There’s no denying that the most hassle-free holidays are in our own backyard.
Just under three hours from Sydney, Bathurst is well worth the trip. It’s the perfect spot for a weekend escape packing in plenty of activities and eateries to suit all sorts of desires. Bathurst shares the finest foods, wine and spirits, spectacular arts and crafts, race cars, gardens and even self-guided wine tours. Do you have an itch for a quick weekend escape? Look no further than Bathurst!
Alfresco dining never looked so lush! The Hub is a cafe serving up coffee and delectable dishes for locals and visitors to Bathurst alike. Come in the morning for a special breakfast treat from classic bacon and eggs to garden vegetable fritters. Or perhaps some lunch? We recommend the Tasmanian Smoked Salmon Bagel, but other options include burgers and enchiladas.
Annie's Ice Cream Parlour
Nothing says bliss like a scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone. But Annie’s Ice Cream Parlour serves more than just nice ice cream. It’s a pink retro wonderland that is sure to make anyone feel youthful. As well as their classic ice cream mixes, these guys share some local flare too. Try the Sofala Gold, a mix of vanilla with honeycomb nuggets; or the Bridle Track, a chocolate mix with Turkish delight and marshmallows.
Aptly named because it’s situated in a revitalised Anglican schoolhouse, Church Bar is your go-to for casual dining. They serve up the best of Italian fare in the style of hearty pizzas. Start your meal with pizza bread available with either cheese or pesto and parmesan, then work your way through the quirky main menu. Top spot goes to George, which is topped with saltwater crocodile, wild lime and ginger marinade. Drool!
Tremains Mill is a cultural hub that shares plenty of local fares. Feast yourself on more Italian pizza at Ciao Pizza or go for classic pub grub at The Victoria. Think grilled salmon or scotch fillet, or even perhaps a pub classic including chicken parmigiana. While you’re here, be sure to check out the Australian Milling Museum that makes this place so famous and finish with a light refreshment and coffee at Doppio Espresso.
The George Hotel
For a local touch with great beer and wine variety, look no further than The George Hotel. It’s a staple in the Bathurst community and also serves up plenty of classic pub food. Be sure to check out their website for any upcoming events, including trivia and cocktails on Thursday night and Sunday roast. Wine connoisseurs must not pass up a browse of their extensive wine collection that includes a selection of local drops.
Dogwood, BX pays homage to southern USA in a classic Texas-style bar and restaurant that is sure to please those who love hard yakka. While the food is ultra hearty, they are best known for their drinks which include twists on the traditional mixes as well as quirky concoctions you’ll not find anywhere else. Go for the Corpse Reviver No. 2, which includes gin, Lillet, lemon, orange liqueur and a whisper of absinthe.
Webb & Co
If you’re looking for a little more class without the posh attitude, Webb & Co is your next destination. It’s a small bar tucked away in Bathurst’s historic Webb Chambers, showcasing an eclectic menu with live music to match. They also specialise in local brews and blends along with a fancy collection of cocktails. Go for the Elderflower Gimlet featuring gin and elderflower liqueur, fresh lime and marmalade.
Self-guided Wine Tours
Bathurst is a growing wine region, featuring a few staples that grow and blend plenty of grape varieties. While there are tours that you could take part in, we recommend doing your own bespoke journey through the vineyards of Bathurst. For wine lovers, we recommend a weekend of visiting the array of wineries around Bathurst. If wine isn’t of first preference, you should check out the local spirit Stone Pine, which can be found and purchased at the Bathurst Farmers Market on the 4th Saturday of each month. Stone Pine is most notable for their gin, but they also dabble in other concoctions. Click the button below for your itinerary.
Bathurst has long been known as a mecca for artists and it’s still thriving today. The main town of Bathurst is dotted with art galleries and studios that any discerning creative should visit. Start your day at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery to get a feel for the artistic scene, then weave your way through the local artist studios. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to buy some artwork to take home.
A major drawcard for tourists to visit Bathurst is the famed Mount Panorama. Most notably the Bathurst 1000 race that is held annually around October. But if you’re visiting outside this time, fret not – there’s plenty of other races that go off throughout the year. Even though Mount Panorama is a public road, by adhering to the normal road rules visitors can experience the track for themselves.
Voice-guided Heritage Tour
Take a tour through the streets and precincts of Bathurst with Grant Denyer thanks to the wonders of modern technology. The iconic TV host shares a detailed snapshot of the history and stories associated with Australia’s first inland European settlement. The app also features a tour of Mount Panorama with six-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes, as well as a tour of Mayfield Garden with gardening guru Graham Ross.
Just an hour’s drive from Bathurst, Jenolan Caves is home to over nine caves with underground rivers and plenty of stalactites and stalagmites to wow your senses. You can choose to go on self-guided tour or be taken through with a local guide – they even do night and ghost tours as well. Whether you choose to have an afternoon visit or overnight stay, be sure to visit the onsite bar, bistro and restaurant.
We’ve already mentioned it under voice-guided tours, but Mayfield Gardens needs more than just a quick mention. Its beauty is most notable during the spring season, but these well-maintained gardens are a wonder all year round. Mayfield Garden is 30 minutes from Bathurst, in the same direction of Jenolan Caves – so you can do both on the same day. The garden is super-Instagrammable and perfect for a wander.
Bishop's Court Estate
Bishop’s Court Estate was once a Victorian-style manor for the first Bishop of Bathurst. It has now found new life as a luxury boutique hotel cocooned by beautiful gardens. There are six elegant rooms which have been beautifully decorated. You can enjoy a glass of champagne in the library, cosy up with a book on the balcony, or wander the tranquil garden. Bishop’s Court Estate is the perfect romantic getaway.
Alfred on Keppel
Be entranced by this beautifully restored and furnished three-bedroom terrace in the heart of Bathurst. With light-filled high ceilings, a modern interior as well as a gorgeous courtyard, this sophisticated terrace makes the perfect base to explore Keppel Street’s bars, cafes and vintage shopping. A stay here includes complimentary wifi, laundry and Netflix. Bliss!
The Guesthouse Hill End
If you want to bundle yourself away for a weekend escape look no further than The Guesthouse Hill End. Set on a two-acre property, this modern two-bedroom cottage is set under birch trees and surrounded by a seasonal orchard which you are welcome to pick from. The walls are adorned by works from internationally renowned artists and the cottage also includes a cosy wood fireplace.
Rydges located adjacent to Mount Panorama shares spacious, self-contained accommodation that is perfect for families with energetic children. It’s also perfect for race car enthusiasts who are visiting for a Mount Panorama race or event. Each room comes with complimentary wifi, a flat-screen TV with Foxtel as well as a kitchen and laundry facilities. There is also a bar and restaurant located onsite, as well as the famed Mount Panorama circuit out front.
Buddens Guesthouse is a perfect getaway for couples and those who are looking for an intimate escape. This place boasts five guest rooms as well as a separate two-bedroom cottage overlooking Peppers Creek and Rockley Weir. You can relax on the verandah with a candlelit dinner, curl up with a book in the garden, or wander through Rockley and visit the historic pub, local café, Mill Museum or artist Tim Miller’s studio.