Summer already? Nearly – and the Blue Mountains are buzzing

We’re coming into summer, and there’s going to be lots to do in the Blue Mountains. And even if the days are warm, the nights will still mostly be cool, and we have plenty of vacancies ahead of Christmas.

Plants with Bite and Little Shop of Horrors

December 5 to 13

Carnivorous plant

Image: Royal Botanic Gardens

Less than an hour from Bunjaree Cottages, the wonderful Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens is holding a festival of carnivorous plants from December 5 to December 13.

The festival includes plant sales, information sessions and documentary screenings.

And what better way to close out the festival than with a screening of Little Shop of Horrors on the night of December 12?

More information here.


Exhibition: Arthur Boyd, an Active Witness

Until January

At the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre until 3 January, this exhibition draws together works from the Bundanon collection to show how Arthur Boyd’s art and political life were intertwined.

“The exhibition includes works by Boyd’s contemporaries and is supported by loans from public and private collections, photographs and other documents.” More information here.

Wollemi Artisan MarketWollemi Artisan Market logo

Friday, December 4

If you can take a Friday off, why not head up to the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre for the fourth Wollemi Artisan Market. It’s a curated market featuring artists and designers from the Blue Mountains, Sydney, and west of the Divide.

More information here.

Bilpin Markets

December 2015 to April 2016

Bilpin (less than an hour from Bunjaree Cottages) is one of the treats of the Bell’s Line of Road, and is running its community markets through to April 2016.

More information here.

Shakespeare lovers, set aside time in January

In January, don’t forget the Leura Shakespeare Festival. This year’s festival pairs The Bard’s Love’s Labours Lost with a one-act curtain-raiser, Shakespearealism, by Australian actor and film director Josh Lawson, and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

Ticketing will soon commence here.

It’s back! The Scenic Railway rides again

The April school holidays will give you a great chance to say hello to the new Scenic Railway – with track upgrades and all-new carriages, in the familiar drop-into-the-unknown experience that’s made the former mining railway a Blue Mountains faviourite. More information here.

April 6 – Alturas CD launch at the Grand View

All things Argentinean are in vogue at present, it seems, and tango is no exception. As part of its acoustic music series, the Hotel Grand View at Wentworh Falls is hosting a contemporary tango concert on Saturday, April 6, featuring the five-piece group Alturas. The band will perform pieces from their debut CD, Cafe con Tango, including works by Astor Piazzolla and Pablo Ziegler. 4pm to 6pm, $25.

Bunjaree Guided Birding Weekends

We’re excited about this – very excited.

Bunjaree Cottages is a great place to spot birds. In fact, our feathered residents are hard to miss! Now, we are thrilled to announce weekend birding tours under the guidance of one of the Blue Mountains’ most experienced and respected birders, Carol Probets.

Male Eastern SpinebillThe self-drive weekends will feature guided walks at a range of high-quality bird-watching spots around the Blue Mountains – as well as viewings right here at Bunjaree Cottages.

Locations for viewing*, with Carol as your expert guide, helping make sure you get the most out of the experience and helping identify the birds you see, will include:

Megalong Valley – a great place to see birds of the open woodlands and grasslands (including, if you’re fortunate, Wedge-Tailed Eagles)

Image: Richard at Bunjaree Cottages

Image: Richard at Bunjaree Cottages

Katoomba and Surrounds – depending on the time of year, Carol will lead a viewing so you can catch the rich birdlife of Katoomba’s woodlands, heaths or swamps.

Bullaburra – has accessible locations ideal for observing forest birds.

Wentworth Falls – spots only a few minutes’ drive from Bunjaree Cottages for heathland birds, including the Glossy Black-Cockatoo (which is common, but seen less often than the more impressive Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo).

Photo by Stilgherrian

Photo by Stilgherrian

The rate will be $620 per cottage for the weekend – with Carol’s guided viewings included in the price. Extra guests will at our normal rates, and for an extra $30 we will pre-stock your cottage with supplies for breakfast.

The weekend will also feature beginners’ instructions in topics like using binoculars and field guides, and the basics of bird identification.

We will be announcing the first date during March or April very soon.

E-mail us if you would like to be notified of our Bunjaree Bird-Watching Weekends.

If you want to know more about Carol, her Website is here.

*Exact viewing sites will vary by time of year.

March: Blue Mountains Folk Festival

We would expect Blue Mountains accommodation – including Bunjaree Cottages – to fill early for the Blue Mountains Folk Festival in March 2013.

The line-up looks pretty impressive: so far, the list includes Garrumul, Kate Miller-Heidke, Chris Smither, Luka Bloom, and Ngaiire.

And then there’s the headline – Arlo Guthrie. Enough said!

Well, we at least need an offer, so here it is: Any booking for the Blue Mountains Folk Festival will receive three nights for the price of two, for the first two adults. That’s $380 for three nights – within ten minutes of the festival!

For children and extra adults, the normal rate ($15 per night for children, $30 per night for adults) will apply.

The offer is valid until January 31, 2012.

Scenic Railway upgrade

If, like we are, you’re a fan of the Scenic Railway, make sure to visit before January 13. The currenico-railwayt machinery on the world’s steepest passenger railway has been operating since 1994, and the owners have decided that the tracks, winch and carriages need replacing. The project is going to be accompanied by a redevelopment of the platforms.

The redeveloped Scenic Railway will open in Autumn 2013.

School holidays and other events for January 2013

Since there are still vacancies for January 2013, we thought we would gather a “what’s on” for guests planning a school holiday visit.

Mount Tomah – Quirky Nature Quest (Jan-Feb) Tomah

Until the end of February, the wonderful Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens is a summer “adventure into nature” – and maps with clue sheets are just $3.50 each, making this a wonderfully affordable day out.

Leura Shakespeare FestivalLeura Shakespeare Festival (Jan 5-20)

The hard-working performers from the Sport for Jove Theatre and the National are putting on two performances Saturdays and Sundays, drawn from Twelfth Night and a double bill of the Comedy of Errors and The Tempest. Running from January 5 to January 20.

Holiday Art School (Jan 7-11)

The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is running a one-week art school suitable for children between the ages of 5 and 10, at the centre in Parkes Street Katoomba. It’s $45 per day or $200 for the week.

Crop and Swap (Various dates) cropandswap

If you’re a grower or a maker, check out the Faulconbridge Crop and Swap markets on Saturday January 12, February 9, March 9 or April 13. Don’t bring money with you – bring something to swap!

LadyLuckLady Luck Festival (Jan 18-19)

For two days only – January 18 and 19 (Friday and Saturday) – Carrington Place at Katoomba will come alive with the feel of the 1950s. The burlesque workshop might not be for the kids, but Saturday’s outdoor event will feature hot rods, vintage cars, market stalls and more.

Australia Day: Annual Gnome Convention

Glenbrook Park comes alive each year with stalls, rides, and more garden gnomes than you can count!

Now open: Blue Mountains City Art Gallery

Visitors to Bunjaree Cottages will be pleased to know that there’s a new art gallery in Katoomba, just 15 minutes away. The Blue Mountains City Art Gallery launched last month with its first exhibition, Picturing the Great Divide, which features works from the 19th century through to contemporary times.

The gallery is also wonderfully affordable, with a family of four able to see the 100-painting exhibition for $16 ($5 for each adult, $3 for each child).