On the banks of the Macquarie River in the Central Tablelands of NSW, the vibrant regional centre of Bathurst is rich with history and gold rush heritage. With Mount Panorama-Whaluu rising in the distance, it’s also the home of Australian motor racing and a hotspot for motorsport enthusiasts.  

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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 elegant architecture and historic homes are on show around town, including the grand Bathurst Courthouse and Abercrombie House, a Scottish-baronial mansion from the 1870s that offers tours, high tea and music performances. 

Exterior view of the heritage-listed mansion Abercrombie House, Bathurst

Abercrombie House, Bathurst

Most Australians associate Bathurst with motorsports thanks to Mount Panorama-Wahluu, 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 in-use for racing, 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 kids will love the miniature railway at the Bathurst Railway Museum. 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 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. Keep an eye out for the Bathurst Arts Trail Open Studio Weekends and visit artists in their studios and galleries.

Eat & drink 

Enjoy Bathurst’s restaurants and cafes, which make the most of local produce. Get 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 can discover the region’s cool-climate wines at cellar doors, and at the National Cool Climate Wine Show in October. Craft beer fans should make a beeline for Cosmo Brewing, while Stone Pine Distillery makes superb handcrafted spirits and Bathurst Grange produces whisky and gin using sustainable artisan practices (be sure to take a tour of the heritage estate and working farm, which dates back to 1823).

Fried house made potato gnocchi in burnt butter sauce at Vine and Tap, Bathurst

Fried house made potato gnocchi in burnt butter sauce at Vine and Tap, Bathurst - Credit: Vine and Tap

Getting there

Bathurst is just over three hours’ drive from Sydney and 3.5 hours 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. 

Plan your trip