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Founded on the banks of the Macquarie River, this vibrant regional centre in the Central Tablelands of NSW has something for everyone. Bathurst is rich with history and gold rush heritage, is the spiritual home of motorsports in Australia, and has abundant natural beauty, from the nearby river to the surrounding bushland.
Things to do
Bathurst is Australia’s oldest inland colonial settlement, thanks to the discovery of gold in the region during the early 1850s. The heritage-listed architecture is on show around town, including the grand Bathurst Court House and Abercrombie House, a Scottish-baronial mansion from the 1870s that offers tours, high tea and music performances.
Most Australians associate Bathurst with motorsports thanks to Mount Panorama, one of the world’s most famous circuits. It hosts a number of international racing events, including the Bathurst 12 Hour and the Bathurst 1000. When it's not being used for a race, the public can take a spin around the course.
Visit the National Motor Racing Museum, right next to the track. The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum boasts a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery is home to a wonderful collection of Australian paintings and contemporary artworks.
The exciting events calendar is full of activities on throughout the year, including the annual Royal Bathurst Show in January, the Inland Sea of Sound music festival in February and the Bathurst Winter Festival in July.
Eat and drink
Enjoy Bathurst’s restaurants and cafes, which make the most of local produce. Get to Legall Patisserie for a pastry before they sell out and brunch at Harvest Café and Store. Enjoy pizza and cocktails at Church Bar, set in a former Anglican school house, or head to Vine and Tap for contemporary Italian cuisine.
Wine aficionados will head to Bathurst to discover of the region’s cool climate wines at cellar doors, the annual Winter Winery Wander in June and the National Cool Climate Wine Show in October. Craft beer fans should make a beeline for Two Heads Brewing and Fish River Valley Brewing.
Getting there are where to stay
Bathurst is just over three hours’ drive from Sydney and 3hr 30min from Canberra. You can also catch the train direct from Sydney daily, which takes around four hours, and hire a car to explore the region. There are plenty of places to stay, including motels, B&Bs, historic houses, farmstays and campgrounds.