History and heritage

Highlights

Watch Spitfires in action

Discover the fascinating heritage sites and attractions in NSW, from a World Heritage-listed convict road and goldmining towns to maritime museums and historical flying aircraft. Temora Aviation Museum, in the beautiful Riverina region, features one of the world's best flying collections of historical aircraft. 

  • Convict Trail, Hawkesbury River
  • Maitland Gaol, Hunter

Explore history and heritage in NSW

The World Heritage-listed Old Great North Road links Sydney to the Hunter Valley, Australia's oldest wine region. Explore this well-preserved convict-built road on a heritage walk in the Dharug National Park. Up to 720 convicts worked on the road, which was finished in 1836.

Many museums in towns offer insights into the colonial past including stories of pioneers, bushrangers and gold miners. You can visit old prisons that have been turned into museums, such as Old Dubbo Gaol in Dubbo and the Maitland Gaol, just two hours' drive north of Sydney.

Near Mudgee, in Country NSW, is Gulgong, a 19th century gold-mining town. Henry Lawson is Gulgong's most famous son and a museum commemorates the writer and poet with an impressive collection of original manuscripts and memorabilia. Check out the annual Henry Lawson Heritage Festival.

Historic buildings in Mudgee

In the Riverina region is the Temora Aviation Museum, which has one of the world’s best flying collections of historical military aircraft, including a Gloster Meteor F.8, a CA-13 Boomerang, a Lockheed Hudson Bomber and the only two flying Spitfires in Australia.

In this area of Country NSW are some fascinating Gold Trails - most noteable South-Western Gold Trail and the Newell Gold Trail - that explore the colonial gold rush.

In Outback NSW, tales of Australia's explorers, poets, bushrangers and graziers are uncovered at the Back O' Bourke Exhibition Centre. Interactive displays bring the evocative history of the outback to life in the northwest town of Bourke, once a major river port on the Darling River.

You can even visit the Bega Heritage Cheese Centre in Bega, on the NSW South Coast, for a history of dairy farming.

Aboriginal heritage and culture

Waradah Aboriginal Centre, Katoomba

Australia's Aboriginal culture stretches back many thousands of years. You can explore the deep connection Aboriginal people have with the land, animals, sea and sky on tours, guided by the traditional custodians of the land.

You’ll discover a rich cultural heritage in amazing landscapes in NSW, from World Heritage-listed national parks to mighty rivers to the spectacular coast.