Well Winter is officially upon us! And with the cooler months comes one of the busiest times in the year for us at Glen Isla. All weekends (Friday and Saturday nights) are now fully booked between now and the beginning of September. We do however have quite a few mid-week nights available so if you’re able to stay during the week, please do check our Accommodation Availability Calendar
We were thrilled to take part in the recent Bicentennial Flyover. It was an absolutely stunning day and the view from the skies was just superb. We flew from the Hawkesbury Area up following the highway all the way to Bathurst where we stopped for lunch at the Bathurst Airport. The locals in Bathurst were so hospitable and I got to sample the best scones I think I’ve ever eaten. They were amazing!! On the flight back, we took a slight detour and I managed to get a few shots of Glen Isla from the skies which I’ll be adding to the website shortly.
The gardens at Glen Isla have been covered in lots of beautiful Autumn leaves over the past couple of months. Here’s a shot of our 18 month old daughter Chiara enjoying them!
Last weekend we were excited to add yet another feature to the house for our guests – a pool table! We hope that our future guests at Glen Isla will enjoy it!
Thanks again to all our guests for your support. We have been so grateful for all the lovely reviews.
2013 marks 200 years since the first crossing of the Blue Mountains by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth. Coming up this month, there will be lots of great activities and events to mark this historic occasion.
Blue Mountains Bicentennial Fly Over – 25th May 2013.
One of the most spectacular planned events will be the Bicentennial Fly-Over. Up to 200 aircraft are expected to take part in a flyover on May 25th including RAAF Roulettes. This event will be the first ever flyover for the Blue Mountains and the largest ever civilian flyover in Australia. Spectators will be able to enjoy this event from a number of great viewing locations. We recommend the following places for a great view:
1. Melrose Hall Park – Emu Plains
2. Glenbrook Park – Glenbrook
3. Faulconbridge Public School – Faulconbridge
4. Lawson Public School – Lawson
5. Blue Mountains Grammar School – Wentworth Falls
6. The Carrington Hotel Chimney – Katoomba
7. Melrose Park – North Katoomba
8. The Gardens – Blackheath
9. Mount Victoria Memorial Park – Mount Victoria
10. Hartley Historic School – Hartley
11. O’Connell Avenue Cafe & Store – O’Connell
The flyover will commence at approximately 10.30am over Penrith, and head west.
We’re excited to be taking part in the flyover with Amy’s father Andrew joining in the festivities in his beloved R44 helicopter “Harold”. We’ll be sure to include some pictures of the day here on our blog.
Blue Mountains Crossing Re-Enactment (11 – 31 May 2013)
As close as practicable to the original route, in the same time frame, and with similar equipment as the original crossing, the Blue Mountains Bicentenary Re-enactment crossing of the Blue Mountains in May 2013 will be a 21 day event to retrace the steps of Blaxland, Lawson & Wentworth. The party consists of 7 people, three representing Blaxland, Lawson & Wentworth, three representing convicts and one kangaroo hunter. They will be accompanied by four horses and five dogs.
Click to find out more information on the Blue Mountains Bicentennial Celebrations
Christmas in July Yulefest in the Blue Mountains is a very popular activity every June to August. It is one of the busiest times to visit the Blue Mountains but as most Australians don’t get to experience European-style winter Christmas in December. Celebrating Christmas in July in the Winter period is a beautiful way to experience the Blue Mountains. Warming up next to our cozy log fire is a great way to relax with family and friends. There’s lots to do here in the Blue Mountains for Yulefest!
Here are our tips on some of the top things to do in the Blue Mountains for Yulefest:
- Cook a turkey in our fully equipped kitchen. Dine with 10 of your closest friends and family at our large dining table, then curl up on our cozy lounges next to the log fireplace for a night cap.
