Looking for a more unusual place to stay in the Blue Mountains? There are more than three million Airbnb listings around the globe and the Mountains has about 300 on offer.
Airbnb is often seen as a low priced night’s accommodation, but it also offers some wacky and wonderful listings. Here are some of the Mountains and surrounds more unique offerings – everything from an “enchanted cave” to a church, a treehouse and a train carriage.
Secret Treehouse but no kids allowed, $988 a night, Bilpin
Live with the birds, high in the treetops. Fancy staying amongst 600 acres of private wilderness in a treehouse near Mt Tomah and Mt Wilson? This secluded accommodation offers just that – a back-to-nature experience in style, nestled between two national parks and world heritage listed rainforest. The house has views of Bowen’s Creek Gorge and is only for couples. The secluded property has a queen bed, fireplace and floor to ceiling windows.
Enchanted Cave, $1100 a night, Bilpin
Open the small, round wooden door that seems straight out of Hobbiton, and you step into the cave and into another world – with that view and an indoor spa. The clifftop cave is a one-of-a-kind treasure. It is built onto a natural rock platform overlooking the national park. Guests even have their own river to swim in nearby. This listing is from the same owner as the treehouse. Lionel Buckett has won 19 awards for his pioneering work building sustainable homes which he designed and built in the past two decades.
This is a popular listing. “Five stars are not enough for this place - it now sits at the top of my best places to stay ever list” said one visitor. Tours can also be arranged to a nearby glow worm cave.The location is about an hour from Katoomba.
Say your prayers, The Church, Woodford, $260 a night
This Woodford guest house is a 100-year-old church, set on one acre of private grounds and natural bushland. It comes complete with beautiful stained glass windows, decorative cornices, gothic wrought iron and wood paneling. It is on the highway and is up the road from the bike store and a walk from the station.
Strawbale cottage, Leura, $116 a night
Relax in the beautiful warmth of a unique strawbale cottage after spending the day enjoying the stunning natural beauty of the Blue Mountains. It is earth rendered and the majority of the materials are sourced from demolition yards or scavenged. It has a slow combustion fireplace that heats the whole space and a rustic recycled claw foot bath plus a ladder to the loft reading area.
The Priests Cottage, former convent, Leura, $165 a night
Over a century ago, Leura was the site of several large residences built by various orders of nuns on prime sites on the crest of the Leura hill. One of these, St Raphael (circa 1902) remains. The charming, sunny priest’s cottage sits in the leafy St Raphael grounds. It sleeps one couple in a queen bed and is ideal for a romantic escape or makes a peaceful retreat for one. It boasts three elegant, self-contained holiday accommodations set in a 6000 square metre private estate with a rambling Sorenson garden and views to Sydney. Owner, "Mr Teapot" aka Maurice Cooper, throws in a 2 for 1 voucher for a Devonshire tea at Bygone Beautys.
A log cabin, Scribble Gum Cottage, Katoomba, $160 a night
Nestled amongst the scribbly gums, this log cabin style cottage sits on a quarter acre of private native bushland. The cottage has two bedrooms. The master bedroom has one double bed with bush canopy views. The second bedroom is equipped with single bunkbeds. The lounge has a cosy atmosphere with woodfire heating. Cockatoos and kookaburras are regular visitors.
Remodelled train carriage, Kurrajong Heights, $350 a night
Wake up in your own 1920s refurbished train carriage to the sight of alpacas’ grazing and experience hand feeding them. Explore the 83 acres bordered by national park or take a drive through the Blue Mountains. There are two refurbished trains. The carriages can accommodate up to four adults and two children. Not a train spotter? There are also eight cabins on site.
Another one for train spotters in Bilpin, $201 a night
A more modern train is available in Bilpin with expansive views over the 100 acres. Watch the cows graze in the paddock and see not another soul. It’s a cheaper option and has a well equipped galley kitchen with floor to ceiling glass living and dining room.
Cosy garden lodge, Lawson, $65 a night
Fancy a camping-like experience in a cozy lodge. This cabin in Lawson will have you slowing down and feeling mellow in no time. It comes complete with a ukulele and a drum kit. The bathroom is made from recycled timber and corrugated iron, clean but rustic and the kitchenette is on the verandah. The hosts warn “if you are the street food, sailing boat, camping type, join us. If you feel more comfortable with McDonalds, Novotel and cruise ships, please reconsider”.