An historic goldmining town in the Mudgee region of Country NSW, Gulgong is a national treasure. Childhood home of bush poet Henry Lawson and beautifully preserved, take a stroll through history down narrow, winding streets lined with heritage-listed buildings and uncover fascinating goldrush history.
Step back in time
With a historic streetscape largely unchanged since the 1800s, visiting Gulgong is like stepping back in time. There are around 130 National Trust-listed buildings, many still adorned with wide verandahs and iron lacework. See Australia’s oldest opera house, the Prince of Wales Opera House, operating since 1871, and where the great Dame Nellie Melba once performed.
Gold fever struck the region in 1870, when payable gold was found at nearby Red Hill and 20,000 people flocked to the area. Prior to that, Gulgong was just a sheep run, a large property for raising sheep. Learn about the gold rush at the Gulgong Pioneers Museum and on the Gulgong Gold Experience.
The excellent Gulgong Holtermann Museum is housed in two 1870s buildings on Mayne Street. Inside you'll find a display of more than 350 photographs of the region from the heritage-listed collection. Interactive displays allow you to immerse yourself in the past through striking black-and-white images.
Home of Henry Lawson
The great Australian writer and bush poet Henry Lawson spent his childhood in the picturesque area. Scenes of Lawson’s childhood years in goldmining towns such as Gulgong appeared on the first Australian ten-dollar note. Discover more about his cultural legacy at the Henry Lawson Centre and explore the remnants of Henry’s childhood home, located on Henry Lawson Drive between Gulgong and Mudgee
The town celebrates Lawson’s life with the Henry Lawson Heritage Festival every June long weekend. Other fun annual festivals include the Gulgong Folk Festival showcasing traditional folk music in December, and the week-long Clay Gulgong event in April that attracts ceramic artists from around Australia and the world.
More things to do
Other things to do in and around Gulgong include wine tasting at acclaimed wineries in the surrounding Mudgee wine region and exploring the magnificent Goulburn River National Park. In this riverside wilderness east of Gulgong, spot emus, red-necked wallabies and turquoise parrots, and enjoy fishing, hiking and camping in a tranquil setting.
Peruse the boutique shops lining the main street, such as The Gallery and Wear It Out, or settle in at one of the town's cosy country pubs to meet the locals and share stories, such as Prince of Wales Hotel, Centennial Hotel (known affectionately as 'The Cenny') and the Post Office Hotel.
Gulgong is a four-hour drive from Sydney and 20 mintues from Mudgee. You can also fly into Mudgee Airport or take the train and coach. Accommodation options in Gulgong suit various budgets and include motels, restored colonial cottages and a heritage motel.