- Have a laugh at The Goon Show in Katoomba
- Join the locals in June for the annual Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival. Each year on the Saturday closest to Winter Solstice, Katoomba comes alive with a vibrant parade of jugglers, gymnasts, musicians, dancers, choirs, troubadours, buskers, storytellers and poets. There are also markets and unique Blue Mountains experiences, including a Christmas feast aboard the puffing Zig Zag Railway. This year the Winter Magic festival will be held on the 22nd June 2013.
With the tinsel and turkey, crisp days and storybook scenery, it’s easy to see why in the Blue Mountains, Christmas comes early.
Blue Mountains Accommodation – Historic ‘Glen Isla’
Glen Isla was built in around 1885 by Captain James Somerfield Murray – a key figure in Wentworth Falls over 100 years ago. Murray was a captain of ships which sailed between Britain and Australia. He was also the leader of a small team known as the ‘Irish Brigade’ who worked for two years to construct the National Pass – a spectacular bushwalking track completed in 1908 that descends down a 90 metre cliff face to the middle tier of Wentworth Falls. Captain Murray lowered himself over the ledge in a bosun’s chair to survey and assess the cliff. The Brigade completed the work using dynamite, picks and shovels.
Captain Murray married Elizabeth Lilla Murray (pictured) in 1884. Elizabeth came to Australia in 1882 on a P&O ship commanded by Captain Murray. In that same year she was appointed the first matron of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She continued as matron until 1886. Captain & Mrs Murray acquired property in Wentworth Falls during the 1880s and built several houses both for themselves and for letting. ‘Glen Isla’ was one of these letting houses and was built in circa. 1886. It shared an original timber laundry building with another Murray letting cottage next door – ‘St Cyrus’. This laundry building still exists on the property (the locked timber shed in the northern corner of the property).
Over the years, the original house fell into a state of disrepair. In the late 1980s, a previous owner bought and painstakingly restored Glen Isla and the grounds over a number of years. The original cottage was extended to include the additional main bedroom, en-suite, loft and garage in the early 1990s. The house has been beautifully restored and furnished to offer couples and families visiting the Mountains with beautiful accommodation in the world heritage listed Blue Mountains. We are sure that you’ll enjoy your stay with us and will want to return to Glen Isla again and again.
Wentworth Falls – A Local Guide
About Wentworth Falls
Named after the nearby Wentworth Falls (which was named for William Wentworth – one of the men which successfully first crossed the Mountains in 1813), Wentworth Falls is a quaint village in the heart of the Blue Mountains. Be sure not to miss the spectacular views over the Jamison Valley and of course the famous waterfall itself. Wentworth Falls has been a tourist destination for over 130 years and it’s not hard to see why!
Things to Do in Wentworth Falls
- Take the walking track from Wentworth Falls Reserve to the Princes Lookout for a stunning view of the Wentworth Falls themselves as well as the Jamison Valley. One of the most popular walks in the area, the National Pass, skirts the top edge of the Valley of the Waters, along a narrow clay stone ledge perched halfway down the cliff, and then ascends the ridge via a series of sandstone steps built by Peter Mulheran and a group known as “The Irish Brigade” in 1908. The Conservation Hut is an information centre and restaurant in Wentworth Falls leased from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and serves as a starting point for several bush walks in the area.
- Visit Wentworth Falls lake. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic and also has a playground area for the kids.
- See the stars with a visit to the Kings Tableland Observatory (55 Hordern St). The Observatory is equipped with a flat screen planetarium and two modern telescopes, housed in a 4 1/2 metre dome. Opening times: Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 7 pm (8pm during daylight savings).
- Interested in Art? The Kedumba Art Gallery has acquired almost two hundred Australian drawings. Housed in wonderful purpose created space in a circa 1880 building on the grounds of Blue Mountains Grammar School, the gallery has been specifically designed to hold the Kedumba Collection. The Gallery exhibits part of the Kedumba Collection Monday to Friday from 11am to 4pm and at weekends by appointment.
- The golf enthusiast can play a round on the 18-hole course at the Wentworth Falls Country Club
- Explore Wentworth Falls village including antique shops, local cafes and bakery
April – Wentworth Falls Autumn Festival