Around the Village

The Toll Keepers Cottage

A genuine historic curiosity is the Toll Keepers Cottage which is located about one kilometre east of the town – just as you cross the railway bridge. It was built in 1849 to collect tolls from everyone crossing the mountains. It was used continuously between 1849 and 1876. Similar to today’s toll roads there were different charges for different vehicles although, unlike today, the heavier a vehicle was the cheaper the toll. A heavy coach without springs was free because it helped to crush the stones and improve the road. Lighter coaches with springs were charged one shilling and six pence.


The Mount Victoria & District Historical Society Museum

The Mount Victoria & District Historical Society Museum is located in the old refreshment rooms at the Mount Victoria Railway Station. The Museum’s website explains “The collection is an insightful representation of the early history and old ways of living, farming and working in the upper mountains and valleys from the first crossing of the Blue Mountains and the building of the first road to Bathurst 1813 to 1815 through to the mid-20th Century. A prominent part of the collection focuses on the area as a tourist destination from the mid-19th Century when the railway reached Mount Victoria in 1868. Mount Victoria was at its height as a popular holiday resort from the 1880’s through to the 1930’s.” The railway station was opened in 1868 and the refreshment rooms were closed in 1960. It is open from noon to 3.00pm on Saturdays, Sundays, Public and School Holidays. For more details check out which provides a very detailed description of the collection.

Station Street

To get a true feeling for the rich historic heritage of this largely unspoilt mountain town all you have to do is walk the length of Station Street which runs from Mount Victoria Station up to the Great Western Highway. At No. 22 there is the old Bank Building (1885), No. 30 the Mount Victoria Library (1875), No. 32 is the Mount Victoria Police Station (1887), No. 19 is the Victoria and Albert Guest House or Hotel Mount Victoria (1914) and No. 1 is the Imperial Hotel (1878). Looking up the street the old Post Office (1897) and on the Great Western Highway is St Peters Church of England (1874) is a charming small stone church.

Hotel Etico – The Manor House

Hotel Etico, formerly the Manor House, and also known sometimes as Westwood Lodge is a grand Victorian Italianate mansion in Montgomery Street, built in 1876.  It was built as a summer retreat by John R Fairfax, the founder of the Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax died a year later and it was leased until 1887 when it was purchased by G. H. Cooper who opened it as the Blue Mountains Manor House Hotel.  The Manor House has had a number of guises and owners over the years. In the recent past, from 1991 to 2015, the Lenton Family owned the hotel and it operated as The Blue Mountains Manor House.  In 2015 the property again had new owners and operated as a boutique hotel called Mount Victoria Manor until 2020.

Now operating as Hotel Etico, Australia’s first social enterprise hotel, staffed by hospitality trainees with intellectual disabilities that are supported by industry professionals. For more information regarding the bar, music, restaurant and accommodation visit

The Imperial Hotel

Currently closed for a proposed refurbishment. It is at the top of Station Street where it once grandly stood. It opened in October 1878 as a Resort Hotel with private Golf Course, Tennis Court, Croquet Lawn, Home Farm and horse-drawn Coaches to Jenolan Caves, the Imperial is the oldest Tourist Hotel in Australia. By the early 1900′s, it was well established as one of the three Grand Hotels of the Blue Mountains along with the Carrington at Katoomba and the Hydro at Medlow Bath, all of which were operated together for a time by Sir James Joynton-Smith (of Smith’s Weekly fame). In its heyday, The Imperial hosted Prime Ministers and Royalty – including George V and George VI, as princes – and still proudly displays the Royal Coat of Arms presented in 1901.

Mount Vic Flicks

Mount Victoria hosts one of NSW’s most treasured cinemas. Mount Vic Flicks is the local cinema for the upper mountains with its own unique old-fashioned style.  Built in 1934, the cinema is a window into the golden age of Australian country picture theater culture. The family run independent cinema shows an eclectic mix of quality films from Australia and abroad, art house to kids, new releases to classics.

Other Attractions in the Area

Victoria Pass

There’s not a lot of main highways in Australia that can boast they still use a bridge built by convicts in 1832. The Great Western Highway at Mount Victoria is one of them. As you drive west from Mount Victoria the road drops steeply before reaching Hartley. By any definition the original road, completed in 1832, was a masterpiece of engineering particularly the Convicts Bridge and the road crossing the narrow ridge at Mount Blaxland. There is a stone column which records the completion of the pass in 1832.

Lookouts and walking trails around Mount Victoria

As you enter Mount Victoria from Blackheath you will pass Browntown Oval on your left. The next street to the right is Victoria Falls Road which leads to Victoria Falls Lookout.

On the south side of the highway, drive up Mt. Piddington Road to the highest point (1,111m) in the Blue Mountains, ‘One Tree Hill’ and Mount Piddington within Fairy Bower Reserve. From here you can take the walking track to Hornes Point.

Also, on the south side of the highway, a drive down Kanimbla Valley Road takes you to Mount Victoria’s Pulpit Rock and Bede’s Lookout overlooking the Kanimbla Valley.

Nearby you will find Cox’s Cave, Ross Cave and Bushranger Cave. Lookouts further north include Sunset Rock Lookout down Grand View Road overlooking Wilson’s Gully, and Mitchell’s Ridge overlooking Victoria Pass and the Greater Lithgow area.

Mount York Lookout and Berghofers Pass

Just before you reach the Mount Victoria Service Centre (Ampol) the Mount York Road heads north from the Great Western Highway. It leads to Mount York lookout and to the Berghofers Pass Trail. It is a 3.2-km return bushwalk which offers lovely views to the west. The walk uses remnants of an early road which was constructed between 1907-12 to allow vehicles a gentle descent from the mountain. Those interested in the early history of the area can view some ramparts built by convicts for the first road and a water trough for dogs which has been cut from sandstone.

Also on Mount York Road are the starting points for the Lawson’s Long Alley and Lockyer’s Line of Road (14 km, medium difficulty), a road which was built in 1824 to access Hartley Vale and was closed in 1832. And the Cox’s Road/Mt York Road/Lockyers Line of Road Walk (12 km, medium to hard difficulty). Both drop down the escarpment to Hartley Vale and follow the historic early roads. If you look carefully, you can see remnants of the work done by the convicts – steps, ramparts and levelling. About 100 m from the top of Mount York there is an enormous boulder which had to be cut so that Governor Macquarie’s coach could pass on its way to Bathurst.

Step Back in Time

  • The area has been home to the Dharug and Gundungurra Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years.
  • The explorers Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson passed through the area on 27 May 1813. It is significant to the history of the crossing of the Blue Mountains that around Mount Victoria that the explorers on 28 May recorded seeing “native fires”. They were merely doing what the local Dharug and Gundungurra people had been doing for thousands of years.
  • In 1815 William Cox constructed the first road over the mountains and his team passed through the area building impressive bridges and roads down the side of the mountains.
  • Around 1834 the town was named One Tree Hill by the Surveyor General, Sir Thomas Mitchell. It remained One Tree Hill until 1876 when the first Post Office was built.
  • In 1869 the railway arrived (and terminated) and over the next decade the town boomed. It was during this period that Station Street saw the building of the Mount Victoria Library (1875), Imperial Hotel (1878), Bank Building (1885) and the Mount Victoria Police Station.
  • From the 1870s until the 1940s Mount Victoria was a popular ‘hill station’ retreat for wealthy Sydney families who would take the train and stay either in the large guest houses or in the mansions they built for themselves.
  • Today it is a Heritage Listed township with a number of impressive and substantial historic buildings.