Cool Mountains – Your Guide to Beating the Heat in Springwood & Surrounds

Paradise Pool in Linden (Photo: Walk My World)

Story and photos by Gabiann Marin

When temperatures soar and your home heats up, tempers can easily become frayed and your health can take a hit. Not everyone has the benefit of air-conditioning, and all-day running costs are prohibitive for many people. In this guide we’ve provided some tips to help you cool down, and a sample of free and low-cost places to visit to escape the heat. 

You can also visit or call the Blue Mountains Visitor Information Centres at Glenbrook or Katoomba for more ideas on where to go and what to do when the weather heats up or you’re not sure about the conditions. Also check out our other Cool Mountains Guides in the Lower Mountains, Mid Mountains, Katoomba area and Blackheath area.

Health and Safety in the heat

If you are sweltering at home or venturing out and about in the heat, the NSW Department of Health’s Keep cool, stay hydrated” online guide is a good starting point to help you, your family and friends stay safe during high temperatures.

The Department advises you should drink plenty of water regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty. If your doctor has asked that you limit your fluid intake, ask how much water you should drink during hot weather. Do not replace your water intake with alcoholic or sugary drinks and carry water with you if you are spending time outdoors.

If you prefer to stay at home, the Department provides the following tips, especially helpful if you don’t have air-conditioning and/or your fans aren’t making a big impact:

  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Avoid being outdoors in the hottest part of the day as much as possible. If you have to go outside, seek shade or shelter.
  • Close curtains and blinds to block out the sun.
  • Spend time in the coolest area of your home.
  • Limit physical activity e.g. household chores or exercise to early in the morning when it is coolest.
  • Use stoves and ovens as little as possible as these can heat up the home.
  • Wet your skin with cool water using a spray bottle or a damp sponge or cloth.
  • Place cool packs or crushed ice in a damp towel loosely over your neck and shoulders.
  • Take cool showers or baths or sit for a while with your feet in cool water.
  • When it becomes cooler outside, open your windows and doors to allow the warm air out and the cool air in.

The Department recommends people seek out cool places or air-conditioned public facilities you can safely travel to without getting too hot. When outdoors, you should protect yourself from the sun by applying sunscreen and wearing sun-protective clothing, sunglasses and a wide brim hat.

The following guide provides ideas for places you can visit in the Springwood area to cool down, in air-conditioning and outdoors.   

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Note – pet-friendly sites don’t necessarily mean it is an off-leash area. Check with the venue before letting your dog off leash

Arts and Cultural Spaces

Escape the heat and enjoy some arts, crafts and creativity. There are a number of fantastic free galleries, museums and art spaces with air-conditioning available to visit across the Mountains. Here are the ones around Springwood.

Braemar Gallery

Photo courtesy Braemar Gallery / BMCC

Braemar Gallery is part of Springwood’s Community Hub and is located in a heritage listed house on Macquarie Street. The non-profit community gallery hosts monthly exhibitions from local and regional artists which can be enjoyed free of charge. Parking is available in the Theatre carpark and there are several accessible car park places available. 

OPENING HOURS:

Thurs – Sun 10am – 4pm

LOCATION:

104 Macquarie Road, Springwood New South Wales 2777

WEBSITE:

https://www.bluemountainstheatre.com.au/braemar-house/what-s-on/braemar-gallery/

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Springwood Train Station (15-min walk)

Bus Routes 693, 692B, 692H, 690K, 690P, 692W

Macquarie Road /Springwood Sports Club

The Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub Springwood

The foyer at the Theatre and Community Hub as well as the upstairs gallery space is open to the public even if you are not attending an event or visiting the Library or community spaces.  It offers some seating, air conditioning and toilet facilities. The upstairs open area often hosts a small art exhibition featuring local artists.

OPENING HOURS:

Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm

Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm  

LOCATION:

83 Macquarie Road, Springwood

WEBSITE:

https://www.bluemountainstheatre.com.au/

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Springwood Train Station (15-min walk)

Bus Routes 693, 692B, 692H, 690K, 690P, 692W

Macquarie Road /Springwood Sports Club

Community Spaces

Many community spaces across the mountains offer indoor air-conditioned areas for Mountain residents. They are always free to access and can provide social interaction as well as a cool place to hang out. So, if you are feeling the heat, head into one of these friendly environments. Take a book or some puzzles and settle in for a great respite from the heat.

