Grenfell NSW

They celebrate Movember in Grenfell, which is strange because Grenfell bristles with moustaches every other month of the year as well.

Grenfell is Henry Lawson country. The celebrated poet with the distinctive moustache was born here in a tent on the goldfields in 1867. Grenfell remembers him with the Henry Lawson Obelisk on Lawson Drive just off Henry Lawson Way, a stone’s throw from Lawson Oval. There’s a bust of Henry Lawson on Main Street where you can listen to audio readings of his poems … and that man sitting on the bench at the corner of Main and Forbes Streets. Yes, it’s a life-size bronze statue of Henry.

Grenfell holds on to the past as if its life depends on it – and probably it does. But Henry Lawson shall not be mocked.

The annual Henry Lawson Festival in June celebrates the creative arts, and has spawned a vibrant new creative community within the town. Dip your lid to Henry.

ASK A LOCAL

"You get the best of Grenfell from poking around. You can't miss all the great old buildings on show, but poke around in the laneways and you'll find old blacksmith forges and workshops left over from pioneer crafts."

− Harold Markham, Grenfell born-and-bred
48 HRS IN GRENFELL

DAY 1

After genuflecting before the various Henrys and enjoying a field mushroom, scrambled egg and sundried tomato breakfast at Circling Cafe in Main Street, burn off the calories with a walking tour of Grenfell’s historic buildings. Start at the regal Court House building in Camp Street built in 1873 when Grenfell boasted the richest goldfield in the colony. Other notable buildings on the heritage walk include the old School of Arts building which now houses the highly-acclaimed Grenfell Museum, the Oddfellows Hall opened in 1873, and the great Salvation Army Citadel attended by its little free-standing Band Hall. The town centre looks like a movie set … but the stars would have to be Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young. The history is not just for looking at either. The elegant Grenfell Hall in Weddin Street is now a sophisticated B&B. Once a convent, you may get to sleep in The Chapel. Heavenly.

DAY 2

Pack a picnic lunch and head off for the Weddin Mountains National Park, an crescent-shaped island of unspoiled bushland in a sea of agriculture, just 18 kms from town. Spot a spectacular peregrine falcon, a rare turquoise parrot, emus and echidnas. The Wiradjuri Aboriginal people had a strong ceremonial and spiritual link with the area and the spiritual presence is still palpable. Bushranger Ben Hall had strong association with the area too, and you can picnic at Ben Hall’s cave camp ground. A short drive from Grenfell is the village of Greenethorpe named after pioneering pastoralist George Greene. See his imposing Iandra Castle built between 1886 and 1908. And make it back to town in time for a pub crawl of Grenfell’s iconic hotels – The Criterion, The Railway, The Royal and the spectacular Albion, all straight out of a Drysdale painting.

COMPULSORY

The beautifully-restored Albion Hotel in Main Street was built in 1866 when gold mining in the Grenfell gold fields was at its peak. Seems only right to order a schooner of Old … or perhaps a Gold.

CURIOSITY

Grenfell’s big event is the Henry Lawson Festival held on the long weekend in June every year. But it’s not all about Henry. A featured event is the Pinnacle Guinea Pig Races, the record for the 10-metre track being 6.85 seconds set by Toto the Wonder Pig in 2015.

EVENTS
Grenfell Picnic Race Meeting (APR)
Henry Lawson Festival (JUN)
Grenfell Active Festival (AUG)
Grenfell Agricultural Show (SEP)

Grenfell Food & Wine Options

  • Circling Cafe, 150 Main St. 02 6343 2738
  • T and T Bakery, 101 Main St. 02 6343 1499
  • Happy Inn Chinese Restaurant,  27 Main St. 02 6343 1366
  • Railway Hotel, 2 Main St. 02 6343 1807
  • Albion Hotel, 118 Main St. 02 6343 1199
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