Bathurst Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Bathurst

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    BATHURST INFORMATION CENTRE

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    This should be your 1st stop when arriving in Bathurst.

    This centre has so much excellent information, plenty of FREE BROCHURES AND MAPS ON BATHURST AND SURROUNDING AREAS.
    There are souvenirs for sale, quite reasonably priced, A Café, free toilets, and plenty of off- street parking.

    Also in the centre, is a Cobb & Co coach, and a 1909 Model D28 Brush Motor Car.

    This car was manufactured in Detroit, USA, in late 1909, and exported to Australia in early 1910 to a Mr. Morvyn Stewart of Bathurst. A 100 years later, and this old car still runs perfectly.
    Alongside the display and in the centre, are photos and more information on the car and owner, and and a ‘takeaway’ brochure giving information about it.

    A must do if you have time, is the ‘ROTARY HERITAGE DRIVE OF BATHURST’ Pick up the Tourist drive brochure from the info centre.

    LOCATION …1 Kendall Ave, (Great Western Highway) Bathurst, Opposite the Bathurst Showgrounds as you approach the city from Sydney.

    Cobb & Co. coach & Brush Motor car Info on brush motor car Part of the Information centre
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    BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE - 18

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    'BATHURST SHEEP & CATTLE DROME " & "BATHURST MIGRANT CAMP"

    We followed the scenic drive to these places, but did not go into the Sheep & cattle drome.

    Passing through pretty fields of bright yellow Canola, we arrived at the Migrant Camp to find all that was left were memorials and some old guns. I don't know what I expected, but it was more than this!

    The Bathurst Migrant Camp site had been an ex Army Camp, so accommodation was in the ex-army style - unlined and unheated iron sheds and timber barracks which were freezing in winter and hot in summer. This camp was used because there was an overall housing shortage all over Australia. The Migrants living here really had a tough time! The Barracks were run-down and were in need of constant repair. Privacy was nearly nil! At night, the single people slept in narrow iron beds set out in dormitory style, while the married quarters were partitioned off into separate sections.
    The camp was thought to be a self-contained township, as it had a communal kitchen, school and ablution blocks and was separate from Bathurst.

    This may have been ok if 1,500 Migrants lived here, the same number as soldiers that lived here, but this didn't happen. Between 1948 and 1952,nearly 100,000 people were living here, the least ever in camp was 8,000 people, just imagine the cramped living quarters, it must have been terrible, and what a way to enter a new country, one that you are going to call home! A tent city sprung up to help with the problem of too many people. Conditions did improve, and in 1952 when the Camp closed down, there were 11 all-inclusive residential blocks where up to 6,000 people could live in reasonable comfort.

    Luckily, this Migrant Camp was only a stopover for migrants. Here they had English lessons and learnt about the Australian culture before being resettled elsewhere where they could build their own home and find work to begin their new life in Australia.
    Most migrants only stayed for weeks or at the most a few months at the camp.

    There are no buildings left to see, just the notice telling you about the camp.

    If you would like to know more about this camp, then the website I have listed makes quite interesting reading.

    yellow fields of flowers on the way there Information on the Migrant Camp
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    "BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE" - 4

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    “KING’S PARADE – CARILLON"

    Cross over the road to the beautiful KINGS PARADE (The original market place). This park in Spring (Sept-Nov) is stunning, the garden beds are full of flowers.

    Located here is the Carillon and the Boer War Memorial. As more Wars have happened over time, then these have been added to the Carillon.

    The Carillon, an important civil landmark of cultural and historical importance, was built with funds raised by the local citizens, and commemorates the lives of people from the region who died in WORLD WAR 1, WW11, KOREA, MALAYSIA & VIETNAM WARS. It was completed in 1933.

    It is only one of four in Australia. There are 35 bells in the Tower ranging in weight from….. 8kgs to 1,575 kgs!

    King's Parade carillon gorgeous gardens at King's Parade gardens @ King's Parade
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    MOUNT PANORAMA - BATHURST 1000

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    “BATHURST 1000”

    The Mountain overlooks Bathurst, and is well known in Australia, as it is where the Bathurst 1000, for V8 cars motor race is held on the second weekend each October.

    In 1938, the circuit that we see today, was officially opened, and in 1973, the 1st, 1000km race, the Hardie Ferodo 1000 took place. Later events have taken the name of whoever the Sponsor for that year is.

    SOME FACTS………..