The Factory, Springwood 

Justine Jenner at The Factory

The Factory is run by the Anglican Church and situated in the industrial area of Springwood. It offers an interior air-conditioned space with comfortable seating, as well as some outside fenced play areas for children.

The current manager Justine Jenner is keen to see the community embrace the space and is happy for it to be accessed during normal opening hours. The Factory hosts a singing group and fortnightly free Food Pantry. Read more here >

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – 8.30 am – 2.30pm

Tues – Fri – 8.30am – 4.30pm

Sat – CLOSED

Sun – 8am – 9pm

LOCATION:

28 Lawson Road, Springwood

WEBSITE:

http://springwoodanglican.org.au/

Springwood Drop-in Centre

Photo courtesy Springwood Drop-in Centre

Provided by CatholicCare and run by volunteers, this drop-in centre is open to anyone who may need a respite from the heat and provides a friendly place for a cuppa and a chat. The Centre also hosts a number of events including a designated Men’s Group held twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 10am – 12pm, and a Reading Group. It is also the point of access for information about the Springwood Community Garden.

OPENING HOURS:

Tuesday – Friday 10am – 4pm
Mon 10am – 3pm (Reading Group 3pm – 4pm)

LOCATION:

3/163 Macquarie Road, Springwood (next to Blooms Chemist)

WEBSITE:

https://www.facebook.com/catholiccarebm

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Springwood Train Station (10-min walk)

Bus Routes:  693, 692B, 692H, 690K, 690P, 692W

Springwood Library

The Library is located at the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub and is open every day. You can come along to read books, magazines and newspapers, access computer desks and the internet or attend a library event such as a book reading or author talk. Patrons are asked to be respectful of the library space and quiet activities are encouraged here. If you would like to engage in conversations, mobile phone calls etc the foyer in the Theatre Hub is available right outside the library doors. You can read more about the refurbished Springwood Library here >

OPENING HOURS:

Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm  

LOCATION:

83 Macquarie Road, Springwood

WEBSITE:

https://library.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Springwood Train Station (15 min walk)

Bus Routes:  693, 692B, 692H, 690K, 690P, 692W

Springwood Neighbourhood Centre

This small but mighty neighbourhood centre has a drop-in lounge which offers coffee/tea and refreshments for donation as well as a range of paperback books, small tables and some armchair seating in an air-conditioned environment.

OPENING HOURS:

Mon, Tues and Thurs 9am – 3pm

Wed 9.30am – 1pm

Fri, Sat and Sun – CLOSED

LOCATION:

Ground level Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub building, 104-108 Macquarie Road, Springwood

WEBSITE:

http://sncc.org.au/

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Springwood Train Station (15 min walk)

Bus Routes:  693, 692B, 692H, 690K, 690P, 692W

Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre

This neighbourhood centre is suitable for those who are local to the area. There is limited space and the manager suggests that the space is more suited for short pop in type visits or a short respite from the heat.

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Fri 8am – 4pm

LOCATION:

62 Whitecross Rd, Winmalee

WEBSITE:

https://www.winmaleeneighbourhoodcentre.com.au/

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Bus routes: 692H, 692W, 8225, 8229, 8609, 8612

Whitecross Rd bus stop

Public Outdoor Areas

Climate scientists have found that being in the shade of tree canopies is the best way to find natural relief from the heat this summer. The shade of trees is cooler than other types of shade thanks to the water vapour they transpire from their leaves. This cools the entire area and can make natural, tree dense areas like parks, fire trails and reserves much cooler than urban areas.

Psychologists have also found that the sound of nearby water can have a cooling effect even if you don’t take a dip, so being near waterfalls, pools or creeks can also provide relief from the heat!

Here are some cool public outdoor areas in Springwood and surrounds.  

Birdwood Gully – Springwood

 

This easy to medium family-friendly walking track is approximately 2.6km and offers waterfall views, and shady areas. It is not suitable for those with mobility issues due to some steep areas and stairs.  Dogs on leads are allowed. Be aware there are no toilets or drinking water facilities in this area.

