107km (66 miles) W of Sydney; 3km (2 miles) E of Katoomba
The fashionable capital of the Blue Mountains, Leura is known for its gardens, its attractive old buildings (many holiday homes for Sydneysiders), and its cafes and restaurants. The National Trust has classified Leura's main street as an urban conservation area. Just outside Leura is the Sublime Point Lookout, which has spectacular views of the Three Sisters in Katoomba. From the southern end of Leura Mall, a cliff drive takes you all the way back to Echo Point in Katoomba; along the way you'll enjoy spectacular views across the Jamison Valley.
There are a couple of high-class dining options here, the best being Solitary, at 90 Cliff Dr., Leura Falls (tel. 02/4782 1164; www.solitary.com.au). It's open for lunch daily from noon to 4:30pm and dinner on Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 10:30pm. It serves excellent Contemporary food such potato and saffron gnochhi with white rabbit ragu, olive, and peas; and Cape Grim sirloin steak with smoked-cheese bread pudding. Mains cost between A$26 and A$33.
If you like chocolate you must drop in at Josophan's Fine Chocolates, 132 The Mall, Leura (tel. 02/4784 2031). The handcrafted chocolates here are amazing, and include herbs such as basil and mint, and premium ingredients including saffron, coffee beans, blue gum honey, and local hazelnuts.