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 wall you can walk across.
Go beneath the surface and discover the remarkable Wellington Caves. Join a tour of these ancient limestone caverns and explore the fascinating underworld dating back hundreds of millions of years. You’ll see calcite crystal formations like giant stalagmites in the Cathedral Cave, marvel at dazzling coral formations in the Gaden Cave and explore a phosphate mine where fossils were found.
Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mines, Wellington
Megafauna fossils were first uncovered in 1830. Paleontologists consider the caves one of the world’s most significant sites of megafauna fossils from the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. In fact, discoveries such as a giant kangaroo attracted Charles Darwin’s attention and influenced his ideas on evolution. Other fossils found include a marsupial lion and a seven-metre-long goanna. Australia’s longest goanna today, the perentie, only grows up to 2.5 metres.
Lake Burrendong, around 50 minutes from Wellington, is the perfect spot to cast a line for redfin, golden perch and silver perch. Or enjoy kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, waterskiing and other water sports on this vast waterway that’s three times the size of Sydney Harbour. You can also walk across the Burrendong Dam wall, which is 78m high and stretches for 1.1km.
Hike to the summit of Mount Arthur, just outside town, for sweeping views from the 563m peak. There are bushwalks and picnic spots threaded all through the reserve. For a more tranquil nature experience, visit Osawano Japanese Gardens with its pretty waterways, red bridges and more than 1,500 plants. It’s particularly lovely during the cherry blossom season in spring or during the colour changes of autumn.
In town, stroll past colonial buildings to the Lion of Waterloo. Built in 1841, it’s thought to be the oldest pub west of the Blue Mountains that’s still standing. Relax in pretty Cameron Park, where farmers markets are regularly held. Visit the Oxley Museum, named after explorer John Oxley, the first European to set foot in the area, or the Wellington Museum for an insight into local history.
Wellington sits in between the Macquarie and Bell rivers in the Great Western Plains region of NSW. The town is 35 minutes’ drive southeast of Dubbo and 4.5 hours 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, which takes around six hours. You’ll find plenty of accommodation including motels, B&Bs, pub rooms and holiday parks on the edge of Lake Burrendong.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.