Bathurst, Australia’s first inland settlement, is the ideal spot for a family vacation with its unique blend of urban and rural. An abundance of parks, playgrounds and bike paths led by the award-winning Adventure Playground will keep the family entertained and active.
Jenolan Caves are among the oldest and most impressive caves in the world. There are nine caves to explore, with amazing limestone formations and underground rivers. Tours include the popular ‘Legends, Mysteries and Ghosts,’ which takes you through the caves at night by lantern light! An experience the little ones will never forget.
A glimpse into Bathurst’s gold mining roots, History Hill Museum is home to over 10,000 artefacts from the goldrush era of the 1800s. If you’re feeling adventurous and ready to get hands-on, the underground workings are open to be toured as well.
Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum
The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum houses Australia’s largest collection of fossils and Australia’s only complete T-Rex skeleton cast! It is also home to the internationally renowned Somerville Collection: rare fossils, plus gemstones and minerals in every colour of the rainbow (amethysts, diamonds, rubies, ancient insects frozen in amber) from around the world. Now that is sure to break up your Insta feed.
This region of NSW is rich in gold history dating back to the 1800s and Bathurst was a key player. Bathurst Goldfields offer public tours during the school holidays at 1pm daily – a fun way to teach the kids about this part of our history.
Ben Chifley, Australia’s postwar prime minister from 1945 to 1949, lived in Bathurst, and the modest Chifley Home is on display, housing a number of interesting exhibits.
Best time to go to Bathurst
New South Wales is blessed with beautiful weather most of the year, with beautiful warm days averaging a height of 26 degrees Celsius during the summer. Head over during school holiday periods and discover some of their fantastic school holiday programs.
Take a country drive
Bathurst is about a three-hour drive from Sydney.
Take the train
Trains to Bathurst also run from Sydney. You can access the timetable here.
Food and drinks that kids will love
Try from a range of local dining. Vine and Tap offer a range of contemporary Italian share plates to enjoy alongside a range of specialty local and imported wines, beers and cocktails. Relax upstairs in their mezzanine level or dine alfresco in the courtyard.
The Bistro at the Bathurst RSL is also a local favourite, offering everything from coffee and light meals, to a warm and satisfying dinner. All meals are available for takeaway too, to enjoy a cheeky lazy meal back at HQ.
A range of local produce markets showcase all the best the region has to offer, delivering mouthwatering fresh produce. The Bathurst Farmer’s Market is a treat, offering rows of pavilions all showcasing the finest local produce.
A convenient local shopping centre and a variety of retail outlets can also be found in the city centre.
Tipping is appreciated, but not expected in Australia.
What to wear
In warmer months, New South Wales can be very warm. Pack thongs, singlets, and swimmers! If visiting in winter, be sure to pack a few warmer layers.
Australia is renowned for its laid-back, egalitarian culture. By and large, friendliness is equated with good manners.
Mains voltage in Australia is 230V AC, 50Hz. Use a three-pin adaptor (different to British three-pin adaptors).
No special immunisations or vaccinations are required to visit Australia unless you have come from, or have visited, a yellow fever infected country within six days of your arrival. However, regulations and medical advice can change at short notice, so check with your doctor and the Australian Department of Health before you leave home.
Tap water is generally safe to drink in Australian cities.
By and large, Bathurst is considered a safe destination, although still exercise regular safety precautions as you would at home.
Bald Hill Lookout
Just three kilometres from the Bathurst town centre, Bald Hill Lookout offers breathtaking views of Hill’s End countryside. Bring a picnic and watch the sunset from the seating on the summit.
Bathurst Railway Precinct
This isn’t your average railway station: the heritage-listed Bathurst Railway Precinct is a Victorian Tudor-style station with connections to rail travel in the Gold Rush days. Former Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, famously worked here! It’s a gorgeous building to explore and you are sure to get a few interesting angles for your photos.
Considered one of the finest examples of Victorian public architecture, the courthouse is made of local brick, sandstone and has a remarkable octagonal dome designed by renowned colonial architect James Barnet.
National Motor Racing Museum
With a focus on the history of Mt Panorama and the Bathurst 1000, this museum celebrates the achievements of Australian motor racing and its heroes. There are plenty of touring cars, racing cars and motor bikes on display, so the little ones will no doubt have a ball seeing them up close. Make sure to get a picture of mini rev-heads enjoying the displays.