Discover intriguing museums and enjoy outback sunsets, lovely parks, cycle ways and thrilling rodeo in the charming country town of Hay. The Australian Shearers Hall of Fame, fine heritage buildings and fascinating World War II history are just three of the many attractions.
Things to do
On the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, Hay is one of Australia’s major wool growing areas. At Shear Outback is the Australian Shearers Hall of Fame, where you can explore the story of Australian sheep shearing and see live sheep-shearing demonstrations.
Hire free bicycles from the Hay Outback Information Centre and explore the town. Stop at the elaborate Witcombe Fountain and the Bishop’s Lodge Historic House, an 1888 iron house designed to withstand summer heat. Pedal along the Bidgee Riverside Trail for the Warakirri Murals.
Hay has an important military heritage and you can visit the Light Horse Memorial, a striking bronze sculpture to commemorate World War I. In the Hay Gaol Museum and the Dunera Museum, explore the history of the World War II civilian internment camps and prisoner of war camps in Hay.
In the heritage-listed railway station, Dunera Museum is the home of the POW and Internment Camp Interpretative Centre. You can also make an appointment to visit the Hay War Memorial High School Museum. The school was described as the ‘finest war memorial’ when it opened in 1923.
With the meandering river, vast plains, wetlands and abundant birdlife, the natural beauty of the area is captivating. Watch glorious sunsets at the Hay Sunset Viewing Area, a short drive north of the town or walk along the riverbank on the Hay Nature Walk.
In addition to the natural beauty and extraordinary heritage, enjoy special events such as the Hay Rodeo in March, the Hay Merino Sheep Show in June and the Booligal Sheep Races in Booligal, north of Hay, in April.
Getting there and where to stay
The Sturt, Cobb and Mid Western highways converge on Hay, which is halfway between Sydney and Adelaide and five hours’ drive north of Melbourne. You can fly into Griffith City Airport and rent a car for the 90 minute drive to Hay. Places to stay include cottages, motels, country pubs as well as riverside caravan and camping sites.