Heritage and Modernity: the Charm of Bathurst and Orange Region


Bathurst: Heritage and Contemporary Charm

History of Bathurst

Bathurst, established in 1815, is often recognized as the oldest inland settlement in Australia. The European history of Bathurst begins with its discovery by George William Evans in 1813, followed by its establishment by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. In the 19th century, the town flourished during the Australian gold rush, becoming a pivotal location for gold discovery and mining. This history has left an indelible mark on the architecture and cultural landscape of the town.


Indigenous Heritage

Prior to European settlement, the Bathurst region was home to the Wiradjuri people, one of the largest Aboriginal nations in NSW. Their connection to this land spans tens of thousands of years. Sacred sites, songlines, and traditional practices reflect their deep spiritual connection to the region. The Wiradjuri people continue to play an essential role in the area, contributing to the cultural, social, and environmental heritage of Bathurst.

Economy and Industry

Historically, gold mining was the backbone of Bathurst’s economy. Today, the region has diversified its industries. Agriculture plays a substantial role, with the region producing meat, wool, dairy products, and even wines. Education, thanks to CSU, also contributes significantly to the economy. Furthermore, manufacturing, government services, and health care are prominent sectors that drive Bathurst’s contemporary economy.

Bathurst’s University – Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst has significantly contributed to the town’s growth and reputation as an educational hub. CSU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, fostering innovation and research in fields such as Communication, Nursing, and Business. The campus’s presence has brought a dynamic youth culture to the town, enriched its socio-cultural fabric, and provided opportunities for collaboration between academia and local industry.

Bathurst’s unique blend of history and modernity offers a plethora of attractions for visitors:

Mount Panorama

 Famously known as a motor racing circuit, it’s a significant attraction for motorsport enthusiasts. Outside race events, it’s a public road which visitors can drive on, experiencing the thrill at a controlled speed.

Mount Panorama Bathurst. A must visit for motor sport fans

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

 An essential cultural stop, this gallery boasts a collection of modern and contemporary artworks, often featuring exhibitions from local and national artists.

Abercrombie House

 A reflection of Bathurst’s gold rush era, this grand mansion offers visitors a glimpse into 19th-century architecture and living.

National Motor Racing Museum

 Situated adjacent to the Mount Panorama Circuit, the National Motor Racing Museum celebrates the rich history of Australian Motor Sport, with a particular focus on Bathurst and Mount Panorama as the spiritual home of Australian motor racing. Located at Murray’s Corner, Mount Panorama.

Bathurst Goldfields

An educational and interactive experience on the gold rush era, where visitors can pan for gold, witness historical re-enactments, and understand the significance of gold in shaping the region.

Bathurst Tourism Office

Orange: A Fusion of Past Traditions and Modern Allure

History of Orange

Founded in 1846, Orange, despite its youthful age relative to other Australian settlements, has a rich tapestry of history. Originally known as Blackman’s Swamp, it was renamed in honour of Prince William of Orange. Over time, it transformed from a pastoral land to a vibrant regional centre, largely due to the agricultural and mining booms of the 19th century.

Indigenous Heritage

The traditional custodians of the land upon which Orange sits are the Wiradjuri people. Their history, culture, and connection to the region stretch back thousands of years. Numerous artefacts, stories, and significant sites in and around Orange stand as a testament to their enduring presence and deep spiritual bond with the land. Today, the Wiradjuri people remain an integral part of Orange’s cultural and community fabric.

Orange’s Education – Charles Sturt University and TAFE

Orange is home to a campus of Charles Sturt University, focusing predominantly on health studies, dentistry, and medicine. This higher educational institution, along with the presence of TAFE NSW Orange, has positioned the town as an academic hub. The influx of students and academic professionals has enriched the town’s cultural milieu and diversified its socio-economic landscape.

Orange Botanic Gardens. Credit Petee Frederiksen

Economy and Industry

Agriculture has always been the cornerstone of Orange’s economy, with the region known for its orchards, particularly apples. The cool climate also provides ideal conditions for viticulture, with Orange becoming a notable wine-producing region in Australia. The town has also seen growth in the areas of health, education, and mining services, reflecting its diverse and resilient economic structure.

Tourism Attractions

Orange’s mix of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and contemporary offerings make it a compelling destination for travellers:

  1. Mount Canobolas: A dormant volcano, this natural landmark offers panoramic views of the region. With multiple trails, it’s a haven for trekkers and nature enthusiasts.
  2. Orange Regional Gallery: A hub of artistic expression, this gallery displays an ever-changing roster of exhibitions, highlighting both local and national artists.
  3. Cook Park: With 130 years of heritage, this park, with its stunning greenery, duck ponds, and the Begonia House, offers a serene retreat.
  4. Orange Botanic Gardens: A testament to the region’s diverse plant life, it’s a spot for relaxation and offers themed gardens for exploration.
  5. Orange Regional Museum: Detailing the region’s history and its evolution, this museum provides an insightful journey into Orange’s past and present.

Orange Region Vineyards

Heifer Station Wines: Known for its picturesque vineyard and cellar door, Heifer Station Wines offers a range of wines for tasting and purchase. It is located at 1034 The Escort Way, Orange, NSW.

Rowlee Wines: is a boutique winery that produces premium cool-climate wines. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings and take in the beautiful vineyard views. It is situated at 19 Lake Canobolas Road, Orange, NSW.

 Philip Shaw Wines is a renowned winery in the Orange region. Their cellar door provides a unique tasting experience, showcasing their range of award-winning wines. You can find it at 100 Shiralee Road, Orange, NSW.

 Swinging Bridge Wines is a family-owned winery that focuses on producing high-quality cool-climate wines. Their cellar door offers tastings and a chance to learn about their winemaking process. It is located at 701 The Escort Way, Orange, NSW.

Borrodell Estate is not only a winery but also a boutique hotel and orchard. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, explore the orchard, and indulge in delicious food at their restaurant. It is situated at 298 Lake Canobolas Road, Orange, NSW.

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