    • The Racing circuit is 6.2 kms long.
    • 2003 and GREG MURPHY, became the fastest man to complete a lap of the circuit in the time of 2.06.8594 in the “Top ten shoot out.”
    • The current race lap record of 2.08.4651 was set by Jamie Wihincup in 2007.
    • The “Mount” is the only major racing circuit that is a public road outside of race time.
    • In his lifetime,”Peter Brock” won Bathurst 9 times, a feat that still has not been beaten.
    • The highest point is 874mtrs above sea level.

    The track is a demanding one and has taken its toll on the visiting racers, with 15 competitors losing their lives since it began in 1938.

    Expect to be in amongst a crowd of 200,000 plus.... people when you are a spectator at the track over the weekend.

    There are all types of Admission prices to all different areas.
    To book for next year, check this website...........
    www.v8supercars.com.au

    At the start The Conrad straight
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    "BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE" - 6

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    "GEORGE EVAN’S MEMORIAL”

    This memorial located at one end of “King’s Parade”, was constructed as part of Bathurst’s centenary celebrations, to commemorate the discovery of the Bathurst area by Surveyor George Evans in 1813. During his trek over the range, he camped in the area which is now the city of Bathurst. He loved the scenery he saw, and named the Macquarie River after Governor Lachlan Macquarie and the Bathurst Plains after Lord Bathurst, the British secretary of state for the colonies.

    The foundation stone was laid in 1913, but the memorial wasn’t completed until 1920, due to shortage of building materials during War times. The bronze monument of Evans is flanked by a kneeling aboriginal shading his eyes, both gazing to the horizon. There is an enclosed frieze of Evans, Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth. The Memorial is flood lit at night.

    Quite an interesting memorial to look at, worth taking a few minutes to have a look at!

    George Evan's Memorial George Evan's memorial
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    "BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE" – 7

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    “ROYAL HOTEL”

    This heritage Hotel opened its doors in 1840, as a single storey building known as the "Good Woman Inn." In the late 1890's, the building became a 3 storey high Colonial Georgian Hotel, with late Victorian detailing and beautiful cast iron balustrading.
    Back then, to stay at the Royal Hotel was 18/-, quite a bit of money in those days, perhaps having a hotel car to meet you at the train station added to the cost.

    Lots of famous people have stayed here.

    Now you can stay at the Mews Apartments which has boutique two bedroom, two bathroom apartments that are fully self- contained.
    If your staying here during Bathurst Car Race Week, there is a bus that stops nearby to take you to Mount Panorama Race track.

    Royal hotel
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    BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE –10

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    “ABERCROMBIE HOUSE”

    This house (National trust classified) is actually being lived in, it’s a Private home.
    The home, a historic mansion, is built out of local granite, and is the only one in the Bathurst area open for public tours.

    It was originally the home of Bathurst pioneers “ the Stewart family.” It is now owned by Mr. Rex Morgan and the Morgan family who bought it in 1969, and have spent 30years redecorating and restoring their home.
    Its architecture is Gothic/Scottish Baronial.

    Some features of this home are 30 fireplaces; 7 staircases; 52 rooms; A Ballroom and lifetime collections.
    Unfortunately for me, it was not open, so I will have to return to see the inside of this magnificent looking home.

    It can be visited by using the “Historic Homes Pass” .
    Pick up a pamphlet about this house (from the Info centre, ) showing directions on how to get here.

    TOURS. CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE
    http://www.abercrombiehouse.com.au/#!tours/cjg9
    Mr. Christopher Morgan, or a member of the family conducts lecture tours of the home and its collections.
    They hold “themed tours,” have a “Medieval day,” “Colonial day,” and a “Teddy Bear’s Picnic day.”
    You can even come and enjoy High Tea here!

    Check with the information centre for opening times on 02 6332 1444
    or Mr. Christopher Morgan on 02 6331 4929.

    Located opposite Abercrombie house, is “Strath”, another Mansion. It is the only remaining wing of the Mansion which was owned by Major-General Stewart in 1832.

    Abercrombie House Abercrombie House
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    BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE – 14

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    “CHIFLEY HOME”

    This is another home to visit included in the “Bathurst Historic Homes Pass.”

    It was the home of the late Ben Chifley, born and raised in Bathurst, who was the PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA FROM 1945 – 1949, Treasurer, and leader of the Labor Party until his death in 1951.
    Ben Chifley was known as “THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE”

    This home will remind you of his humble beginnings, that his career began as a Railway engine driver at 26yrs of age, and that one day, he became Prime Minister of Australia!

    It just shows, that anybody could do it, and he represented the “AUSSIE BATTLER, A PERSON WITH A WILL TO SUCCEED.”
    He shaped Post-war Australia by increasing immigration, improved social welfare, as well as promoting Industrial & Scientific developments.

