“Delightful eco-friendly self-catering lodges (sleeping 2-11) on the edge of the attractive town of Leura in the Blue Mountains”
Pretty landscaped gardens dot the property and there’s a communal outdoor hot tub. Come here to chill out or go bushwalking, mountain biking or pottering in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. The largest house sleeps up to 11 people and you can rent all 6 lodges at one time, so this is a great place for a family get-together, party or business retreat; or you can do as we did - choose a smaller property and cosy up as a couple.
- Truly eco-friendly: straw bale walls, rainwater collection, recycled toilet paper, environmentally-friendly cleaning products and a cooling tower for temperature control
- Hot tub made from a recycled milk vat
- Unique, cleverly designed lodges that are cool in summer and warm in winter - The Straw Bale House is made with 80% recycled materials
- Perfectly based to explore the Blue Mountains but a good distance away from tourist hangout Katoomba
- The property is on a residential road (albeit a quiet one) and the lodges are quite close together
- The rustic, old-fashioned and reclaimed furniture won’t please everyone - it's by no means 5* accommodation but it's super cool
- If you didn't have a car, you'd feel pretty isolated and find it hard to make the most of the area
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Cottages
- Self-catering + meals by arrangement
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
Each lodge is decorated differently with quirky, reclaimed furniture, fab original artwork and wooden floors. Couples should go for The Studio or Buttercup Barn, which has a courtyard filled with poppies and lots of greenery, a lovely loft bedroom and lots of light. The small but perfectly-formed kitchen in The Studio also offers lots of light - the microwave is cleverly disguised behind the reclaimed door of a traditional oven, and the sink is a giant stainless steel casserole pot.
The Milking Shed, set in the original hayloft and sleeping up to 4, would be great for friends; families of 4+ will find more space at Moo Manor. The Worker’s Cottage sleeps 6, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, while the huge Straw Bale House has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a large kitchen and dining area. People fight over the ‘hidey hole’ room here, which you have stoop to get into.
All the lodges have simple white Ikea crockery, cutlery and glasses, DVD players, TVs, iPod docks and gas heaters. Most also have wood burners. Bathrooms are contemporary and well thought out - homemade organic toiletries and large towels are provided. Eco-friendly temperature control has been carefully thought through, so each lodge is positioned to catch the most light and decked out with ceramic floors that heat easily in the winter but remain cool during summer.
- CD player
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Full kitchen
- Washing machine
Breakfast can be provided in the morning (additional charge), and consists of Whisk & Pin homemade mueslis, breads, juices, milk, butter, jams and yoghurt. Otherwise, you're self catering. You can order all your food in advance and the owners will stock your fridge, or you can shop when you arrive - there are plenty of options nearby. If you're celebrating a special occasion, why not be cooked for? There are 3-course dining menus devised by a local chef which can be ordered for a minimum of 8 people. Dishes include steak served with wild mushrooms, crispy duck salad with light soy dressing and rack of lamb with melted herb butter, followed by crème brûlée or lemon tart.
When we stayed Buttercup Barn was the only room without its own cooking facilities, though this was set to change following planning permission from the council. All of the other lodges are well set up for self-catering with basic ingredients and equipment provided and grills outside each lodge so you can get into the Aussie spirit and barbecue.
Leura has lots of food shops, delis and restaurants offering pizza, fine dining, Thai, modern and Indian cuisine. Silk’s Brasserie is by far the best restaurant in town for lunch and dinner and there's even a vegan cafe: Rubyfruit.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Dinner by arrangement
- Full kitchen
- Lunch by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Leura is one of the most attractive towns in the Blue Mountains and it's filled with boutiques, delis and galleries. Visit the nearby formal gardens, Everglades, and its Art Deco house or take children to Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum
- Go bushwalking, mountain biking, canyoning and abseiling in the Blue Mountains. There are fabulous trails for all abilities
- Take a scenic drive, going early or late to avoid the tourist hoards. Check out the Three Sisters rock formation at Echo Point, the Katoomba Falls, the sandstone crevice of Devils Hole, and the vistas of the Jamison Valley. The amazing limestone formations of the Jenolan Caves are about an hour’s drive away
- Have a game of giant chess then chill out in the world's quirkiest hot tub, created from the former milk vat!
- Get off the tourist trail - Tread Lightly Eco Tours offers guided bushwalks, 4-wheel drive tours, trips to local canyons, moonlit night walks and astronomy talks under the stars
- Check out the antique shops at Blackheath or wineries at Mudgee
- Golf and horse riding can be arranged locally
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Horse riding
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
Children are very welcome and it's a great environment for them: eco-friendly with quirky design and plenty of space to play as well as outdoorsy activities to pursue in and around the Blue Mountains. It's also a great place for an extended family group or families holidaying together. Kids of all ages are welcome.
Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
We'd recommend the Milking Shed or Moo Manor for families with up to 2 children; otherwise book the Worker's Cottage, which sleeps up to 6. All lodges have a bathtub and you can request twin beds instead of kingsize beds where you need them.
An independent nanny service is available; book in advance and contact the owners directly to find the right childcare solution for you. It's all paid to the nanny service rather than the hotel.
- 2 baby cots
- Baby bedding
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
It's self-catering so do your thing; there is a microwave and blenders for baby food and nearby you'll find child-friendly cafés, restaurants and takeaways. The nearest supermarket is in Leura Mall, 1km away.
Kids Activities on site:
- Outdoor hot tub (shared with other lodges)
- Kids DVDs
- Board games
- Books from baby to adult
Kids Activities nearby:
- Leura playground
- Selwood Science and puzzles
- Leuralla toy and railway museum
- Edge cinema
- Scenic World in Katoomba (combining skyway, cablecar, steepest railway incline in world, walkway)
- Featherdale Wildlife Park (1hr away, towards Sydney)
- Trees Adventure
- Horse riding
Families Should Know:
Some cottages have stairs; you'll need to supervise children in and around the hot tub.
- Airport: 90 minutes
- Hospital: 5 minutes
- Doctor: 5 minutes
Old Leura Dairy is in Leura, a small village in the Blue Mountains, 1.5 hours' drive to the west of Sydney. The Blue Mountains are an ancient escarpment weathered into valleys, which now boast lovely waterfalls and great walks.
Sydney (120km). Many international airlines fly into Sydney, see links below.
From the Airport
From Sydney airport you can either hire a car, ask Old Leura Dairy to arrange a limousine transfer or head to Syndey Central Station and catch a train to the Blue Mountains (see below).
Hiring a car will give you the freedom to tour around the spectacular Blue Mountains' region, and Leura is an easy hour and a half west of Sydney on the M4 Freeway and Great Western Highway. See our car rental recommendations.
Trains depart hourly from Sydney's Central Station and the journey to Katoomba Rail Station takes 2 hours. Old Leura Diary can collect you from the station or you can take a taxi to Leura.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Australia and getting around
- Sydney Kingsford Smith 120.0 km SYD
- Beach 120.0 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km