150 million year old rainforest all to yourself.

Ride the world's steepest train at Scenic World - if you dare. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Ride the world’s steepest train at Scenic World – if you dare. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Families will be delighted by a free screening of the Magic Pudding on Wednesday, July 2 and 9. The classic children’s story authored in 1917 by adored Blue Mountains local Norman Lindsay was brought to life in 2000 in an animated movie adaptation. Enjoy the rollicking adventures of Barnacle Bill, Bunyip Bluegum and Albert, the cut–and–come again pudding, who requires “politeness and constant eatin’ ”, starring the voices of Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving and John Cleese.

Warm up with a hot chocolate or locally roasted espresso at the café and break for lunch at EATS270, perched 270 metres above the valley with expansive views of the World Heritage Area. Choose from great value children’s meals; the light menu of salads, wraps and sandwiches; or the hearty signature burger and chips – all made fresh on site.

Planning your visit is simple with Scenic World’s range of tailored itineraries catering to bushwalkers, grandparents with kids, thrillseekers or even those a little scared of heights. Get insider tips on what the locals love to make the remainder of your stay unforgettable. Located within minutes of Katoomba and close to the accommodation, shopping and restaurants of Leura and Blackheath, Scenic World is central to any Blue Mountains getaway.

Families arriving early can take advantage of the great value Unlimited Family Pass with limitless access to the Scenic Railway, Skyway, Cableway and Walkway. Cost: $77 for two adults and up to five children, it provides a full day of school holiday adventure.

Repeat visitors can opt for the Annual Pass which offers 365 days of unlimited rides along with 15% discount on all retail, food & beverage and additional guest entry. At $239 for a family of two adults and up to five children, it’s the ultimate way to experience the Blue Mountains in all seasons.

Visitors to Scenic World journey on the world’s steepest incline Railway; glide between cliff tops on the glass-floored Skyway; descend via the steepest Cableway in the southern hemisphere; and wander through Jurassic rainforest on the 2.4 km Walkway. With over 850,000 visitors annually, Scenic World delivers an unforgettable Blue Mountains experience with unmatched views of the Three Sisters, Mt Solitary, Katoomba Falls and Jamison Valley.

Scenic World is at Cliff Drive and Violet St, Katoomba. Go to www.scenicworld.com.au for more information.

Thrills for the whole family with fantastic school holiday discounts. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Thrills for the whole family with fantastic school holiday discounts. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge experience the spectacular World Heritage Area view from Echo Point Lookout with official escorts (l) Scenic World joint managing director Anthea Hammon and (r) Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism CEO Randall Walker. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge experience the spectacular World Heritage Area view from Echo Point Lookout with official escorts (l) Scenic World joint managing director Anthea Hammon and (r) Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism CEO Randall Walker. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

 

By Ellen Hill – Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region’s long-held position as a top tourist destination was given a Royal nod of approval by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently.

The Royal couple took in the fresh air and magnificent outlook at Echo Point overlooking the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley on April 17.

Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism (BMLOT) chairman Daniel Myles said: “BMLOT was delighted to have been instrumental in the Royal couple’s visit to the upper Blue Mountains.

“The Duke and Duchess were absolutely and genuinely wowed by our grand backyard. Their visit has been a priceless opportunity for us to showcase our natural treasure to the entire world through the world’s media during Their Royal Highness’ visit.’’

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said images of the Royal couple at locations such as the Three Sisters were “tourism gold’’ which led to incalculable international exposure and inspired holidaymakers from around the world to book a trip there.

However, the presence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a globally recognised Blue Mountains tourist attraction gave the regional tourism industry a much needed boost after challenging times, Mr Myles said.

“The Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region is most definitely back on track and open for business – the Duke and Duchess posing for photos in front of a large tract of our unscathed, glorious, sweeping World Heritage Area provided the world with all the proof it needed,’’ Mr Myles said.

With its majestic vistas, sheer canyons, vast wilderness and temperate climate, the region has become a haven for nature-based recreational pursuits such as bushwalking, abseiling and canyoning, Segways, fishing and garden tours at cool climate properties such as Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, and Mayfield Garden at Oberon.

