Planes, Trains and Automobiles in Gearins

Keith Mentiplay and John Ross outside Trains, Planes and Automobiles at Gearins.
Keith Mentiplay and John Ross outside Trains, Planes and Automobiles at Gearins.

Gearins Hotel in Katoomba is now home to a toy shop.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles has moved from Blackheath into the old pub, with stacks of antique toys now filling the old live music room and bar.

Owner Keith Mentiplay, who is now also the Gearin's manager, said the unusual move came about after a conversation with the pub's owner, one of his customers.

"He said, 'what can I do with the place' and I said, let me think about it."

In no time at all, the pair decided it would be an ideal place for the toy shop.

Many of the display racks are on wheels which are pushed aside once a month for online toy auctions, which create international interest, Mr Mentiplay said.

The pub still offers affordable accommodation through Airbnb. A number of students and workers at local businesses stay there and last weekend it hosted many of the visitors to Katoomba's ukulele festival.

Mr Mentiplay said the pub was slowly being done up.

"It's a great opportunity for us to put some new life into this beautiful old building," Mr Mentiplay said. "We have some exciting plans for the future."

He said it wouldn't be reopening as a licensed premises.

The original hotel was built in 1880 and was purchased in 1910 by Mrs Emily Gearin, who operated the building as a guest house and renovated it in the art deco style.

"There won't be a public bar, so it's basically a guest house now, which is exactly what it was in Mrs Gearin's day," Mr Mentiplay said.

Trains, Planes and Automobiles, which deals in antique toys and collectables, has been operating in the Mountains since 1997, first in Mt Victoria and then Blackheath.

For affordable accommodation, call The Gearin on 0405 589 906. For those interested in antique toys and collectables, call Trains, Planes and Automobiles on 4787 7974 or visit their website