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Bathurst (New South Wales)

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Bathurst [1] is a city in the Central West area of the Australian state of New South Wales, some 200 km west of Sydney.

Understand[edit]

Founded in 1815 as the first inland European settlement on the Australian continent, Bathurst quickly became a regional centre of outback expansion and became an exceedingly wealthy town during the first wave of the Australian gold rush in the 1850s

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Bathurst is approximately three hours drive west of Sydney. Car drivers should cross the Blue Mountains on either the Great Western Highway from the Penrith area or the Bells Line of Road from the Windsor area. On the other side of the mountains, follow the Great Western Highway from Lithgow to Bathurst.

The road between Lithgow and Bathurst is straight and quick, however expect significant traffic delays when crossing the Blue Mountains away from Sydney on a Friday afternoon or returning to Sydney at the end of a weekend.

By train and bus[edit]

Countrylink [2] runs a daily train service from Sydney to Dubbo and return that stops at Bathurst.

Alternatively, you can take a Cityrail [3] train to Lithgow and change to a coach to Bathurst. These connecting services run a few times a day, and take about 30 minutes longer than the Countrylink service but are less than a quarter of the price.

Bathurst is part of the Cityrail network, so Cityrail conditions (like only first child pays, and cheap off-peak return) also apply to these services. Tickets can be purchased directly from Cityrail on the day or in advance for the Countrylink train. Multi-3 or Multi Single Day tickets are valid all the way to Bathurst. However, if you have one of these tickets you need to make sure you reserve the coach trip with Countrylink directly. (If you buy your ticket from a Cityrail station, they will book the Countrylink component for you).

By plane[edit]

Regional Express [4] offers several flights from Sydney to Bathurst daily.


By coach[edit]

Australia Wide Coaches [5] have an express service from Bathurst to the Sydney City and on to Sydney airport every morning, and return in the afternoon. Price is less than the Countrylink service, but more than the Cityrail service.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Holy Trinity Church, Kelso - the first inland church in Australia, built to serve the Anglican parish of Kelso that was founded in 1825. It was the first Australian church consecrated by a bishop and is built on a hill overlooking Bathurst, surrounded by an historical cemetery. Gilmour Street, Kelso, NSW 2795. Phone (02) 6332 4606. Opening Times: Sundays 1:30PM - 4:00PM or by arrangement.
  • The Bathurst 1000. The Bathurst 1000 is an annual 1000km motor race for touring cars in the V8 supercar class, held once a year at Mount Panorama just outside Bathurst. The weekend of the Bathurst 1000 attracts Bathurst's largest contingent of visitors.
  • Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum 224 Howick St, (02) 6331 5511, [6]. Monday-Saturday 10AM - 4PM, Sunday 10AM - 2PM. The museum is home to the Sommerville Collection with approximately 2000 fossil and mineral specimens on display. Temporary exhibitions are also featured. On display is Australia's only complete T-Rex skeleton but don't be fooled it is only a cast.
  • Bathurst Regional Art Gallery 70-78 Keppel St, (02) 6331 6066, [7]. Tuesday-Saturday 10AM - 5PM, Sundays and public holidays 11AM - 2PM. Monday by appointment only. The gallery has a range of Australian art from 1955 onwards as well as other exhibitions that are traveling through.
  • National Motor Racing Museum, Murray's Corner, at the foot of Mount Panorama, (02) 6332 1872, [8]. The National Motor Racing Museum showcases an impressive array of motorcycle and car racing memorabilia from all over the country.  edit


Do[edit][add listing]

  • Drive around Mount Panorama race course. The road is open to public vehicles when there aren't races on. Note that the speed limit on the mountain is 60km/h and it is strictly enforced: police set up radar traps regularly. Good views of Bathurst can be had from McPhillamy Park on Mount Panorama. free.  edit

Learn[edit]

Charles Sturt University [9] has a Bathurst campus in Panorama Avenue in the south of Bathurst. ph 6338 4000. Its B Arts (Communications) degrees in theatre, journalism, advertising and public relations among others are particularly well regarded.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Zieglers Cafe, 52 Keppel St. ph 02 6332 1565. This cafe does well prepared modern dishes, some of the desserts in particular are excellent. The best thing about it is the atmosphere though: nicely lit at night it's a haven against some of Bathurst's colder nights, and at lunch time you can sit in dappled light under the grapevine leaves outside.
  • Tamarin tandoori, Shop 2, 118-124 Leura Mall,, 02 4784 2043, [10]. Tamarin Indian Restaurant  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Citigate Mount Panorama Bathurst, 1 Conrod Straight, +61 2 6338 1888, [11]. Modern Bathurst accommodation 3 hrs from Sydney, located trackside at Mount Panorama V8 raceway. 118 guestrooms with views of Conrod Straight and Caltex Chase, to capture all the excitement.  edit


Stay safe[edit]

The weekend of the Bathurst 1000 is an extremely dangerous time to be driving in the area: the fans are keen to emulate their heroes, and reckless driving is much more common than at other times.

The fans are not the only ones to look out for! The Police with Radar Traps are also on the lookout this weekend.

Get out[edit]

The second large town in the area, Orange, is only half an hours drive west on the Mitchell Highway, and several Countrylink bus services run between the two every day.

The interesting historical gold mining towns of Sofala and Hill End are about an hours drive away if you want to try your luck panning for gold.

Abercrombie caves offer a less crowded alternative to the more famous Jenolan caves

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