We (your hosts, Greg and Kathy) purchased The Comet Inn as our home 24 years ago, mainly as a new challenge and to showcase our antiques and collectables acquired during our marriage.

The only antique that was here at The Comet Inn was the White Horse ornament in the bar and the Art Deco light in the main dining room; all the rest that you see is our own private collection.

Take a trip down memory lane in the Comet Inn Bar (the original bar) where you will be surrounded by lots of history, memorabilia, collectables and antiques, reminders of the history of this Inn and the local area.


The Comet Inn was originally licensed around 1879 to Thomas Thompson and was named after the brand name of the kerosene which was produced from the shale in this area.

The village was growing and in 1880 Jonathon Blinkensopp became the Comet’s licensee, remaining so until the shale mines closed.

There were twelve pubs in the space of about a quarter of a mile of the road into Hartley. There were also dwellings for the miners and their families, a post office, the Company School, a Temperance Hall (much needed after the drinking marathons on payday!) an Oddfellows Hall and Mr. Skelly's butchery and bakery establishment. There was also Balmain’s Store said to be a miniature Anthony Horderns, supplying anything you needed. By the 1880's there were at least three bootmakers and a saddler named Mr. Madden.

By 1913 the mining operations ceased. The mining families moved away.

In 1910 The Comet was advertised as the ideal retreat for rest and recreation. Guests would be met at the train by appointment and hunting and fishing were described as sports available.


Hartley Vale today is a tranquil rural area, nestled against the bush covered ridges of the western Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

From 1813 to 1824, William Lawson was engaged in the construction of a by-pass road to avoid the steep gradients associated with Cox’s road down Mt York (on the western escarpment near Mt Victoria). This road followed a gully called Long Alley, now known as Lawson's Long Alley. Lawson reported to the Governor of finding a three foot seam of ‘coal’.

The ‘coal’ was, in fact, kerosene shale. Mining commenced in the 1860s, with the ore being carried by horse and cart to the railway, thence by rail to Sydney for refining. Following the extension of the railway to Bowenfels (near Lithgow), a narrow gauge line was constructed from the main line into the valley, and the valley's operations extended.

The railway route from the Causeway to near the top of the incline exists today as a track, suitable for walkers and mountain bike riders. Remains of the incline can still be found.

It is one of the most Historical and Significant sites in Australia.