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Lithgow [1] is a town that developed around the coal mining industry, just west of the Blue Mountains. With the exception of the nearby Zig-Zag steam heritage railway, it has not long been a recognised as a visitor destination. Lithgow does have many areas of natural beauty close by and some evidence of its history remains around the town.

Get in

Lithgow is immediately to the west of the Blue Mountains, approximately an hour's drive from the westernmost suburbs of Sydney.

By car

From Sydney and the east take the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains. Lithgow is located at the bottom of the descent of the mountains. The Bells Line of Road from Windsor is a narrower, quieter road, that avoids the many of the Blue Mountains townships.

From the west there are a few road links, including the Great Western Highway to Bathurst and links to Mudgee.

By train

Lithgow is the westernmost town served by Sydney's [2] Cityrail train network. Cityrail trains to Lithgow depart every one or two hours during the day, and less often throughout the night. The train trip takes three hours from the center of Sydney and two hours from Penrith in the west.

Countrylink trains [3] to and from Dubbo also stop at Lithgow once a day in each direction, a little faster, but more costly.

By bus

There are several bus services every day from Dubbo, Bathurst, Orange, Forbes and Parkes, each designed to meet the trains to Sydney. These buses are run by Countrylink, Cityrail, and the local Jones Brothers Bus Company.

Get around

The train station is right adjacent to the main street and shopping area of Lithgow. Taxis are available at the station. The pubs and hotels in the town are walkable and some of the motels are a short trip by taxi.

You can catch a train to Zig Zag to ride the Zig Zag Railway. Trains only stop there on request, so talk to the staff before joining the train. The local bus service comprehensively services the surrounding residential areas, albeit somewhat infrequently.

You will need a car to get any further afield, or to see any of Lithgow's natural attractions.



The Zig Zag Railway [4] is by far the most famous attraction in Lithgow. This original section of the western railway is a zig-zag, due to the steepness of the descent. The train goes forward along a section of the track, the points are changed, and then it reverses onto the next track section. The track section is long bypassed by the main line, which now winds through tunnels to make its descent, and a tourist railway operates on the section.

You can use the fire trails and dirt roads above Lithgow to get to places like the Lost City rock formations.




Get out

Many of the best destinations suitable for a day trip to Lithgow are eastwards, in the Blue Mountains. Good trips into the western side of the mountains include driving up the Great Western Highway or catching a Cityrail train to Katoomba, and driving up the Bells Line of Road to the Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens.

A glow worm tunnel is 40km north of Lithgow on a forestry fire tail. It is an old railway tunnel and the glowworms have taken up residence. The tunnel is a 1km easy and pretty walk from the carpark, use a car with a good ground clearance or 4 wheel drive, and well worth a visit. As the tunnel is long a turns a corner it is very dark in the centre of the tunnel, but you can get by?, just, without a torch.

Newnes is also well worth a visit, get info from the local tourist information center on the Bathurst road just outside of Lithgow.

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