Bathurst Attractions - Bathurst, NSW

Bathurst Attractions

This region comprises four smaller regions - Blayney, Cowra, Orange and Carbonne. Wattle Flat marks the northern extremity of the region. Reids Flat marks the southern. The western fringe is bounded by Morongla Creek on the Lachlan Valley Way. Portland marks the eastern border.

Bathurst, Australia’s oldest inland settlement is a gracious city of wide tree-lined streets, historic houses and fine public buildings. As the only substantial settlement west of the Great Divide, Bathurst was the natural starting point for the exploration that opened up the west and south-west of the country.Bathurst was also the site of the first gold rush in Australia in 1851. The Courthouse is a fine Victorian classical building completed in 1880. On Busby Street stands a cottage once home to Ben Chifley, the engine driver who became Prime Minister from 1945 to 1949. Bathurst is also home to Mount Panorama Racing Circuit – Australia’s biggest motor car racing event held each year in October.

Features

Facilities
Principal towns include Blayney, Cowra, Orange and Bathurst. Other towns include Ophir, Lucknow, Shadforth, Meadow Flat, Canowindra, Carcoar, Woodstock, Tuena and Abercrombie.

Blayney – Blayney, in the valley of the Belubula River is the centre of a rich farming and grazing area. However, Blayney enjoys a reputation of being one of the coldest towns in the state. The frequency of high winds in the area has enabled the establishment of the largest wind farm in the state.

Canowindra – this town is noted for the sport of ballooning with more flights made over Canowindra than anywhere else in Australia. The balloon season lasts from March to November. Here balloonists are uplifted by ideal hot air ballooning conditions during this time.

Canowindra lies on the old Bullock track last used in the 1800s. Gaskill, the town’s main street follows the dog-legged route of the old track. The town has many fine heritage buildings including Robinson’s Hotel; once the location for the ‘Canowindra Spree’ immortalised in the poem the ‘Afterlife of bold Jack Donohue’. A museum in the town displays 360 million year old fossilised fishes from a local site uncovered by road workers in 1956.

Carcoar – the Commercial Bank, still standing today, was once the scene of Australia’s first recorded daylight bank hold up. In 1863 when Johnny Gilbert and John O’Meally robbed the bank.Cowra – Cowra is best known for the war time break out from a Japanese prison farm located near the town. The town experienced particularly harsh drought conditions in the early years with droughts in the 1840s drying up the Lachlan River and in turn a fierce flood that drowned over 1,000 sheep. The town lies at the intersection of three major highways – Mid Western Highway, Lachlan Valley Way and Olympic Highway and is an important regional centre.Tuena – gold was found here when Reverend Douglas, on his way to a christening, stopped to boil a billy. Turning over a stone he found gold. Goldfields Inn built in 1866 still stands as the oldest building of its kind in Australia.

Clifton Grove – this town’s chief claim to fame is its association with the birthplace of Banjo Paterson at nearby Narambla Station. Although the homestead was destroyed by fire many years ago, the station is now a public reserve.Lucknow – in 1851 gold was discovered here as well as in nearby Ophir. From 1851 to 1927 over 14 tonnes of gold was mined in the Lucknow area.
Attractions
Borenore Caves – the currents of Boree Creek have steadily dissolved the soft limestone outcrop that borders the Creek carving out a series of deep and fascinating caves that extends for about 5 kilometres.

Macquarie River –Macquarie River was discovered in 1813 by explorer George Evans who named it after Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The headquarters of the river rise on the western slopes of the Great Diving Range south of Bathurst to flow inland giving rise to the great search for an inland sea.

Mount Canobolas State Recreation Area – this immensely popular public park occupies the upper reaches of Point Canobolas – an ancient and extinct volcano formed about 12 million years ago. At 1395 metres the mountain is the highest peak between the Blue Mountains and the Indian Ocean, thousands of kilometres to the west.

Abercrombie Caves – although, Abercrombie Caves are one of Australia’s smallest cave systems, they contain the largest natural tunnels and arches in the world. The archway or arch cave is over 220 metres long, 60 metres wide with an average roof height of 30 metres. Natural light entering both ends of this tunnel creates a wonderful spectrum of colours as the light bounces off the marble walls.

Lake Wyangala – Rising in the mountains north east of Crookwell the Abercrombie River is dammed at Lake Wyangala. This lake is one of the best known and most popular water recreation areas in New South Wales west of the Blue Mountains. A number of species of fish including brown and rainbow trout, Macquarie perch and cod attract fisherman from all over the state.

Location

Bathurst, NSW, 2795