If you’re visiting Bathurst, you may want to do more than just visit the town’s many wineries. Visit the famous Abercrombie House, built in the 1870s by the Stewart family. Later purchased by the Morgan family, the historic home was restored and has become one of Australia’s most famous architectural structures. Today, you can attend events at the house, and indulge in a high tea.
Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit
If you love watching racing and would like to go to one of the most famous tracks in the world, Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit is the place to be. The mountain is famous for hosting many of the Australian championships and events such as the Australian Grand Prix. Despite its fame as a race track, the Mount Panorama road is still open to the public on non-race weekends. You can drive on the road and follow the speed limit of 60 km/h. Police patrols are present on the road, and you should follow the posted speed limit.
This circuit was named after the famous motorcycle racer Arthur Ronald ‘Jack’ Forrest. Born in Wellington, New South Wales, Forrest later died in Capalaba, Queensland, but the race course still bears his name. In 1947, Forrest crashed his Norton International while in official practice at the Bathurst meeting. This accident led to a change in the name of a corner that was previously known as ‘The Elbow’. In honour of Forrest, the corner was renamed ‘Forrest’s Elbow’, and the track continues onto the long Conrod Straight.
National Motor Racing Museum
If you’ve ever been fascinated by motorsports, the National Motor Racing Museum in Bathurst NSW is the place for you. Not only do they have a vast collection of motor racing memorabilia, they have actual race cars and bikes as well. There’s a whole lot to learn about motor sport and the history of the sport. Here, you’ll learn about how the motor racing industry has changed over the years and get an insight into the lives of famous motor racers.
If you love the history of motor racing, you won’t want to miss the National Motor Racing Museum in Bathurst. It’s located adjacent to the Mount Panorama motor racing circuit and nearby the famous Conrod Straight. Visitors to this museum can view an array of vintage cars, motorcycles, and photos, as well as a number of films and videos that document past races and competitions. The National Motor Racing Museum is free to visit, but members receive some great benefits.
Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum
The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum is located in the centre of Bathurst and is home to the internationally renowned Somerville Collection of minerals. The Somerville Collection is composed of rare and interesting minerals that were found in the Australian continent and surrounding waters. The museum has two galleries and is open seven days a week. The museum is closed on December 25 and 26 and January 1 but is open during all other times.
This museum is a must visit for anyone in the area. It features specimens from over 100 mine sites throughout Australia, including the Chapman Collection. On display are three dinosaur skeletons, a sabre-tooth cat skull and a fossilised gecko that was trapped in amber thirty to 24 million years ago. The museum has an extensive display of Australian fossils, including those of ancient animals and plants.
If you’re looking for a beautiful house museum that is unique to Australia, then look no further than Abercrombie House in Bathurst, New South Wales. This beautiful Victorian Tudor style home was constructed in 1872 by the Stewart family, and features a grand array of parapeted gables. The Morgan family have owned the house since 1969, and have dedicated the last 50 years to maintaining the home’s history and its beautiful grounds. Abercrombie House is open year-round for public tours and you can visit the museum grounds and gardens.
When James Horne Stewart purchased the estate in 1870, he envisioned a grand country mansion for the property, one that would outshine his neighbour Hathrop, which was built by Edmund Webb at Gorman’s Hill. This house was designed to be a regal home, and it dwarfed other stately villas in the area. The buildings in this region were built during the 1870s and feature Georgian and Victorian architecture. These buildings are embellished with Gothic touches over polychrome brickwork, and feature broad verandahs and decorative faceted bays.
In the Central West of New South Wales, you can visit the historic and stunning Abercrombie Caves. The caves are part of the Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve. They are renowned for their karst qualities and are surrounded by stunning crayback formations. The caves are accessible by sealed road that winds through undulating terrain and eventually ends in a valley with picnic tables.
The caves are home to the Ribbon Gang, a group of bushrangers led by disgruntled convict Ralph Entwistle. In 1830, the Ribbon Gang escaped into the caves, using an ‘exit hole’ to hide. However, two members were captured and killed the following day. The caves were then surveyed and the Ribbon Gang was hung.
While exploring the caves, make sure to visit the nearby Grove Creek Falls. The creek, which flows through the caves, plunges 70 metres to the creek below. There is a great viewing platform and rainbow trout are abundant in the area during trout fishing season. In the nearby town of Tuena, you can explore the historic town of gold mining. There’s a campground and a picnic area at the campsite.
A visit to the Chifley Home in Bathurst NSW will make you realize how much of a change in lifestyle a few decades can make. This house was the home of former Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley and his wife, Elizabeth. Built in 1914, the home is still furnished with the same collection of household furnishings that the Chifleys had when they lived there. These items include domestic furniture, utensils, decorative paintings, and commemorative items.
The Ben Chifley Home is a monument to the man who rose from humble beginnings as an engine driver on the railways to become the Prime Minister during the post-war reconstruction period. Originally a wedding present, the Chifleys gave the house to their daughter, Elizabeth. The museum showcases the home’s original furnishings and memorabilia, including Ben Chifley’s era. In 1972, the Chifley Home was opened as a museum.
The Courthouse is one of the many attractions of Bathurst, which is a National Trust property. Next to the courthouse, you’ll find the Bathurst Museum and the War Memorial. The Bathurst Art Gallery features the touring 2019 Archibald Prize exhibition, a unique combination of Sydney celebrity shows and local exhibitions. In addition to displaying an impressive collection of local artists, the gallery also features a self-portrait exhibition by local young archies. Visitors can visit both museums for free.
The Bathurst Courthouse is one of the finest examples of Victorian public architecture in Australia and is a must-see when visiting the town. It was opened on 16 July 1880 and is listed on the National Trust’s list of Australian architectural heritage. The courthouse was designed by James Barnet, who was also responsible for the nearby Bathurst Bowling Club and the Police Barracks. The courthouse is also the location of regular district and petty session courts and is home to the Bathurst and District Historical Society Museum.
Bathurst Rail Museum
The Bathurst Regional Art Gallery is one of the oldest regional galleries in the state. The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum features the internationally famous Somerville Collection, a collection of over 2000 specimens of Australian minerals, including sapphires, rubies, and garnets. You can also see 200 fossilised dinosaur eggs. The museum is located in a historic building that was built in 1876 and has been fitted with beautiful exhibitions.
The museum is a great way to learn about the town’s rail history, which includes the main Western Line. There are artefacts from that time period, a model railway the size of a tennis court, and a humongous Brio set. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Bathurst Motor Racetrack. This is a public road, so you’ll be on the road!
While there are many things to do in Bathurst, it’s hard to choose just one. From the historic Bathurst Rail Museum to the world-famous Mount Panorama race track, there is something for everyone in this regional town. If you’re looking for a family-friendly getaway, Bathurst is the perfect place to start. Just three hours from Sydney, the town is perfect for a quick weekend break or a week-long country break.