Earth : Oceania : Australia : New South Wales : Central West (New South Wales) : Lithgow
Lithgow  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 is not really 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.
From Sydney and the east take the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains. Lithgow is located at the bottom of the western descent. The Bells Line of Road from Windsor is a narrower, quieter road, that avoids many of the Blue Mountains townships.
Lithgow is the westernmost town served by Sydney's  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.
The Lithgow train station is on the main street and shopping area of Lithgow. You can walk to most of the pubs and hotels in the town and the rest are a short trip by taxi, available from the station.
CityRail trains stop only by request at the Zig Zag station, one stop back, to ride the old Zig Zag Railway. Tell the train guard, before joining the train, that you want to get off there.
Local buses comprehensively, albeit somewhat infrequently, service the surrounding residential areas. You will need a car to get any further afield, or to see any of Lithgow's natural attractions.
Lithgow City Radio Cabs 131 008
Secret Creek Sanctuary 35 Crane Road Lithgow (5 mins from town), (02) 6352 1133. A 200 acre native wildlife Sanctuary established in 2003 with the creation of the Eastern Quoll breeding facility. It is now home to pure-bred dingo, long-nosed Potoroo, Rufous Bettong, Spotted-tailed Quoll, Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, the Cream-striped Red-necked Pademelon, Swamp Wallaby, Emu and Brush Turkey.
Old Lithgow Pottery Silcock St, 02 63 51 4483. Pottery Demonstrations, Fine Arts & Crafts or just take the time enjoying the historic atmosphere of the pottery. Open 7 days 1000 - 1600.
The Zig Zag Railway  is by far the most famous attraction in Lithgow. This original western railway cut a zig-zag down the sheer western descent from the Blue Mountains. The train went forward along a section of the track, the points were changed, and then it reversed down the next track section. The track section has long been bypassed by the main line, which runs through several tunnels to make its descent. A tourist railway now operates steam trains on the old section. NB The Zig Zag Railway is currently not running whilst work is underway on the section and rolling stock.
Rock Climbing, canyoning and bush walks are very popular in what is a mostly untouched vast wilderness.
Lithgow Workies club 3-7 Tank Street (02) 6350 7777 Open 7 days.
Lithgow Palace Chinese Restaurant, 1/59 Main St (02) 6353 1888
Emerald Lantern Chinese Restaurant, 13 Main St (02) 6353 1110
La Trattoria 277 Main St (02) 6351 4000
The Bowen Inn Motel And Surveyors Restaurant Great Western Hwy, (02) 6352 5111
The Valley Japanese Teppanyaki Lithgow Valley Motel 45 Cooerwull Rd, (02) 6351 2334
Blue Sky Restaurant 192 Main St, 02) 6352 2008
Bushman's Bistro 526 Great Western Hwy (02) 6352 1655
Secret Creek Cafe and Restaurant 35 Crane Road (5 mins from town), (02) 6352 1133. Located within the 200 acre native wildlife Secret Creek Sanctuary.
Blue Mountains Tea Shack 3 Sir Thomas Mitchell Drv South Bowenfels NSW 2790 (02) 6352 3122
The Comet Inn Bed & Breakfast, Hartley Vale Road, Hartley Vale (61 2 6355 2247. Guest House and licensed public Restaurant is set on two & a half thousand acres in Hartley Vale in the valley of the River Lett at the base of Victoria Pass on the western slopes of the Blue Mountains.
Court House Hotel
Grand Central Hotel
There is a wide range of Hotels, Motels and Bed & Breakfast see: http://www.lithgow-tourism.com/accomm.htm
Many of the best day trip destinations are east of Lithgow, in the Blue Mountains. Drive up the Great Western Highway, or catch a Cityrail train to Katoomba, or drive up the Bells Line of Road to the Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens. Avoid driving back in weekend peak hours, especially on public holidays. The traffic jams can be horrendous, snaking the entire length of the Mountains for hours on end.
The Glow Worm Tunnel, is 40km north of Lithgow on a forest fire trail. The trail is rutted, so drive there in a 4WD or a car with good ground clearance. The tunnel is an easy and pretty 1km walk from the carpark. Well worth it to see the glow worms in an old railway tunnel. The tunnel is long and turns a corner so it is very dark in the centre of the tunnel, but you can get by, just, without a torch.
Newnes is an abandoned oil shale mining site off the Wolgan Valley. The mine operated in the early 20th century before being abandoned and is now partly surrounded by the Wollemi National Park. A place so ancient and remote that the Wollemi Pine, dating back to the time of the dinosaurs was only recently discovered in one of its narrow canyons. Get info from the local tourist information center on the Bathurst Road just outside of Lithgow.
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