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The New Family Hotspot, Take a Road-Trip to Bathurst

June 16, 2015 Travel Deals No Comments Print Print Email Email

494665_num1082238_600x600Renowned for its car-racing and university, Bathurst is now a hot-spot for a family getaway. Don your beanie for ice-skating outdoors, chomp on a Perthville pantry sausage and watch heritage buildings magically lit up for the Illuminate Bathurst Winter Festival this July.

The Festival and a range of new tours and attractions make this Central NSW town a must-do road-trip, just 2-2.5hours drive from Sydney.

The winter fun begins on 30 June when kids can get spooked on a torchlight tour of the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, home to a real T-Rex dinosaur and world-class fossils.  On 4 July the Winter Festival kicks off with a Night Street Festival set to bring a huge party atmosphere to Bathurst’s historic centre. A 25 metre open-air ice-skating rink will take centre stage in Kings Parade, buildings will be illuminated and there will be live bands, food and wine stalls, and a movie screening for the kids. The Festival continues until 12 July.

Bathurst offers a vibrant city centre packed with fun for families. Learn about car and motorcycling history at the National Motor Racing Museum, join a ghostly night tour or enjoy high-tea at Abercrombie House and enjoy nostalgic treats at Annie’s Old Fashioned Ice-cream Parlour. Drive to historic villages Sofala, Hill End and Rockley for bush-ranger and gold-rush experiences.


The growing sophistication of Bathurst satisfies grown-ups too with hip cafes, award-winning bars and restaurants tucked away down cobblestone laneways, and a renowned art gallery.

The Illuminate Bathurst Winter Festival forms part of the region’s Bicentenary celebrations which marks 200 years since Bathurst became Australia’s oldest inland European settlement.

Festival Highlights:

  • Outdoor ice-skating rink (25 x 10m) in Kings Parade in the historic town square precinct. From 4-12 July.
  • Illuminate Bathurst, an outdoor building illumination show of local stories and personalities through digital story-telling and sound at five different sites. Until 9pm from 4-12 July.
  • Central West Short Play Festival at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (Sat 4 July)
  • Torchlight tour at the Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum (Tues 30 June and Tues 7 July)
  • ABC4Kids stars Lah-Lah at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment (Wed 4 July)
  • Macquarie Philharmonia Orchestra at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (Friday 10 July)
  • Abercrombie House High Tea (Sunday 5 July)
  • Harrie Fasher Steel Rod sculpture and line drawing exhibition at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
  • Discovering ‘Gordo’, an exhibition about a local family fossicking to
    discover a Ichthyosaurus

Must-dos for families in Bathurst all year

  • Meet a real T-rex dinosaur at the Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum
  • Drive the world famous Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit and see views of the Bathurst plains as the early explorers did
  • Enjoy high-tea or a ghostly tour at historic Abercrombie House with 52 rooms and six internal staircases
  • Discover the history of motor racing at the National Motor Racing Museum
  • Annie’s Old Fashioned Ice-cream Parlour – step back in time for sweet treats in a gorgeous old fashioned shop and try the locally named Sofala Gold variety
  • Barcoo’s Barn offers the perfect farm-stay or visit with pony rides, feeding the animals and collecting the eggs
  • Crago Mill Emporium and Heritage Centre – enjoy home-baked treats in the café and  admire the beautifully restored four storey mill while the kids check out the antique toys and lolly shop
  • Simmo’s Off Road Tours or Detour Adventures – get up close and personal with nocturnal animals, including Sugar Gliders, Wombats, Kangaroos and Platypus
  • Abercrombie Caves – bushrangers and miners once roamed these caves, test the echo and acoustics or pan for gold in the creek
  • Yarrabin Horse Riding – take a ride through spectacular countryside on a lovely quiet horse
  • History Hill at Hill End is a great place to learn about the gold rush days of the 1850s with a magnificent display of fossicking and mining tools, an underground mine and blacksmith shop

Unearth your Central NSW experience at www.visitcentralnsw.com.au.

For Illuminate Bathurst Winter Festival bookings and information www.bathurst200.com.au.

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