A canyon to Juggler Canyon is one nature-based experience visitors can take part in with expert guides such as Blue Mountains Adventure Company. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

A canyon to Juggler Canyon is one nature-based experience visitors can take part in with expert guides such as Blue Mountains Adventure Company. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

“The calibre of nature-based expert guides is world-class here with the best outdoor adventure business in Australia, Life’s An Adventure which took out the gold award in that category at the 2013 Australian Tourism Awards, and the high profile Blue Mountains Adventure Company, Tread Lightly Eco Tours and High n Wild,’’ Mr Myles said.

The region boasts a host of accommodation options to suit every budget from grand hotels like the Carrington Hotel and Mountain Heritage Hotel at Katoomba and regal luxury such as Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa near Lithgow, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa at Echo Point and the Fairmont Resort MGallery at Leura to myriad B&Bs and guesthouses and affordable motels and caravan parks.

The Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon food and wine focus has switched to more regional produce which compliment sustainable principals led by the Greater Blue Mountains Food and Wine Development Advisory Group and SlowFood Blue Mountains movement.

The result is food fit for a king sourced from local and regional suppliers, prepared by a growing stable of renowned chefs such as Lee Kwiez from Darley’s, Lilianfels Resorts’ hatted restaurant, Oliver Roberts (Vesta Restaurant, Blackheath), Damian Brabender (Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa) and Michael Bell (Fairmont Resort).

Chefs such as Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort head chef Damien Brabender are raising the profile of food and wine in the region.

Chefs such as Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort head chef Damien Brabender are raising the profile of food and wine in the region.

The region, which already attracts up to 4 million visitors a year according to National Parks & Wildlife Service figures and is home to the most visited natural attraction in regional Australia (Echo Point Lookout) and the steepest passenger train in the world at Scenic World, is also experiencing a multi-million dollar revival through an array of public and private tourism-related projects.

The re-opening of the Hydro Majestic is one of the most highly anticipated tourism projects in the region.

The re-opening of the Hydro Majestic is one of the most highly anticipated tourism projects in the region.

New products and tourism experiences include the highly anticipated revamp of the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath by The Escarpment Group which also owns Lilianfels Blue Mountains and Echoes Boutique Hotel at Katoomba. The Escarpment Group will also soon open the 4.5 star Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges at a 28 acre property at Blackheath.

The Fairmont Resort MGallery will soon boast a new day spa, building on its extensive $10 million revamp.

The Fairmont Resort MGallery will soon boast a new day spa, building on its extensive $10 million revamp.

The Fairmont Resort MGallery continues to build on its $10 million refurbishment with a new spa with 10 treatment rooms, relaxation rooms, individual room terraces with views over the golfing fairways, resort gym, foot spa and manicure area all inspired by the seasons and surrounding environment.

The Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region is also known for its year-round calendar of festivals and events which attract people to the destination who otherwise would not have come.

The BMLOT-supported region-wide Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz in February and the Festival of Walking in October have begun to gain traction among travellers who now anticipate and plan for them.

The inaugural Autumn Sustainable Food Festival featuring TomahROMA at Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, and Leura Village Association’s Leura Harvest Festival earlier this month completed the seasonal festival calendar while Yulefest in winter is the region’s most established and famous festival within hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs, restaurants and cafes.

Sculpture at Scenic World is one of the festivals and events adding another reason for tourists to visit the region. Photo: A Shot Above Photography

Sculpture at Scenic World is one of the festivals and events adding another reason for tourists to visit the region. Photo: A Shot Above Photography

Ironfest at Lithgow in April this year attracted 15,000 people, the Winter Magic Festival at Katoomba on June 21 traditionally lures more than 40,000 people celebrating the winter solstice, Carols in the Caves at Jenolan Caves in December is a traditional Christmas success and Sculpture at Scenic World (continues until May 18) is fast gaining notice in the art world.

Go to http://www.visitbluemountains.com.au for more information about activities, festivals and events, accommodation and dining options in the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region.