Lithgow NSW

Many Sydneysiders who regularly escape the urban jungle for the delights of Central NSW, feel a little sheepish about Lithgow and Oberon.

Their minds calibrated to driving three hours for fresh fields, they’ve been bypassing Lithgow and Oberon for years on their way to somewhere else.

We’ve all faced that classic short break dilemma of juggling the maximum time away with the minimum time getting there. Lithgow and Oberon are two great solutions. High adventure two hours from the Big Smoke. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

And the little most people know about this region – coal mines, blast furnaces, power generation, timber milling and weapons production – does not bring a skip to the heart of the vacationer. But the blasting you’re most likely to hear these days is the shattering of preconceptions.

Lithgow and Oberon dangle endless adventures – on the water, on a bike, on foot, even underground.

ASK A LOCAL

"I like the range of outdoor activities like biking along the old unused Wolgan Railway track to Newnes and losing myself in its history."

− Joel McFadden, landscaper
48 HRS IN LITHGOW

DAY 1

Enjoy breakfast at one of Main Street’s cafes or linger over a latte beside Lake Wallace at Wallerawang (10 minutes), an invigorating spot for bird-watching, fishing and water sports. If you’re looking for quaint, stop by Wallerawang’s restored railway station. Nearby Portland extends the area’s sense of timeless charm – its streetscape a gallery of historic advertising signs. Drive through the Wolgan Valley surrounded by dramatic escarpments to the remains of Newnes, once home to a population of 2000. Walk through the fascinating glow worm tunnel. Back in Lithgow, visit the museums and historic sites and see endangered native wildlife being protected at Secret Creek Sanctuary. Tours of the 200-acre sanctuary need to be booked. Spectacular Hassans Walls Lookout, just minutes from the centre of town, is a reminder of the uniqueness of a place embraced into the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area listed for its spectacular ancient landforms, natural values and biodiversity.

DAY 2

From Lithgow drive to the preserved historic village of Hartley, along the lofty spine of Jenolan Caves Road through Hampton and plunge down the scenic mountain road to Jenolan Caves, one of the oldest cave systems on Earth. Take an underground tour or follow the walking trails to above-ground caves before heading on towards Oberon. A detour into Kanangra-Boyd National Park provides a dramatic view of an 800-metre deep gorge with sheer cliffs. At 1,113 metres, Oberon is the highest town in the Blue Mountains region and is itself a well-serviced base for touring the surrounding wilderness areas. A unique attraction is Mayfield Garden (15 minutes), one of the world’s largest privately-owned cool climate gardens. The acclaimed water garden is open year round but tours of the greater garden are seasonal. Lake Oberon is a centrally-located aquatic playground.

COMPULSORY

Wollemi National Park is the largest wilderness area in NSW – virtually a Jurassic Park of canyons, escarpments and forest. The Wollemi pine – one of the greatest botanical discoveries of our time – was found growing here in 1994.

CURIOSITY

Because of the importance of Lithgow’s Small Arms Factory to Australia’s war effort, it was perceived to be a possible target following Japan’s entry to World War II. At South Bowenfels, on the southern fringe of Lithgow, visitors can see the only known inland anti-aircraft gun station in NSW … its 3.7-inch heavy artillery still pointed skywards.

EVENTS

SEE & DO AROUND LITHGOW

  • Visit Eskbank House Museum for an insight into Lithgow’s social and industrial history.
  • Get off the beaten track in seven national parks.
  • Marvel at the panoramic view from Hassans Walls Lookout.
  • Visit the site of the world-famous Zig Zag Railoway (currently being reconstructed).
  • Experience the charming villages of Wallerawang, Portland, Hartley and Rydal.
  • Travel along the Wolgan Valley to Newnes and its glow worm tunnel.
  • Enjoy the aquatic playgrounds of Lake Lyell and Lake Wallace.
  • Join the fishermen on Lake Oberon.
  • Explore the beauty of Mayfield Garden.
  • Join a truffle hunt at Lowes Mount Truffiere.

Lithgow Food & Wine Options

  • The Old Exchange Restaurant, 83 Main St, Lithgow. 02 6352 4442
  • Salud Pizza, Tapas & Espresso, 1 Main St, Lithgow. 02 6352 1740
  • Secret Creek Cafe & Restaurant, 35 Crane Rd, Lithgow. 02 6352 1133
  • Bellisimo, 27 Main St, Lithgow. 02 6352 2881
  • Noi’s Thai Restaurant, 202 Main St, Lithgow. 02 6351 3346
  • Lithgow Workmen’s Club, 3 Tank St, Lithgow. 02 6350 7777 133
  • On Main, 133 Oberon St, Oberon. 02 6336 1661
  • Puck’s Restaurant, 140 Oberon St, Oberon. 02 6336 1378
  • Royal Hotel, 113 Oberon St, Oberon. 02 6336 1011
  • Oberon RSL Club, cnr Oberon & Dudley Sts, Oberon. 02 6336 1607

LITHGOW’S BEST BITE

Give you palate a bit of adventure, too, with the Caribbean Prawns – crisp tempura king prawns with jasmine rice and peanut and coconut curry – at The Old Exchange Restaurant.

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ACCOMMODATION

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EAT & DRINK

Your guide to gastronomic delights

THINGS TO DO

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