Cathedral Reserve II
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.
Mt Wilson is a picturesque little village about 2hrs drive or 100kms west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains.
The village has a population of approx. 220 and was first settled about 120 years ago.
Though the number of people in the village swells dramatically on weekends due to the influx of tourists.
Mt Wilson is situated at an altitude of 1,040m (approx. 4,000ft) so enjoys a cool temperate climate with cold winters and high rainfall.
Due to the altitude, the summers are pleasant at Mt Wilson, and in the cooler months there are occasional snowfalls.
Mt Wilson has managed to avoid the usual residential boom - all the houses are set on acreage in semi-rural estates.
There is no shopping centre or cafes and restaurants in the village, so locals have a 30min trip to Lithgow which is the closest large town.
The village has electricity but no town water, so visitors should bring their own water.
There are no bank facilities, or public phones and mobile phone reception can be sketchy in the village.
The nearest petrol stations are at Mt Victoria and Lithgow.
There are some historical properties in the village, and some world-class gardens that attract many visitors, especially in autumn.
Mt Wilson is famous for its colourful autumn displays as most of the streets are lined with exotic deciduous trees.
Some of the more famous gardens include: Nooroo, Merry Garth, Yengo, Windy Ridge, and Bebeah.
Many of these gardens are open in spring when the flowers are in blossom and in autumn when the village erupts in a riot of warm colour.
One of the reasons for the magnificent gardens and the lush surrounding bushland, featuring cool temperate rainforest, is the deep volcanic soil, which is a rich basalt, as opposed to the poor sandstone usually found throughout the Blue Mountains.
For history lovers, there is the Turkish Bath Museum (c.1875), built by Richard Wynne for his wife Mary Ann who was in poor health.
It features skilfully laid brickwork, arched windows, stained glass, and cast iron roof detail.
Check for opening details - the Museum is only open on certain sundays (usually the 1st of each month).
The St Georges Anglican Church was built in 1915 as a memorial to Henry Marcus Clark by his family on land donated by the Wynne family.
The church was built Cliff O’Rourke and Albert Kirk using a new material called fibro, and also Oregon timber from North America, and Baltic pine from Northern Europe.
Church services are held at St Georges on the second sunday of each month.
The grounds of the church feature an old cemetery and massive tree ferns.
There is a campground at Cathedral Reserve with basic amenities.
Nearby is the lovely Cathedral of Ferns rainforest loop walk.
This is an easy short walk & one of the most accessible rainforests you will find near Sydney.
There are two spectacular lookouts around Mt Wilson: Du Faurs Rocks and Wynnes Rocks.
Near Du Faurs Rocks there is an approx. 1hr walk to Chinamat’s Hat and Pheasants Cave.
Also, of interest to photographers is the 45min loop walk at Waterfall Reserve that includes two waterfalls and lovely rainforest.
This walk is slippery and is littered with tree roots so care needs to be taken.
For more experienced walkers, there is the Happy Valley track which starts opposite the Cathedral of Ferns.
This track is rough, steep and slippery and features various types of vegetation.
For adventurers, the nearby Wollangambe River and its side creeks are a mecca for canyoners.
Some of the better known ones include: Wollangambe, Bell’s Creek, Whungee Wheengee, and Du Faurs.
Wetsuits and thermals are required year round as the water is very cold.
Notes for Photographers.
Sunrise and sunset are the best times.
Foggy, misty, rainy days show off Mt Wilson at its best.
Autumn is great for the ‘fall’ colour in the village and gardens.
Spring for the impressive flower displays in the open gardens.
Winter for a possible dusting of snow and bare trees.
Summer is great way to escape the oppressive heat of the Cumberland Plains.
Canyons and rainforest are best on cloudy days.
Visit the waterfalls after decent rain.
Mt Wilson website.