Below: actor Jack Thompson
Anyone who knows me at all would know of the affinity that I have for the Blue Mountains area in NSW.
For the past little while I have taken groups of tourists and foreign students on tours of the Blue Mountains, concentrating mainly on areas around Katoomba and Jenolan caves.
As a surprise Christmas gift for my wife this year we traveled back to Katoomba together, and based ourselves at the Hotel Gearin.
The hotel is a local hub, and is owned by actor Jack Thompson.
Jack has appeared in a number of movies over the past four decades, including Wake in Fright, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Breaker Morant, The Man from Snowy River, and more recently Australia, the 2008 Australian epic directed by Baz Luhrmann.
My wife and I sat and listened as the hotel’s manager, Stephen Smith told the story of Mrs Gearin, who had bought the hotel in 1910.
Mrs Gearin had a strict no alcohol policy, and operated the hotel as a guest house for women.
The establishment has seen a number of changes over the years. Today it is a typical Aussie pub located in a regional center not far from Sydney, NSW.
The Gearin’s Ghost?
It’s said that a ghost appears at about 3am each day, and that regardless of how warm the hotel is at the time, a chill descends over the whole building.
Several people have reportedly seen the figure of a woman walking around the hotel at different times, as well as an apparition resembling a young child.
The hotel was opened in 1881.
After we had settled into our room, I was informed by my business associate Mark Hartmann that our room was in the very area that the ghost is said to appear!
Image: The Hotel Gearin.
The Gearin is one of three hotels in Katoomba itself, the others being the Carrington and Family hotels.
Apart from hotels, the area is well serviced by motels and back packer accommodation.
There are many fine places to eat in Katoomba, and we had dinner at the ‘Three Sisters” Chinese restaurant, and also visited the Savoy Cafe where we had an excellent breakfast!
Another restaurant that I have to mention is the Paragon, where we had afternoon coffee and stocked up on a supply of hand made chocolates!
Katoomba is a thriving village, and apart from the natural beauty of the area, there is plenty to keep the visitor entertained for days at a time.
Live music, art and craft festivals, ghost tours and site seeing are features of the area.
Image: Chocolate Lovers’ Delight, at the Paragon!
Before leaving the area we visited the Edge, a cinema with a screen that is over six floors (stories) high.
A drive and a walk through the nearby village of Leura completed our stay.
As for the ghost, who is it? Is it really there?
I guess that the only way to find out is to come and see!
Image: A waterfall at Leura, near Katoomba.
Author’s Disclaimer: I am not connected with the Gearin Hotel, or Jack Thompson in any way, apart from having been a guest at the hotel.