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DESTINATION: Blue Mountains

By JOHN ROZENTALS

TRAVEL: 15 AUGUST 2016

JOHN ROZENTALS has a fine time strolling Parklands' former fairways

When they talk of Parklands, or Karaweena as it was originally known, having a couple of Popes in its history, they’re not referring to anything to do with the Vatican.

The 12-acre property — on what was then the outskirts of Blackheath and soon expanded to 22 acres — was purchased in the 1880s by John Pope, who was a central figure in Farmers, an exclusive Sydney department store eventually taken over by Myers.

He and his son, Parke Pope, who was general manager of Farmers and also a keen golfer, developed magnificent gardens around the house they had built and Parke also fashioned a nine-hole golf course, to where he’d bring Sydney friends.

These days, Parklands is owned by the Escarpment Group, whose portfolio also includes Lilianfels, Echoes and the Hydro Majestic, with all four properties being rated as genuine Blue Mountains accommodation icons.

Those gardens remain one of the outstanding features of Parklands, and though the golf course is no more, it is possible to imagine hacking your way along former fairways as you stroll around.

The rooms are old-fashioned in appearance, but extremely comfortable and certainly not lacking in any modern comforts.

And while there’s no restaurant at Parklands, they do serve a scrumptious breakfast in the expansive sun room, and there are plenty of dining choices available just up the road at the Hydro — or indeed, for that matter, in the village of Blackheath itself.

IF YOU GO

Parklands, 132 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath

Phone 02 4787 7211

Web: http://www.parklands.com.au

Above and below: Parklands ... old-fashioned luxury and splendid gardens in the Blue Mountains.