With spectacular limestone caves, delightful walking tracks and tumbling waterfalls, it’s easy to reconnect with nature in the beautiful Bathurst region. Discover prehistoric fossils and dinosaur skeletons, and explore colonial goldfields that were once ‘the richest quarter mile in the world’.
Begin your adventure at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst, which is a little over three hours’ drive northwest of Sydney in Country NSW. The museum houses some of the oldest fossils of life on Earth, fossilised dinosaur eggs and a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.
Adventure tours are great way to experience the natural wonders, such as the largest natural archway in the Southern Hemisphere. The Archway is in the Abercrombie Caves, an hour from Bathurst. Join a guided tour and discover an underground world by crossing suspension bridges and climbing ladders.
Camping is allowed in the Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. The Grove Creek Falls walking track will take you through bushland to a splendid waterfall. Tours such as Detour Adventures and Simmo’s Offroad Tours depart for the caves from Bathurst, which is on the banks of the Macquarie River.
Explore old gold mine relics on a guided tour of the Hill End Historic Site in Hill End, northwest of Bathurst. Beaufoy Merlin lookout is a great spot to grasp the scale of the former goldfields. Another vantage point with breathtaking views is Bald Hill lookout - the sunsets from here are magnificent.
You can experience what it was like in a colonial underground mine at the Bald Hill Tourist Mine and at the History Hill Museum. How about striking it lucky? Fossick for gold on a tour of the area or pan for gold dust in the Turon River, near the historic goldmining village of Sofala, a scenic drive east of Hill End.