K059 : Katoomba Falls Kiosk | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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K059 : Katoomba Falls Kiosk

Item details

Name of item: K059 : Katoomba Falls Kiosk
Primary address: Cliff Drive, Katoomba, NSW 2780
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Cliff DriveKatoombaBlue Mountains   Primary Address

Statement of significance:

This building is a rare surviving example of a Federation era kiosk, one of only four that remain from the early twentieth century in the Blue Mountains. Its architectural form and distinctive detailing are representative of Federation architecture.
Date significance updated: 23 Nov 99
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Physical description: The kiosk is a single storey building with a hipped roof covered with terra cotta tiles and brick walls. There are small gablets at each end of the roof. The walls of the main facade have been painted; this part of the building is given architectural distinction by faceted bay windows symmetrically arranged around the entrance to the building. The bays rise above the level of the main roof’s gutters and have flat roofs with exposed, shaped rafter ends. The walls below the windows in the bays have been detailed with roughcast and timber laths. There is a skillion roofed section at the rear of the building which may originally have been a verandah, now enclosed with continuous bands of casement sash windows and fibro-lined walls. A verandah at the front of the kiosk has also been enclosed. The squat and rectilinear chimney appears to have been constructed at some time later than the kiosk.


Historical notes: The parkland around the Katoomba Falls was gazetted as a reserve on 17 April 1888. The Katoomba Falls were one of the first scenic attractions to be promoted at Katoomba. In 1887 the Katoomba Falls were described as being:

"situated in a southerly direction from Katoomba, about a mile-and-a half from the town, and can be reached either by walking, riding, or driving. The scenery at and around these Falls is of the most varied description, consisting of a stream of water, which, after descending three cascades, eventually falls a depth of 1400 feet to the valley below." (Tourists’ Guide. 1887: 8)

It has not yet been established when the Kiosk opened, however a photograph dating from 1921 indicates the kiosk was operating at this time. A subdivision plan dating from 1910 shows a shed within Katoomba Park opposite Katoomba Falls. This may be the kiosk site? [ZTP: K1/57]

In 1925 the proprietor of Katoomba Falls Kiosk was W. Miller (Wises 1923), but the kiosk had changed hands by 1931 and was being run by E. G. Bale (Sands 1931).

The opening of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk from Orphan Rock to Leura Cascades in 1935 was no doubt a boon for the kiosk. The track to Orphan Rock, a short fifteen minute walk, left from behind the Katoomba Falls Kiosk. (Lady Publishing Co. 1938: 5)

In 1990 the Katoomba Falls Kiosk was identified as one of only 4 remaining kiosks (the others being located at Wentworth Falls, Kedumba, and Leura) that were built in the early twentieth century during the height of the tourist boom in the Blue Mountains. (Manidis Roberts Consultants)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This building is a rare surviving example of a Federation era kiosk, one of only four that remain from the early twentieth century in the Blue Mountains.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Its architectural form and distinctive detailing are representative of Federation architecture.
Integrity/Intactness: Substantial
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanLEP2005K05907 Oct 05 122 
Heritage study K059   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983K059Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992K059Tropman and TropmanRH & RL Yes
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008K059Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Graphic 1982Old Leura and Katoomba
Written 1938The Blue Mountains, Australia's Premier Tourist Resorts
Written 1887Tourists' Guide to the Blue Mountains
Written  Wises New South Wales Post Office Directory
WrittenManidis Roberts Consultants1990Katoomba Falls Reserve Draft Plan of Management, 2 Vols
WrittenRotary Club of Katoomba1982Old Leura and Katoomba, Katoomba
WrittenSands, J. Sands Directories

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1170007

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