A well-preserved colonial goldmining town, Hill End is in the beautiful Bathurst region and its striking landscapes have attracted many famous Australian painters, including Brett Whiteley, John Olsen and Russell Drysdale. The Beaufoy Merlin and Bald Hill lookout offer spectacular views of the area.
Amble along the historic streets on the self-guided Village walking track. At the peak of the gold rush in the 1870s, the town had 28 pubs, an oyster bar and a kilometre of colourful shopfronts. Some of the old shops still stand. Stop at the Great Western Store and see rare photographs of life during the gold rush. Pick up a coffee at the General Store and camping and fishing supplies at Northeys Store.
You’ll find delightful places to stay, including holiday cottages, campgrounds where kangaroos roam and a classic country pub. The Royal Hotel was built in 1872, the year the largest single piece of reef gold in the world, the Beyers and Holtermann specimen, was found in the Hill End goldfields.
A section of the goldfields was known as ‘the richest quarter mile in the world’. Among the fascinating things to do are guided tours of the Hill End Historic Site. You can experience what it was like in a colonial underground mine at the Bald Hill Tourist Mine and at the History Hill Museum, where you’ll also see rare and unusual artefacts from the 19th century gold rush.
Getting to Hill End is easy. The scenic drive northwest of Bathurst is about an hour. From Sydney, the drive is less than four hours, or you can take a train or fly to Bathurst and rent a car. A number of tours of Hill End depart from Bathurst, including Simmo’s Offroad Tours and Detour Adventures.