History and Heritage

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

Many museums in towns 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, just two hours' drive north of Sydney.

Sun setting on an elegant heritage streetscape, Mudgee

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 Heritage Festival.

In the Riverina region is 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. In this area of Country NSW are some fascinating Gold Trails that follow the colonial gold rush.

A paddlesteamer on the Murray River - Echuca

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.

You can even visit the Bega Heritage Cheese Centre in Bega, on the NSW South Coast, for a history of dairy farming.

History and heritage in NSW