    He inaugurated the important Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme, and the Holden Motor car.

    This 5 roomed home, was his retreat during his years in Parliament. The original furnishings of the home are still as they were, and on display are pieces that were collected by himself and his wife Elizabeth, from 1914 to 1962.

    This home is known as a “PERFECT TIME CAPSULE OF LIFE IN THE 1940’S”

    OPEN SAT – MON 10 – 2PM

    Chiflley home
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    NATIONAL MOTOR RACING MUSEUM & MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    The Museum is located at the entrance to the Motor racing circuit of Mt. Panorama, so you can't miss it.

    We did not go inside, but stopped to have a look at the Peter Brock memorial which is outside.

    He won Bathurst nine times out of 30 starts, and was known as ' THE KING OF THE MOUNTAIN"

    On 8 September 2006, he died in a tragic race car accident.

    Many messages were left on the walls of the track, this became a very dangerous situation as there are no footpaths, so the proposed design for the memorial statue was of a life-sized Peter Brock holding the James Hardie trophy, whilst standing on top of his 1984 Holden VK Commodore was built. It was in this car he won the race in 1984, claiming his 7th Bathurst 1000 victory.

    THE MUSEUM.................
    I have the brochure, and it says there are racing cars & bikes on display, and a unique collection of memorabilia. It also says, that if you are looking to re-live past Australian motor racing experiences then this museum is a must. There is a shop where you can buy merchandise and souvenirs at all different price levels.

    OPEN DAILY 9 - 4.30pm
    ADMISSION in 2009 ......$9 adults

    Peter Brock Memorial
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    BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE – 8

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    “MISS TRAIL’S HOUSE & GARDEN”

    Miss Trail, was a well known Bathurst identity, who upon her death in 1970, bequeathed her home and contents to the National Trust.
    The house was built by the Reverend Thomas Sharpe in 1845. Later, Miss Ida Traill, who was a descendant of early Bathurst settlers, was a wealthy socialite who purchased this house for herself and her mother. She lived in the pretty Colonial Georgian bungalow from 1931 until 1976, when she died at 87 years of age. As only two ladies lived in the home, the furnishings were elegant, perhaps feminine. She was well known for holding Cocktail parties!
    She and her mother could sit on the porch and enjoy their private garden.

    The house is now a Museum containing over 150 years of items from Ida’s convict ancestors to her more prosperous land settlers. Family were involved in Racehorses, with one winning the prestigious Melbourne Cup. Ida loved the family’s racehorses, so no wonder, artwork and some memorabilia are to do with horses.

    Miss Traill’s garden includes a horse paddock, a feature once common in the cities and towns of New South Wales. It wasn't horses she kept here, but her “boys”, a few sheep she kept as pets.
    The House and Garden is a good example of one of the few Victorian-era homes within Bathurst that is largely unaltered. The pretty garden also had a vegetable and herb garden, surrounded by a white picket fence, just how it would have been back then.

    OPEN Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
    12.00 noon - 3.30pm
    Last tour 3pm

    ADMISSION -
    Adults $10
    Concessions $8
    Children (5-14yrs) $6
    Family $26
    Group Tours – 10 or more $8

    Morning/Afternoon Tea $8
    Lunch $16

    A “Bathurst Historic Homes Pass” is available from the Bathurst Information centre, and this entitles you to visit the 3 homes.

    Entrance to Miss Trail's home The back of Miss Trail's home
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    DRIVE THE MT. PANORAMA RACE TRACK

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    This is probably one of a few race tracks in the world that you can actually drive on.

    For most of the year, the track is a public road that leads to scenic lookouts. There is 2 way traffic and the speed limit is 60kph. There are approx. 40 private residences located in and around the circuit, as well as Business's like Accommodation, Winery, Restaurant and fruit orchards, as well as other Sporting associations and Kangaroo's to watch out for!

    Go for a drive around the track, but do not speed, as the Police are often around to catch the “Rev Heads.”

    Imagine being at the start, the roar of motors as you head up the Mountain around “Hell Corner” and up “Mountain straight”, through “the Cutting” and the “Esses” , getting around the tight “Forrests’s Elbow” and then hitting 300+kmsp/h down the 1.9km “Conrad Straight” before slowing for the “Chase tunnel,” “The Chase,” and “Murray’s corner” and then receiving the checkered flag at the end of the “great race.”

    Think of the fastest man, "Greg Murphy" who has the record of doing it in the time of 2.06.89.
    And of Peter Brock, who won this race 9 times out of 30 starts.

