Congratulations! You’ve finally made it to Central West NSW and the beautiful Bathurst region. Now the biggest question on your mind is – what do I do here? We’ve decided to help you out with a weekend itinerary that’s perfect for a first timer's visit to Bathurst.
Bathurst is best known to most as home of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, one of the world’s iconic motor races, which attracts around 200,000 fans each year. The race is held at Mount Panorama, which is in fact a public road. Car racing fans will relish the chance to take a spin around what is arguably Australia’s most famous racetrack in their own cars. Make sure that you first download the 'Bathurst-Step Beyond' App featuring "A Lap With Craig Lowndes". Let Craig be your personal guide to the history and happenings of this Australian icon as you do your own lap! Get it for FREE now on the Apple Store or Google Play.
If the smell of burning rubber isn’t your thing, since Mount Panorama is first and foremost a scenic drive, it’s still worth a leisurely lap to take in the views from the track summit. Make sure you stop at McPhillamy Park and soak up the spectacular views of the Central West. Take note, the road is subject to normal road rules – yep, that means speed limits too. So, if you’re dreaming of imitating Craig Lowndes, your best bet is to contact the Bathurst Light Car Club who host regular events at the track.
Don’t know your Ford from your Holden? As you make your way back down the mountain, stop in at Mount Panorama Estate, a picturesque vineyard in the heart of the racing circuit.
If you’re in the mood to indulge then book ahead to secure a table at Restaurant 9inety 2wo.
Set in a beautiful 1877 heritage building, once the Temperance Hall of Bathurst, here you can enjoy a meal from the Mod Oz menu by their open fire and sample a local wine from their wine list.
If you’re looking for something a little more casual, head to local favourite Church Bar. On a sunny day, the leafy courtyard is the place to be. If it's winter, nab a spot by the fireplace. The pizzas here are the talk of the town - toppings range from the classic 'Vale', with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil, to the inventive 'Panorama' with lamb shanks, sweet potato, mozzarella and feta. Hot tip: save room for a decadent dessert pizza.
Somehow just being in a smaller town seems to give you permission to slow down, to wander, to explore, to dawdle - without the guilt. Perhaps the slower pace of Bathurst life is contagious? Whatever the case, make the most of it and explore local tipples made around Bathurst and the chance to chat to the producers over a drink. Renzaglia Wines
produces some delicious wines from their spicy, full-bodied shiraz to their fresh and fruit chardonnay. Pop by the cellar door and chat to knowledgeable winemaker Mark and his wife Sandy.
Check out local brewery Two Heads Brewing where brothers Campbell and Greg Hedley, alongside Head Brewer Ian Carman, create a range of delicious – and at times innovative – beers. The core range include a Pale Ale, IPA, Golden Ale and a Porter, while fun seasonal specials include Lemon Myrtle or Feijoa flavoured ales.
There’s a wood fire and a friendly atmosphere where you can try one of the eight beers on tap, with tasty snacks, and find out more about the story behind the beers.
Rather switch brews for beans? Bigger is not always better when it comes to cafes, and Moubar Vintage, a 1950s caravan serving some of Bathurst’s best coffee, is case in point. Pair your morning latte with something to eat from this petite kitchen, churning out flavour-packed food that belies its size. Find them at Church Bar car park, 1 Ribbon Gang Ln, from 6.30am to 11.30am every day except Sunday.
At Stone Pine Distillery
they create small batch gin (and rum) using a blend of native and traditional botanicals to create unique and distinctly Australian gins. They keep processing to a minimum so that the natural flavours shine through.
The distillery is the brainchild of Ian and Bev Glen, who had been working in the Scottish brewing and distilling industry before upping sticks, with kids and dog in tow, and moving to Bathurst in 2006 to open the area’s first micro distillery.
They have a particular interest in using native Australian ingredients – try their Native Blend Dry Gin with flavours of Pink Finger Lime and Lemon Myrtle. Adventurous folk can try the limited edition Black Truffle Gin, infused with black truffles from the region, with flavours of juniper, coriander seed, flaked salt and black pepper. Gin not your thing? They also make a decadent black spiced rum Dead Man’s Drop, a barrel aged rum rich with vanilla, orange peel and cinnamon myrtle.
And if you need any more encouragement to stock up for your next G&T: they use solar power and harvested rainwater in the distilling process, as well as recycled packaging material wherever possible. A gin with an environmental conscience? Say no more.
Encore Apartments offer 1, 2 and 3 bedroom self-contained apartments in the heart of Bathurst. All apartments have fully equipped kitchens, a laundry and separate bedroom. The 3-bedroom townhouse apartment also offers a spa and private courtyard with outdoor entertaining area.
The beautiful Federation home Delkeith Cottage sleeps up to six people (two queen bedrooms, one with twin), and has a spa, two separate lounge rooms, and deck and outdoor areas, and a kitchen set up to cook up a storm.
Encore Apartments; 1 bedroom from $170 per night.
Delkeith Cottage; from $310 per night.