A picture-postcard country town in the beautiful Riverina region of south-western NSW, Lockhart will charm you with its lovingly restored buildings, verandahs and ornate iron lacework. Known as The Verandah Town, amble under the verandahs and browse shops for gifts and mementos.
The National Trust-classified town is 45 minutes’ drive from Wagga Wagga and is a great base for exploring this outstanding food and wine region, with its acclaimed wines, fresh produce, festivals and markets. Accommodation options suit a range of budgets in and around Lockhart, which is a little over four hours’ drive northeast of Melbourne and 5h 30 min southwest of Sydney.
In the main street is Green’s Gunyah Museum, home to an intriguing collection of artefacts, the wonderful Doris Golder Wool Art Gallery and the Lockhart Visitor Information Centre, where you’ll find helpful advice on the things to do and see in the area, such as heritage trails. The Pastoral Shadows of Brookong walking trail is a delightful stroll past impressive rusty iron farm sculptures.
In October, the Spirit of the Land Lockhart Festival showcases internationally praised sculptures made from recycled farm materials. Another popular event is the Lockhart Vintage Verandah Fest, an eclectic affair in March with markets, antique auctions, open gardens and a truck show.
Near Lockhart are enchanting nature reserves, with walking tracks, lookouts, picnic areas and a thrilling rock face for climbing and abseiling. At Galore Hill Nature Reserve you can follow a trail to the caves where the infamous colonial bushranger Daniel ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan reputedly hid.
The Towers is a challenging northeast rock face for climbing and abseiling in the Rock Nature Reserve-Kengal Aboriginal Place, where a massive rock formation rises 364 metres above the plain. Visit The Rock lookout for spectacular views of the area and Australia’s highest peak Mount Kosciuszko in the distance, and use the free barbecue facilities at The Rock picnic area.