Chair- and aerial lifts in Katoomba

Katoomba Scenic World

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Katoomba Scenic World is a popular privately-owned tourist attraction located at the southern end of the town of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, about 100 kilometers west of Sydney. Scenic World is home to a number of attractions, of which the two most famous are the Katoomba Scenic Railway and the Katoomba Scenic Skyway. Other attractions include a theatre, a shop and a revolving restaurant.

The Scenic Railway is said to be the steepest cable-driven funicular railway in the world, with an incline of 52 degrees over a distance of 415 metres. It was originally constructed for a coal and oil shale mining operation in the Jamison Valley in the 1880s, in order to haul shale from the valley floor up to the escarpment above. It was converted for use as a tourist attraction prior to World War II.

History

Built in 1958, the Scenic Skyway is another cable-driven conveyance at Scenic World. It travels across the gorge above the Katoomba Falls, 200 metres above the valley floor. The original Scenic Skyway was dismantled early in 2004 and replaced by a new cable car in December of the same year. The new skyway was built by Doppelmayr and CWA Constructions, and features an 84 person cabin with sections of electrostatic glass that turns the floor from opaque to transparent as the ride progresses. In early 2006 a second station on the opposite cliff-face opened, allowing Skyway passengers to disembark and follow bushwalking trails to the nearby Echo Point.

In 1984, Scenic World began building a roller coaster known as the Orphan Rocker, named after the nearby Orphan Rock. This is the first roller coaster to be completely designed and manufactured in Australia. The highlight of this ride is meant to be a swooping banked turn that takes riders within metres of the edge of a 200m cliff. It has in the past been referred to as a "sitdown suspended" coaster, because although it is a conventional sitdown coaster, the trains can tilt from side to side, like a suspended coaster, giving it its name. It was originally planned as a scenic monorail ride, but it soon evolved into a roller-coaster ride. Numerous rumours and controversies exist over this ride, due to the inordinate build time, and the question of whether or not it is an appropriate attraction. As of 2010 this ride has been under construction for 26 years and has not yet been opened for the public. No target opening schedule has been provided by the ride's owners.

In 2000, Scenic World spent millions of dollars on the Sceniscender, now called Scenic Cableway, a unique cable attraction from Doppelmayr which lowers riders straight off a cliff into the Jamison Valley 200m below.

Restaurants and shops

In addition to the Revolving Restaurant, there's an outdoor bistro, an outdoor barbecue selling hot dogs and a small cafe where some old arcade games can be played for free.

There is also a snack shop selling drinks and snacks, as well as a large souvenir shop.

See also

  • List of funicular railways

References

Further reading

  • Shale Tramways of Katoomba Luxton, John R. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, January 1962

External links

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Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Andre Alforque
25 May 2011
Be sure to sit in the front/lowest seat in the railway for the best experience.
Jonni Nicolaou
8 May 2011
Railway is scary. Make sure everything is secure in pockets!!
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Location
Map
Address

Scenic World, Violet St, Katoomba NSW 2780, Australia

Get directions
Open hours
Thu 9:00 AM–4:00 PM
Fri-Sun 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Mon 9:00 AM–4:00 PM
Tue 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Contact
References

Scenic World on Foursquare

Katoomba Scenic World on Facebook

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