Home' Caravanning Australia : Spring 2012 Contents 176 • Caravanning Australia • Spring 2012
New South Wales
their relationship with the Japanese around town, including the
Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre, teahouse, pottery house,
bonsai house and the gardens at Sakura Avenue.
A tick over 100 kilometres northeast of Cowra, Bathurst
was the first substantial town established after the early settlers
finally found a way across the Great Dividing Range. Bathurst
continues to be one of Australia's fastest-growing inland cities,
with a population of over 30,000. The city's establishment was
briefly interrupted by run-ins with the Wiradjuri people -- the
largest Aboriginal tribe in New South Wales -- who believed that
white men were the returned spirits of the dead. Bloodied battles
were waged until the declaration of martial law saw the military
step in. The Wiradjuri were cut down by almost half, and a treaty
was reached when the Wiradjuri finally yielded.
Bathurst began as, and remains to this day, a major
agricultural centre thanks to fertile soils and an agreeable climate.
But as it did all over country New South Wales, gold triggered the
largest population boom in Bathurst's history when it was found
in nearby Ophir. As Bathurst was the first established inland
town, it served outlying gold towns as a hub through which gold
and people were transported. The town's rich history is evident
in its architecture. The Visitors Centre on Kendall Avenue has
information on historical walks through Bathurst's impressive
collection of Victorian buildings and leafy, manicured parks.
Attractive, garden-lined Wellington, 150 kilometres north, is
Australia's second-oldest inland settlement after Bathurst, but its
feature attraction predates settlement times -- predates humans,
in fact. The Wellington Caves, a short drive out of town, are a
sprawling network of 26 limestone cavities that house entombed
fossils of long-extinct creatures, including the diprotodont (a
gigantic wombat-like beast) and a form of giant kangaroo. Two
of the limestone caves are open to the public for daily tours -- the
Cathedral Cave and Garden Cave -- and there are also water-
filled river and water caves, open only to experienced cave
The Visitors Centre in Cameron Park is surely one of the
most attractive in New South Wales, set in a sunken garden
with a suspension bridge that reaches across to Pioneer Park.
The bridge arcs over Bell River as it flows through the town's
midsection having broken away from the Macquarie River, which
flows through the north of town until its termination at Lake
Burrendong. This lovely spot is a magnet for anglers, boaters
and waterskiers and, at capacity, is almost four times the size of
The Visitors Centre has maps and pamphlets on hand
outlining historic walks through the town, which, due to the age
of the town and the attractive natural surrounds, are certainly
worth your time. The nearby Oxley Museum has a vast collection
of records and trinkets from days gone by, broken up into several
themed rooms outlining the area's military history and medical
practices, including a 19th-century kitchen and bedroom, as well
as an Edwardian parlour. ●
Fossils at Wellington Caves © Gecko Photographics
The onset of
brings with it
plenty of things to see
and do in Wellington.
is always a popular
destination with many
taking the opportunity
to hit the water for a
spot of skiing, biscuiting, canoeing or fishing.
Alternatively, spring is the perfect time to head to the
hills and follow some of the walking trails in the Mt Arthur
Reserve. There are a number of trails ranging in difficulty,
each offering spectacular views.
A trip to Wellington wouldn't be complete without
stopping at the Wellington Caves. Boasting two show caves
and the Phosphate Mine, a stop at the caves can prove to
be educational, inspiring and, best of all, fun.
For a slower pace, check out the Lake Burrendong
Botanic Garden and Arboretum, Wellington's Japanese
Gardens or stroll through the beautiful Cameron Park in the
middle of town.
For more information on what Wellington has to offer,
contact the Wellington Visitor Information Centre on
1800 621 614 or visit www.visitwellington.com.au
A perfect springtime spot
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