I had fond memories of a visit to Katoomba in about 1984 – it was my first “backpacker” outing on the way back from an interview at Hawkesbury Ag College for acceptance in the Horse Studies course (For the record, I did get in but ended up at the ANU instead). I remembered Katoomba as a sleepy little village, but we got one heck of a shock!
The road was super busy with roadworks and traffic jams all the way. We stopped at a Evans Lookout and while the carpark was overflowing, people incapable of backing their car provided considerable entertainment! The view was beautiful and there are a number of walking trails starting at this point. Unfortunately they were all too steep and rocky for Alan to manage with his walking stick so we continued on to Katoomba.
The sleepy village I remembered is no more and the place is overrun with busloads of tourists. The Echo Point lookout is now “double storey” to accommodate the masses and parking fees apply to “maintain the facilities”. Luckily the disable sticker saved us… There is also a skyrail and elevator to the valley below from the other end of the valley.
Overall, for people who like crowds, touristy things and coffee shops this may be a good destination, but for us it was a bit of an disappointment which is unlikely to make the return visit list. Once I managed to queue/elbow my way to the prime vantage spots I did manage to get some nice pictures of the Three Sisters and the valley below.