“When you arrive at our cosy village, you have made it to the top of the hill – the highest township on the Great Western Highway in the Blue Mountains….1065 metres above sea level”.
Well here we are at the top of the hill! In the Blue Mountains National Park, UNESCO inscribed World Heritage designation, and it is not hard to see why!
The cosy downtown area of Blackheath is lined with lovely little shops – a bakery, a butcher, a small grocery store, shoe store, gift shops to name a few. There is also a wonderful fish n’ chips shop, an Indian restaurant and a Thai restaurant. A revamped Art Deco picture theatre on the main street has been converted into a mecca for antique lovers with over 50 dealers inside! On the outside of the theatre is a colorful mural and out front is a great little cafe.
Not far down Govetts Leap Road, which is lined with massive trees, we found ourselves in the area of town we’d be living in for the next year. The roads are windy and the hills are steep. When we arrived up the steep drive at 5 First Street, the sun was shining brilliantly, and the gardens were glowing – pink and mauve hydrangeas surround our house and there is so much greenery, bushes and trees – we felt like we had landed in a jungle!
The house is a bungalow style with a garage under the main part of the house and a large staircase to get up to the front door. The house itself is open concept and perfectly laid out. The dining room, kitchen and living room are all open with a wood stove in the middle. There is one bathroom and 3 bedrooms and a den where the computer and spare bed are located. The garage underneath the house is also referred to by Damien as the “man cave”, where all the tools, and equipment are, plus the laundry room.
Ambers mom had made a spaghetti sauce for us for our first supper in our new house and it hasn’t taken us too long to navigate our way around our new kitchen. They have great appliances and some different smaller appliances, and a lot of tupperware! We’re well set up.
The weather here in Blackheath can change rather quickly within the same day, and our first week here has been very rainy. The locals are very tired of it and have felt cheated this summer, as it has been unseasonably cool and rainy for Blackheath standards. We have since found out that some out of towners refer to Blackheath as ‘Bleakheath’!
Amber and Damien’s friends all seem lovely, and we’ve received some invitations to tea, and dinner, and Leina is set to go to her first Australian birthday party this weekend! Thanks to their friends, we’ve acquired a high chair, jogging stroller, umbrella stroller, and many offers to loan us whatever else we might need this coming year. We are looking forward to getting to know these friends better this year.
It was nice to have that first week upon arrival to check things out around town, but mostly to drive around and find a used car! We’ve been grocery shopping in the nearby town of Katoomba, about 10 minutes down the highway, and home to one of the most amazing views in the Blue Mountains – the Three Sisters. There are some wonderful little towns neaby – Leura, and Wentworth Falls – to name a couple – and we are looking forward to exploring them further and also to showing them off to our visitors throughout the year.
Blackheath truly is a picturesque town, in a great location – some fantastic parks, lots of trees, colorful birds, friendly people – we know we’re going to love it here!
It’s definitely worth the trip to the top of the Blue Mountains!
Stay tuned for details about the other side of the mountain – the town of Lithgow where Matt is teaching! Also the kids first days at Blackheath Public School, and the amazing views from Govetts Leap!