My parents-in-law, Alan and Jean Conolly (nee Atkins) were married in Manly in December 1946 and spent their honeymoon in the Blue Mountains. They were certainly not alone!

I was amused at the following snippet relating to couples who had chosen a winter wedding. Wow, quite risqué for the times😍. It appeared in Smith’s Weekly, July 20 1946;

Joke on the Katoomba honeymoon.



Here are Alan and Jean with three other young couples on an excursion to the historic Hartley Courthouse . My mother-in-law even kept the entry ticket. I wonder if anyone remembers the driver, Jim Warby?

Honeymoon souvenir photo outside the  Hartley Courthouse.

Among other souvenirs I found a brass caddy spoon from a trip to Jenolan Caves, and a brochure on the Scenic Railway at Katoomba,

Booklet on the Scenic Railway, a popular excursion for those on their honeymoon.

Below is an illustration from the booklet. The trio in the rear seat look a bit vulnerable. I wonder if they had second class tickets? 😎 Scenic Railway sounds far too benign for the steepest passenger railway in the world. The old name you can see on the side, Mountain Devil, is more appropriate in my opinion.


Another place the young couples would have visited was the famous Paragon restaurant, cafe and chocolate shop at Katoomba, then in its heyday.

Paragon Cafe, Katoomba, a popular honeymoon destination.
Paragon Cafe chocolate counter, a popular  spot. for a honeymoon treat,

The sumptuous interior of the Paragon included a banqueting hall and a sprung dance floor.

Paragon Cafe banquet room, Katooma
The Banquet Room

Those post-war honeymooners loved to return to the Paragon to revive old memories, It’s a great shame that it’s now closed and has been awaiting restoration for several years.

On a more uplifting note, this story published in The Sun in 1949 warmed my heart. Mind you, it begins with tragedy. A young couple, William and Anne Algie, were hit by a car in Sydney just after their wedding and suffered serious injuries. The reporter explained;

Algie, who has only one leg (the other was amputated after a bayonet wound at Greta Camp during the war), and his wife both suffered badly fractured left legs. They are still in Western Suburbs Hospital, where doctors have been striving to avoid further amputations. Yesterday, summonses were issued against a 52 year old woman alleging negligent driving.

The Algies will spend their honeymoon near Katoomba in a cottage provided by a Glebe Point widow. They could not afford a honeymoon. The widow will pay their fares to Katoomba. When The Sun told William Algie of the offer, he immediately rang his wife on a special bedside phone.

From The Sun, August 25, 1949

Mrs Algie lost her right leg. Thankfully her husband did not become a double amputee, but he spent a long time in hospital. I hope they both recovered sufficiently in the end to enjoy their special time. 💘 And what a thoughtful person that widow was. I wonder if she had spent her own honeymoon in the Blue Mountains?

UPDATE – After publishing this story my friend Margaret Schmidt told me that her parents Violet and Geoffrey Lowe spent their honeymoon at Katoomba in 1943 following a Sydney wedding. Both were in the armed forces. Their marriage lasted for sixty happy years.



  1. The Paragon in its heyday sounded pretty good. Hope the injured young couple made good recoveries.

  2. Pauline

    Yes Marcia, we all hope it will reopen as it was a major tourist attraction for the Mountains.

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