Fine food and craft beverages, culture, activities and entertainment tied together with the threads of local stories and the nostalgic flavours and tones of autumn.
The second annual Equinox – Autumn celebration of the senses festival returns to the Blue Mountains over four weekends between March 10 and April 2.
Created and managed by Blue Mountains Tourism, it will span the entire region along the Great Western Hwy from Springwood to Mt Victoria and the Bells Line of Road through Bilpin and Grose Vale with a host of free and ticketed events.
The Equinox festival will launch with a free community event at the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) Blackheath Heritage Centre on March 11 that celebrates the beauty of nature, the parks and Indigenous culture.
Blue Mountains Tourism events manager Genevieve Deslandes said: ``We celebrate harmony, warmth and connection on Darug and Gundungurra land against the breathtaking backdrop of one of the most recognisable landscapes on Earth and invite you to join us.’’
Fire pit stories (free), Kyah Boutique Hotel, Blackheath, 7pm – 9pm Friday nights in March (weather dependent). Gather around the firepit to roast marshmallows and connect as NPWS Indigenous rangers share stories of the region. Blaq Restaurant will also be open for dinner bookings with an autumn a la carte menu.
Yoga class (free) at Happy Buddha Retreats, Wentworth Falls (March 20), with ticketed retreats available for immersive experiences.
Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend traditional high tea supreme at Bygone Beautys, Leura, each Saturday and Sunday. Dressed in top hat and tails, your waiter will serve this decadent delight silver service-style to the tune of The Land of Hope & Glory followed by an informative, humorous presentation by Mr Teapot himself (aka Maurice Cooper OAM).
Walking tour of Mt Victoria on March 25. Reach out and touch the history of the village while learning about its past, from convict road chain gangs to the luxurious Imperial Hotel built in the late 1890s.
Blue Mountains Music Festival of Folk Roots and Blues, various venues in Katoomba (March 17 – 19). There will be more than 110 concerts, songwriter and instrumental circles, heartland conversations, poets’ breakfasts, kids activities and more.
Scenic World Nocturnal, Katoomba. For two nights only ride the world’s steepest train into the Jamison Valley and explore the rainforest boardwalk after dark.
Equinox Masquerade Ball, Carrington Hotel (March 25). Prepare your senses for an intoxicating brew of unza, swing and Balkan gypsy/Romani beats, Spanish flamenco, Russian and Greek influences with a three-course dinner and entertainment. Wear formal attire and Venetian-style mask to fully immerse in the occasion - carnival elements encouraged.
Lebanese feast, Boilerhouse Restaurant, Hydro Majestic Hotel (April 1). Immerse yourself in the flavours and sounds of the Middle East in a culinary journey, with autumn produce while dancers and fire breathers entertain against a blazing sunset over the Megalong Valley.
Odyssey, Palais Royale Hotel, Katoomba (April 1). Stun your senses with a Spanish-inspired event of world music and flamenco dance as Byron Mark perform his latest album, Odyssey. Grab Spanish tapas and drinks from 5pm or pre-order a cheese share plate.
Antique fair, Victoria & Albert Guesthouse, Mt Victoria (April 2). Spend a day rummaging through antiques and retro items (some would not been on the market for over 100 years) and gawp at the historic icon refurb. Devonshire tea available.
Long lunch, Karu Distillery, Grose Vale (April 2). Settle in for the long haul overlooking wild Blue Mountains country and savour the flavours of autumn through a mouthwatering menu created by Graham Neilson accompanied by Karu's own gin-based beverages.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow brunch, Victoria & Albert Hotel at Mt Victoria (March 12). Built around great food, community, inclusion, joy and live music with burlesque icon Porcelain Alice and renowned retro, disco, soul, house and pop stylist Dj shOrty. Tuck into scrumptious bacon, eggs, coffee and champagne.
Equinox stay, magic, music and food packages, Hotel Etico at Mt Victoria (March 24 – 26). Settle in for a weekend of funk, rock, jazz and blues as Katoomba Jazz Duo takes over from Honey Hive (March 10) at the heritage property followed by The Emergency Powers Band, with magician Harry Miles wowing the crowd in between.
Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern, Fairmont Resort, Leura (Saturdays). The Two Doctors are in Session for a night of cocktails, canapes, live entertainment and humour in a refined, quirky venue hidden in the hotel basement. Defined by cosy interior spaces and paying homage to whiskey taverns of yesteryear, sink into leather chesterfields, plush velvet chairs and explore the bookshelves housing vintage books and curios.
Candlelight dinner, The Lookout Echo Point (March 25). Dine in the soft glow of hundreds of candles in a tribute to Earth Day. Designed by executive chef George Diamond, the menu will feature a four-course meal starting with a gin and tonic and continuing with optional wine pairings.
Equinox Sunset Sessions at Bar NSW, The Lookout Echo Point, every Saturday during Equinox. Take in the magnificent view while sipping a beverage and indulging in tasty snacks from the exclusive Equinox menu as the sun sets over the Jamison Valley and live music plays.
Other Feast venues will include Arrana at Springwood; Polar Bear of Leura, Josophan’s Fine Chocolates in Leura; Gazelles Restaurant at the Palais Royale, Mountain Culture Beer, Pins on Lurline and Fifth Ave Retreat in Katoomba; Wintergarden Restaurant at Medlow Bath; and Megalong Creek Estate and Dryridge Estate wineries in the Megalong Valley.
Other activities include e-bike tours with Blue Mountains Biking Adventures, guided bushwalks with Blue Mountains Adventure Company, ghost tours with Blue Mountains Mystery Tours and Blue Mountains Flavours Festival at KCC.
Click HERE for more details.
This event is made possible by $2.6 million from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the Australian Government and NSW Government. With the grant Blue Mountains Tourism, as the leading tourism authority in the region, will administer and manage the Blue Mountains Visitor Economy Revitalisation Project, a two-year destination management program that will reinstate the Blue Mountains as a key tourist destination in NSW and Australia.