Explorers’ Gateway to the West
Welcome to the top of the Blue Mountains!
You are now 120 kms from Sydney and 1044 metres above sea level. If you take the measurement from One Tree Hill here in Mount Victoria you are at 1111 metres or 3645 ft – one of the highest points in the Blue Mountains.
Major Thomas Mitchell named his new road into the Hartley valley the ‘Pass of Victoria’, after the then princess, and the hill above it: Mount Victoria.
But the village was originally called One Tree Hill (the highest point, on Mount Piddington Road) until the railway came through in 1868 and the station was then named Mount Victoria. The village also took the name with the establishment of the Post Office and Police Station in 1876. The landscape feature of Mount Victoria is now the hill above the bottom of the pass.
The original road across the Blue Mountains was built by convicts under the supervision of William Cox in 1814. Remnants of this road can still be seen around Mount Victoria today. Another convict-built road was Victoria Pass, completed in 1832 under supervision of Major Mitchell. This included the ‘Convicts Causeway’ which remains west of the town today as you travel down to Hartley.
A Toll Keeper’s Cottage was constructed in 1849 and used until 1876 to collect tolls of travellers across the Blue Mountains. Mount Victoria also retains the small, stone St Peter’s Church of England (1874 – the oldest christian church in the Blue Mountains), a library (1875), police station (1887) and post office (1897). The Hotel Imperial (1878) is Australia’s oldest tourist hotel.
Together with the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath and The Carrington at Katoomba, this was one of the Blue Mountains’ three premier hotels in the early 20th century. Its guests have included prime ministers as well as George V and George VI while they were princes. A Royal Coat of Arms given to the Imperial in 1901 is still on display.
Mount Victoria became a popular holiday destination for Sydney’s wealthier residents during the late 19th Century. The railway station was the terminus until 1869 so tourists to Jenolan Caves would stay here before travelling down to the caves via road coach and car. The Manor House was built in 1876 as a summer home for John Fairfax, proprietor of the Sydney Morning Herald.
It was sold and converted to a hotel in 1887 and is now a guesthouse. Mount Victoria remains a very popular destination, with many different types of accommodation available to travellers. Mount Victoria is located on the traditional lands of the Darug and Gundungurra Nations.
Step back in time… and enjoy our beautiful heritage listed town.