At the crossroads of the Newell and Mid Western highways the beautiful Riverina region of southern NSW, West Wyalong comes with country charm to spare. Like many towns in the region, it was in its heyday during the gold rush of the late 1800s. You can still explore this heritage, then take a dip in a mineral pool, follow walking and cycling trails, discover local art legends and have a drink in a country pub.
Discover gold rush heritage
Gold was discovered in West Wyalong in 1893, and the town quickly sprang to life around diggings – the Main Street is nicknamed the Crooked Mile, as it was built around gold diggings and tree stumps. The street was famously sketched by Russell Drysdale in 1949 during a visit with a friend, and a bronze sculpture of an easel now stands tall at the spot on the corner of the Tatts Hotel.
Many of the original buildings of the gold rush era remain, and you can take them in while following the self-guided West Wyalong Heritage Walk through the historic streets – expect a mix of late-19th and early-20th-century buildings, replete with vintage facades and wrought iron verandas. Pick up a brochure at from the West Wyalong Visitor Information Centre.
Discover more gold mining heritage in the Wyalong Museum, located in the old courthouse and open daily between 2pm and 5pm. At Cooinda Reserve, a popular picnic spot, you can see the 25-metre True Blue Mining Poppet Head, a replica of the structure above a mine shaft.
Today, West Wyalong and neighbouring Wyalong’s heritage buildings are home to cafes, antique stores and art galleries. You can see the work of local artists at Exclusive Hot Glass Gallery and Wishart Gallery & Art Studio. Follow the Bland Shire Art Trail to villages like Tallimba, Ungarie, Weethalle, Mirrool and Barmedman, to discover murals, silo art, sculptures and carvings. While you’re visiting Barmedman, be sure to take a dip in the town’s mineral pool.
The district has a strong agricultural heritage and grows most of NSW’s cereal crops. Experience classic country events like the West Wyalong Rodeo in March, the Mirrool Silo Kick in October and the Business West Wyalong Christmas Markets in December.
West Wyalong is just over five hours’ drive from Sydney, around six hours from Melbourne and 3.5 hours from Canberra. You can also fly into Wagga Wagga or Griffith, which are both less than two hours’ drive from West Wyalong. Places to stay in the area range from caravan and camping sites to cottages, hotels and motels.
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.