    It makes you understand how good the driver’s of these cars are!

    Heading up the start of the Nice gardens on the circuit Heading through the
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    BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    This Heritage drive, I think is a MUST DO in Bathurst. It is the best way to see the main sights of interest in this city.

    The Tourist Information centre has a map and details on all that you are going to see.

    Some of the residences are privately owned and can only be looked at from the road, others, if you are there on the weekend or their selected opening times, will be open for inspection.

    It will take about 2 hours or more if like me, you stop and get out and have a look at the sights.
    The total tourist drive is approx 29kms

    The roads have arrowed signs showing the way, but sometimes, these were not the easiest to follow because some had disappeared, really the Council needs to go around the streets and make sure they are all there.

    Anyrate, we completed the whole circuit and enjoyed it immensely.

    So now, after having a look at the Cobb & Co. Coach in the Centre, we get in the Car and start our sightseeing tour of Bathurst.

    On the way to our 1st stop Street in Bathurst
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    BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE - 3

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    "MACHATTIE PARK"

    Next to the Courthouse is MACHATTIE PARK, the site of the 1st Bathurst Gaol, which was built in 1837, occupied in 1844 when it wasn’t even completed, and used until the 1860’s.

    As the city had grown around the Gaol, the public wished for it to be removed, and a new Gaol was opened on Orange road in 1888, and the old one was demolished in 1889, and made into Machattie Park.

    PUBLIC EXECUTIONS were conducted outside the walls of the old Gaol. The most notorious criminal to suffer this fate, was the BUSHRANGER – JOHN PIESLEY, who was executed on 25th April, 1862.

    Lilacs in bloom
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    BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE – 15

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    “BATHURST SHOWGROUNDS” & “WOOLSTONE”

    Some of the Showground’s buildings are on the National Trust classification.
    The showground’s hold many events, with a regular one being the Bathurst Trots. In April, the Royal Bathurst Show is held.

    The old historic home of “WOOLSTONE” can be seen a little further on from the Showgrounds.
    The impressive 19th century mansion, Woolstone House, has quite a bit of history to be told!

    Its history began with a man named Thomas Kite, who on the 15th January, 1812, at 24 years of age, was sentenced to death by hanging after being convicted of stealing £5 from his employer in London. His death sentence was commuted to transportation for life after some witnesses testified him to be of good character. Out to Australia he came on the convict ship “Fortune” to begin his life here as a Convict. He worked hard, this was noticed, and in 1818, Thomas Kite was one of 10 men selected by Governor Macquarie to be given free land grants on the Bathurst Plains. He received a conditional pardon on 28th October, 1818. His land grant was a good size 80 acres, and even though times were difficult, through hard work he prospered right from the start!
    He continued to work hard, bought more land, and even had four assigned convicts and three ex-convicts to run his farm.
    In 1828, he opened a single storey inn named “Dun Cow”, which later became part of “Woolstone”,
    As time went by, he eventually owned 200,000 acres of land and received more convicts to help him on the land.
    Thomas Kite passed away in 1876, his estate valued at the time around £800,000 ($1,600,000), not bad for a person who started out as a convict in Australia!

    Now, guided house tours of Woolstone are available and more information of what you can see is on the listed website.
    Woolstone is double storeyed and has a Norman-style central tower in the main façade, and a lovely cast iron filigree verandah, from where there are excellent panoramic views over the river flats.
    Woolstone contains 10 rooms, plus kitchen, bathroom, pantry, storeroom and laundry.

    LOCATION The Showgrounds are located opposite the information centre, on the Great Western highway, and Woolstone can be seen clearly from the highway, just over the Macquarie river, as you are approaching Kelso.

    Woolstone Woolstone Bathurst showgrounds
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    BATHURST HERITAGE DRIVE – 2

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2015

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    “THE COURT HOUSE”

    After having a look at the names on the plaques [1], continue walking along the street to the historic COURT HOUSE, built in Neo-Classical style in 1880. The Courthouse is known as "Bathurst's most distinguished public building," a saying I totally agree with!
    It was designed by colonial architect James Barnet, and has an octagonal Renaissance copper clad dome. The main building is flanked by two colonnaded wings, now occupied by the Bathurst Historical Society/Museum in the East wing, and the Central West Music Centre in the west wing.
    The quadrangle lawn was the site of the previous small court house which was demolished when the present one was completed.

    The Court house is on the National Trust Register and is regarded as 'one of Australia's finest examples of Victorian public architecture'.

    LOCATION on Russell street, between William & George Streets, in the City Centre.

    Beautiful Bathurst Court House One of the courthouse wings
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