Three diverse wedding venues up the mountains are Solitary on Cliff Drive, Katoomba, Jemby Rinjah on the way to Evans Lookout at Blackheath and the Waldorf Resort in Leura.
Solitary is a restaurant perched on the bend of Cliff Drive heading up to Katoomba – it used to be “ Sophie’s Fork and View” in the legendary ’80s. The food is fantastique and weddings are held in the garden overlooking the valley. It always seems quiet and intimate here despite the road winding just beneath.
Then Jemby Rinjah – this is an ‘eco-resort’ right in the bush on Evans Lookout Road – it is very friendly and accommodating, rustic and natural… I’ve done weddings on the verandahs here, or at the look-out with the reception at the resort afterward.
The Waldorf is really just a huge motel complex in Leura but it has one of the most charming and suitable wedding gardens around – couples can be married “ Unter den Linden” – under the stunning lime tree in my photo.
Weddings in public parks are a nice option too – but you run the risk of a public spectacle depending on the day and time you choose – the Rhododendron Gardens at Blackheath have been popular for generations and stunning in late spring, while Buttenshaw Park at Springwood is a huge garden with natural, floral terraces making perfect wedding aisles.
If hiring a hall for your wedding (and bringing in your own catering) appeals you couldn’t do better than Castlereagh Hall on the road between Penrith and Windsor – there is a lovely wedding area behind the hall and the stretch of bucolic pastureland before the foothills is stunning and peaceful. Speaking of stretches of green, a wedding at the Hawkesbury Race Club is a lovely experience in the late afternoon – shadows across the track – and Nepean Shores is a riverside resort and residential complex with a wedding garden and facilities for a reception.