Lithgow is a fascinating town with a strong industrial heritage and mining history. Located 2 hours west of Sydney, it is best known for being home to the first commercially viable steel mill, the remains of which are located at Blast Furnace Park. This site attracts tourists from all over the country each year, and is commonly used as a backdrop in many photographers’ images.
The town offers many tourist attractions and events, many of which are listed on our website. This makes Lithgow an ideal tourist destination in itself, but also a central point to see everything the region has to offer.
There are still three active mines in the Lithgow district, Airly, Clarence and Springvale. Many Lithgow residents work at the operational mines, though the town is no longer as heavily invested in the mining industry as it once was.
If you are interested in the history of mining in the area, check out the State Mine Gully Museum, which houses some fascinating artefacts.
Lithgow has a rich historic past, involved in the early settlement of Sydney. Eskbank House was Lithgow’s first residence, built by Alexander Binning, completed in 1842. The house was built from sandstone transported from Bowenfels and Farmers Creek, and the house still stands today. Thomas and Mary Brown were the first owners of this historic house. After Mary’s death in 1878, Thomas sold the house to James Ruthford, an ironworks investor, and moved away from the area. Thomas passed away suddenly in Sydney three years later. Both Thomas and his wife Mary are buried in Wallerawang.
The house fell into disrepair and was converted into flats during World War II. In the late 1940s, Eric Bracey, a local entrepreneur, decided to fund the purchase of Eskbank House. It was then handed over to Lithgow Council. With the help of the Lithgow District Historical Society, Eskbank House was restored and opened as a museum for everyone to enjoy.
It is now open to the public for viewing from Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. The museum is full of artifacts from the early settlement, and gives visitors a glimpse of what life may have been like for Thomas and Mary Brown in the 1800s.
Lithgow has many well-known hiking trails and natural attractions. But, Ida Falls really is a hidden gem.
Ida Falls Creek is about a 10-minute drive from town and you will discover a stunning waterfall, hidden amongst the trees. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket and your swimmers to enjoy a tranquil lunch and a dip in the stream on a hot summer day.
If you’re not in the mood to go for a swim, put your walking shoes on and walk up to Hassans Walls. The view overlooking Hartley Valley and the stunning beauty of the Blue Mountains is worth the climb. Many people hold events here, such as weddings, with the ceremony taking place at the end of the path with the magnificent scenery as a backdrop.