SAFETY INFO:

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you’re visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips. See also these important bushwalking safety tips >

HOURS:

Open all Year

LOCATION:

Access the track from Lucinda Ave corner Boland Ave just beyond number 14, or Bednal Road, Springwood.



Corridor of Oaks – Faulconbridge

A highly accessible park, The Corridor of Oaks offers shady areas, seating, parking and a children’s playground with toilet facilities in the satellite park just across the road. There is also an accessible bushwalk close by. Dogs are allowed, on lead.

OPENING HOURS:

Year round

LOCATION:

Wigram Road, Faulconbridge



PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Faulconbridge Train Station (15 min walk)

The Urban Farmer, Blue Mountains: A Creative Community Garden – Winmalee  

This garden has been created by resident Amanda Argent who is offering the area as an open community space. It is accessible to all but the hours may vary. Connect with Amanda via her facebook page, The Urban Farmer for more information. She is very happy to open for those in need of a quiet, creative and cooling space.

OPENING HOURS

Variable

LOCATION:

16 Edna Ave Winmalee



Long Angle Road Fire Trail 

A shady, easy walk with water features but some hilly areas. Dogs on leads are permitted. Be aware there are no toilet or drinking water facilities in this area.

SAFETY INFO:

On hot days take plenty of water with you, wear loose fitting clothes and a hat, and let someone know where you’re going. Bushwalking safety tips >

OPENING HOURS:

Open year round 

LOCATION:

Begins and ends from the end of Long Angle Road, Winmalee

Paradise Pool – Linden

This natural waterhole with a pretty waterfall has become an increasingly popular swimming spot in recent years. The water hole is accessible via a reasonably short walk from the Bulls Creek Reserve off Tollgate Road in Linden. The walk is approximately 3 km and has some challenging aspects which would not be suitable for people with mobility issues. Be aware there are no toilets or drinking water facilities in this area.

SAFETY INFO:

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you’re visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips. See also these important bushwalking safety tips >

OPENING HOURS:

Open all year round

LOCATION: 

3km walk from Tollgate Drive. Easiest access is via the trail from Railway Parade close to Linden train station. If driving, take the Tollgate Drive exit from Great Western Highway and then turn into Railway Parade. After a couple of hundred metres, you will arrive at a designated car park.



PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Linden Train Station (15 min walk)

Sun Valley Fire Trail

Located between Sun Valley and Warrimoo, this is one of the easiest and most accessible bush walking trails in the Mountains. There is a lot of natural shade and the temperature can be up to 2 degrees cooler in hotter months.  Dogs on leads are permitted. Be aware there are no toilets or drinking water facilities in this area.

SAFETY INFO:

On hot days take plenty of water with you, wear loose fitting clothes and a hat, and let someone know where you’re going. Bushwalking safety tips >

OPENING HOURS 

Open Year Round

LOCATION

Access via Rosenthal Lane Sun Valley



Valley Heights Fire Trail

While this route is generally seen as a longer bushwalk, taking hikers all the way down to Blaxland, you can also wander in with a camping chair if you’d like to sit in a cool, shady natural space. The trail is readily accessible from Valley Heights Train Station and is clearly marked. Dogs on leads are permitted. Be aware there are no toilets or drinking water facilities in this area.

SAFETY INFO:

On hot days take plenty of water with you, wear loose fitting clothes and a hat, and let someone know where you’re going. Bushwalking safety tips >

OPENING HOURS:

Open Year Round

LOCATION:

The trail head is marked near 26 Banksia Drive, Valley Heights. More info at https://www.alltrails.com/trail/australia/new-south-wales/valley-heights-fire-trail-loop

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Valley Heights Train Station (15 min walk)

Retail Areas, Pubs and Clubs

Some of our local retailers and service providers are more than willing to offer access to air-conditioned premises for those struggling in the heat. You can also enjoy a drink or a meal at an additional cost. Here are a few retail spaces that offer some free access to our community, if you need it.

The Bunker, Springwood

(support animals)

The Bunker is located in the main shopping area of Springwood and offers air-conditioned bar facilities as well as a shady exterior seating area.  Cold water is complimentary. Food and other beverages can be purchased at an additional cost. Support animals are allowed in the interior. There is timed street parking available on Macquarie Road.

