History and Heritage

The history of NSW is an interesting one, blending Aboriginal dreamtime with convicts and the establishment of a new British colony. Throughout the state you’ll find significant historical locations, from rock artworks that date back thousands of years to the days of the gold rush and World Heritage-listed sites.

The convict-built, World Heritage-listed Old Great North Road links Sydney to the Hunter Valley, Australia's oldest wine region. Up to 720 convicts worked on the road, which was finished in 1836. It’s remarkably well-preserved, follow it and take in a heritage walk in Dharug National Park.

The entrance to the heritage-listed Old Dubbo Gaol, Dubbo

Regional towns boast museums that offer insights into the colonial past including stories of pioneers, bushrangers and gold miners. You can visit old prisons that have been turned into museums, such as Old Dubbo Gaol in Dubbo and the Maitland Gaol.

Near Mudgee, in Country NSW, is Gulgong, a 19th century gold-mining town. Henry Lawson is Gulgong's most famous son and a museum commemorates the writer and poet with an impressive collection of original manuscripts and memorabilia. Check out the annual Henry Lawson Festival on the June long weekend.

The Temora Aviation Museum, Temora

In the Riverina region you’ll find the Temora Aviation Museum, which has one of the world’s best flying collections of historical military aircraft, including the only two flying Spitfires in Australia. This area of Country NSW also has some fascinating Gold Trails that follow the colonial gold rush.

In Outback NSW, tales of Australia's explorers, poets, bushrangers and graziers are uncovered at the Back O' Bourke Exhibition Centre. Interactive displays bring the evocative history of the outback to life in the northwest town of Bourke, once a major river port on the Darling River.

On the NSW South Coast learn about the history of dairy farming at the Bega Heritage Cheese Centre in the town that gave Bega cheese its name.

History and Heritage in NSW