May 20, 2024

Spend Some Time Not a Fortune: Top 10 Free Activities in the Bathurst Region

From scenic drives to creative gallery displays, there are plenty of free attractions and activities for you to enjoy in the Bathurst region. Whether you are a Bathurst local or just stopping through here are the top 10 free activities you can expect to find in the Bathurst region.

10. Take a Stroll on the Riverpark Walk

The Riverpark Walk is a local favourite for mornings and afternoon walks. Tracking along the Macquarie/Wambuul River the Riverpark Walk is dotted with heritage monuments, flower gardens and plenty of spots to stop and catch your breath.

Pick up a copy of the free Riverpark Walk Guide to learn about the history of the area and the various points of interest along the walk.

9. Tour the Bathurst Heritage Drive

Take a drive around Bathurst on the Bathurst Heritage Drive Itinerary. As the oldest inland settlement west of the blue mountains Bathurst has a rich history to explore from early settlement cottages to grand 52 room Scottish mansions there is so much to see!

To learn about our history and stop by all the historic sites pick up a free copy of the Bathurst Heritage Drive from the Bathurst Visitor Information Centre.

8. Bathurst Adventure Playground

If you are looking for a spot to burn off some steam on a long road trip or want to get the kids out and active the Bathurst Adventure Playground is a great spot! With a stockyard maze, dual flying fox, climbing tower and rock climbing wall there is plenty to keep the family entertained.

The park is also equipped with under cover seating and barbeque areas, making it a perfect spot for a day out with the kids or a break on a long drive.

7. Take in the Scenic Views along the Bridle Track

The Bridle Track is the premier 4×4 drive track of Bathurst. As the original road from Bathurst to Hill End the track earned it’s name from the narrow sections where hopeful miners’ led their horses along the track by their bridle. Now days the track is a little wider and is a great spot for four wheel driving, camping, fishing and exploring. Along the track there are 13 free riverside camping reserves, which are perfect spot for a day by the mighty Macquarie River or stay for an overnight camp no bookings or payment required!

Now this one will require a four wheel drive but if you are looking for a more accessible riverside spot take a look at Crossley Bridge Sofala Camping Reserve or Green Point.

6. Visit the Hill End Heritage Centre

In 1872 after a midnight firing of mining explosives at the Star Of Hope mine in Hill End, a treasure was found. A ‘wall of gold’ shone through the rubble as the stunned miners uncovered their find which would come to be known as the Holterman Nugget.

At a gross weight of 285kg the nugget was actually an intact column of a quartz reef with a gold weight of 93.2kg. An astonishing find that would be worth 5.2 million dollars at today’s gold value, to this day it holds the record for the single largest mass of gold ever found.  

Today the village of Hill End remembers the nugget and the gold rush that built the town at the Hill End Heritage Centre. Located in the centre of Hill End on Byers Avenue across from the Royal Hotel the heritage centre is a great free way to lean about the gold rush and the history of Hill End.

5. Listen to the Bathurst War Memorial Carillon

Located in the heart of Bathurst at Kings Parade the Bathurst War Memorial Carillon is our memorial to the ANZACS. Built in 1933 the Carillon houses 47 bells which can be played by a musician called a Carillonist or by an automated system which tolls on the quarter hour.

Every day at 1pm the air is filled with the sounds of bells as the Bathurst War Memorial Carillion comes to life. Show tunes, music box themes, movie scores and other songs are played on the carillon, often on weekends a local carillonist will be up in the tower hammering away on the clavier.  If you are in the CBD around mid-day take a moment to stop and listen to the iconic carillon of Bathurst one of only 3 full carillons in Australia.  

4. Enjoy a bushwalk at Boundary Road Reserve

There are lots of opportunities to stretch your legs and soak in the beauty of nature in the Bathurst region with a bushwalk. There are plenty of tracks to choose from with various levels of difficulty and scenery, but one of the local favourites is Boundary Road Reserve.

Home to 345 plant species and more than 150 identified animal species Boundary Road Reserve is a local land care reserve just 5 minutes from the Bathurst CBD. The reserve is a great location for birdwatching. The main walking trail of the reserve is the John Cousins Walking Trail is a great way to explore the reserve and see some of the local wildlife. The John Cousins Walking Trail is an easy trail completable by most in about 1 hour, there are several benches and rest areas along its length for those who want to slow down and enjoy their time on the trail.

Did we mention that the reserve is a great spot to see kangaroos? There is even a short loop that joins onto the John Cousins Walking Trail called the Kangaroo Walking Track which can be done in about 15 minutes.  

3. Visit Machattie Park

The iconic central park of Bathurst, Machattie Park is a delight no matter what time of year you visit. The Victorian era park dates back to 1890 when it was officially opened replacing the old Bathurst goal that had been attached to the courthouse. Ever since the park has been a favourite of locals and visitors alike and it is the perfect place for a picnic, a stroll or a nice spot to sit and enjoy a morning coffee from one of the many cafes in the CBD. You can even download an audio tour for Machattie park on the Bathurst Step Beyond App.

Keep an eye out during the autumn months for the opening of the Begonia House, where you will find hundreds of vibrant begonias lining the walls of the greenhouse.  

2. Visit The Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

Open 6 days a week from Tuesday to Sunday the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery is sure to inspire. With regular refreshes of new and innovative exhibitions there is always something new to see at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery.

The Bathurst Regional Art Gallery also offers regular free activities, on Saturdays you can join on a free guided tour of the current exhibitions with museum staff. The gallery also regularly runs Sunday Sketch Sessions, inviting you try your hand sketching with inspiration from the current exhibition. All ages welcome and all sketching materials are supplied by the gallery.

1. Drive around the Mount Panorama Circuit

The thrill of the starting line, the roar of the crowd and the rush of the V8’s is what may come to mind when you think of Mount Panorama/Wahluu. But did you know the Mount Panorama Racing Circuit is actually a public road?

At any time of the year outside of racing periods anyone can drive around the circuit and experience the thrill of Australia’s most well known racing icon. Even at the 60km per hour speed limit you will find the track a challenge. Make sure to stop by the boardwalk and lookout at John Hinxman Park for the best views of the region. The boardwalk also features a set of informative plaques where you can learn about the cultural history of Mount Panroama/Wahluu.

Before you make your pilgrimage  make sure to check for track closures, and for the die hard fans check out the free Lap With Craig Lowndes audio tour of the Bathurst Step Beyond App.

These 10 suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many things to see and do in the region that it is impossible to fit them into just one list. To find out more about Bathurst check our Visit Bathurst or stop into the Bathurst Visitor Information Centre to chat to our friendly staff!

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