Discover fascinating gold rush heritage and great country pubs in this historic town tucked into the beautiful Lachlan Valley, a 4h 30min drive from Sydney. The great Australian writer and bush poet Henry Lawson was born in the Grenfell goldfields in 1867.
Grenfell celebrates Lawson’s cultural legacy at the Henry Lawson Festival of Arts, a wonderful family event, held every June long weekend. His best known collection of short stories is While the Billy Boils and includes The Drover’s Wife and On the Edge of a Plain. The collection was first published in 1896.
Another great event full of family fun is the annual Grenfell Show, a traditional agricultural show. There’s also rodeo, picnic races, a kart race and open days at Iandra Castle, a heritage-listed homestead. You’ll find plenty of places to stay in Grenfell, including caravan parks and B&Bs.
Even before gold was discovered at O’Brien’s Hill in 1866, bushrangers such as Ben Hall and his gang roamed the Cowra region. You can explore this history on the Ben Hall’s Cave walking track, in the splendid Weddin Mountains National Park, and at the Grenfell Historical Museum.
The museum also tells the story of the Grenfell gold rush, with one of Australia’s iconic ‘big things’ – The Big Gold Pick and Pan – symbolising the gold fever that struck the region. Other things to do include visiting the Historic Grenfell Railway Station and the Chrysler Car Museum.
The Grenfell Art Gallery hosts exhibitions of talented local artists, while birdwatchers will be delighted with the signposted Weddin Bird Trails. The food and wine experiences are a big drawcard of the region. In Grenfell, tuck into a hearty meal at a country pub such as the Albion Hotel or Railway Hotel.