The Blue Mountains: Leura
I had heard a lot of positive feedback about the small town of Leura, so my hopes were high as I exited the train station and headed down the popular main street, Leura Mall. My first stop was a cafe, creatively named The Red Door Cafe, recommended to me by my neighbour who is from the Blue Mountains. I didn't even read the menu because she told me what to order as well. I'll take her word from this day forward because my lunch was delightful!
Pictured above is the warm goat cheese and caramelised onion tart with rocket (arugula) and a reduced balsamic. The coffee not pictured here was also one of the best I've had yet in Australia. And what better way to end the meal than with chocolate? Conveniently located one shop down is Josophan's Fine Chocolates where I was stumped on which truffles to buy at $2 a piece. Not a good place for a budget, but a great place for your dark chocolate aphrodisiac fix.
Next I thought I would visit Everglades gardens, which from the website states is a 20 minute walk from the station. Soon I discover though that this walk leads me through empty neighbourhood streets with a very steep hill in sight. Being by myself and not in the mood to get lost I decided to turn around and maybe check out the Leura Cascades, a short hike and beautiful vista point also about 20 minutes away. Turns out the directions there are also questionable. Disappointed by my pointless walking about I headed back to the train station. As I got close I saw a taxi and I figured, hell, I've taken a two hour train ride to get here I might as well pay this guy to drive me a mile to the Everglades gardens.
The gardens were pleasant, but nothing to make a special trip for. While I photographed some beautiful scenes and flowers, they were few and far between. I expected the grounds to be a lot more expansive as well, but I covered every inch of the place within an hour.
I left Leura a little bittersweet. The town itself is quite charming and has enough cute boutiques and cafes to entertain for an afternoon, but the attractions I most wanted to see were difficult to get to without a car, forcing me to break my budget and left me feeling jipped in the end. If you only have a day to spend in the Blue Mountains I would definitely suggest Wentworth Falls or Katoomba above Leura.
Keywords: australia, blue mountains, chocolate, everglades, food, gardens, katoomba, leura, red door cafe, sydney, travel
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