Experience life during the gold rush in this well-preserved colonial goldmining town, located in the intriguing Bathurst region. Wander along Hill End’s historic streets on the self-guided Village walking track and explore old mine relics on a guided tour of the Hill End Historic Site.
Hill End’s striking landscapes have inspired many famous Australian painters, including Brett Whiteley, John Olsen and Russell Drysdale. The Beaufoy Merlin lookout and Bald Hill lookout offer spectacular views of the area, and the Golden Gully walking track winds past remnants of alluvial mining.
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 shops still stand. Stop at the Great Western Store to see old photographs. Grab a coffee at the General Store, and outdoor supplies at Northeys Store.
Places to stay include 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 Nugget – was found in the Hill End goldfields.
A section of the goldfields was known as ‘the richest quarter mile in the world’. 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 artefacts from the 19th century gold rush
The scenic drive from Bathurst to Hill End takes about an hour. The drive from Sydney is 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.