With famous caves, colonial heritage, tranquil gardens and a beautiful lake, Wellington is perfect for explorers and adventurers of all ages. Enjoy bushwalking and mountain biking in the Mount Arthur Reserve and fun water sports on Lake Burrendong, which has a towering dam you can walk across.
Wellington is by the Macquarie and Bell rivers, in the Great Western Plains region of NSW. The town is 35 minutes’ drive southeast of Dubbo and 4h 40min northwest of Sydney. You can also fly to Dubbo City Regional Airport and rent a car. Or take a train from Sydney, via Bathurst and Orange.
You’ll find plenty of accommodation options by the shimmering lake and near the world-famous Wellington Caves, where megafauna fossils were uncovered in 1830. The discovery of the fossils such as a giant kangaroo attracted Charles Darwin’s attention and influenced his ideas on evolution.
Palaeontologists consider the caves one of the world’s most significant sites of megafauna fossils from the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. Other fossils found include a marsupial lion and a seven-metre-long goanna – Australia’s longest goanna today is the perentie, which grows up to 2.5 metres.
Join a tour of the limestone caves and explore the fascinating underworld dating back hundreds of millions of years. You’ll see calcite crystal formations such as a giant stalagmite in the Cathedral Cave and dazzling coral formations in the Gaden Cave, and explore a mine where the fossils were found.
In town, amble past colonial buildings to the Lion of Waterloo, an 1841-built pub. Relax also in pretty Cameron Park, where markets are held. Stop by the Eris Fleming Gallery for striking outback art and visit the Oxley Museum, named after explorer John Oxley, the first European to set foot in the area.
Check out the events calendar for festivals, markets and shows. Just south of the caves is Bell River Estate, where there is wine tasting at the cellar door. Two lovely spots for picnics and tranquil walks are the Osawano Japanese Gardens and the Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum by the lake.
What about fishing and boating? Well, Lake Burrendong is perfect for casting a line for redfin, golden perch, silver perch and other fish species. Or enjoy kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, waterskiing and other water sports on the waterway, created by the Burrendong Dam on the Macquarie River.