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Tues 7 am – 4pm

Wed – Sun 7 am – 9pm

LOCATION:

Shop 8 & 9, 150 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW 2777



PUBLIC TRANSPORT:            

Springwood Train Station (10-min walk)

Bus Routes: 693, 692B, 692H, 690K, 690P, 692W

The Royal Hotel, Springwood

The Royal Hotel (Photo courtesy of the Royal Hotel)

The Royal Hotel is located just a short walk from Springwood train station and offers air-conditioned bar facilities which are accessible and friendly. Cold water is complimentary and food and other beverages can be purchased at an additional cost although they are happy for you to bring food with you. The Hotel also offers accommodation for a fee per night. Rooms are cooled with ceiling fans. There is timed street parking available on Macquarie Road.

OPENING HOURS:

Sun – Wed 10 am – 9 pm

Thursday 10 am – Midnight

Fri – Sat 10 am – 1 am 

LOCATION:

220 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW 2777



PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Springwood Train Station (2 min walk)

Bus Routes: 693, 692B, 692H, 690K, 690P, 692W

Springwood Sports Club

Located on Macquarie Road, Springwood, the Springwood Sports Club has a large, air-conditioned eating and lounge area. Locals need to be a member or a member’s guest and membership costs are $12 for 1 year or $25 for 5 years. One membership can sign in unlimited guests for free.

Gets busy on weekends but weekdays are quiet and peaceful until early evening when it can get crowded. Food and beverages are available in the bistro and bar at an extra cost, but water is complimentary.  Parking is free and unrestricted in the Club carpark.

OPENING HOURS:

9am – 8.30pm Sun – Thursday

9am – 9pm Fri – Sat

LOCATION:

83 Macquarie Road Springwood NSW



PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Springwood Train Station (15 min walk)

Bus Routes: 693, 692B, 692H, 690K, 690P, 692W

Springwood Swim Centre

Springwood Pool (Photo: Crystal Pools)

The Springwood Swim Centre offers FREE entry to anyone over the age of 75 years and children under 3 years.  Accompanying parents and adults pay a $7.10 entry fee or concession $5.40.  Parking is available on the street and within the Swim Centre car park.

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Fri 6am – 8pm

Sat – Sun 8am – 6pm

LOCATION:

11 Plateau Road, Springwood



WEBSITE:

https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/blue-mountains-leisure-centres/leisure-centres

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Bus Routes:  690C, 685H, 690P, 692W, 8204

Winmalee Village Shopping Centre

A small shopping centre in Winmalee, this plaza offers some inside and exterior seating for the public. Interior is air-conditioned. There are toilet facilities and a small children’s play area.  Parking is free and unrestricted in the Centre car park.

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Fri 7am – 10pm*

Sat – Sun 7am – 10 pm*

(*Please note most stores in the plaza have different operating hours and these are the hours the physical premises are open.)

LOCATION:

30 Whitecross Road, Winmalee



PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Blue Mountains bus routes 692H, 692W, 8225, 8229, 8609, 8612

Whitecross Rd bus stop

Winmalee Tavern

Troy, the manager of Winmalee Tavern, wants to stress that there is absolutely no pressure to buy anything if you need somewhere to escape from the heat. The Tavern offers free chilled water, board games and arcade/video games for anyone, as well as a small children’s play area.

There are food and beverage options including alcohol available. The Tavern offers interior air-conditioned areas with seating and an exterior beer garden with shading. Parking is free and unrestricted in the Centre car park.

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Sat 10 am – Midnight

Sunday 10 am – 10 pm

LOCATION:

30 Whitecross Road, Winmalee



PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

Blue Mountains bus routes 692H, 692W, 8225, 8229, 8609, 8612

Whitecross Rd bus stop

About Gabiann Marin

Gabiann has worked as in-house writer/editor for Amnesty International, Greenpeace and Médecins Sans Frontières across Australia, Africa and the Asia Pacific. She is an award winning novelist and children’s book author, having won or been shortlisted for several Australian and international writing prizes. She was one of the key designers and the writer of the award-winning multimedia interactive narrative, Kids Together Now, which focuses on helping children deal with issues around bullying and racism. In addition to her role as storyteller for the Planetary Health Initiative, she tutors in narrative and writing at Macquarie University and works as a writer, story developer and script producer.

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