History

Historic Buildings, Blayney

Blayney is a town of 3,000 population, located in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, some three and half hours by road from the centre of Sydney. It is the centre of a closely settled and populous district, which stretches east to Bathurst, southwest to Cowra and north to Orange. Blayney is a comfortable 25 minutes drive to Bathurst - population 33,000 and to Orange - population 34,000.

Blayney Shire is at an altitude of 850 metres above sea level. The passage of the seasons is more marked than on the coast. The summer climate is nearly ideal, with warm days and cool nights. Autumn and Spring are true seasons of change. Winters can be cold with frosts and occasional snow.

Blayney Shire's industries generate substantial employment in the Region. Unemployment in the area is significantly below the State average. The demand for labour in Blayney is heavily supplemented from residents in Orange and in Bathurst, who travel to Blayney daily.

The sighting by Surveyor George Evans in 1813 of three hills to the south is the first European record of the BLAYNEY district. Evans named these hills the Three Brothers. During an expedition in 1815, Evans set out from the fledging village of Bathurst towards the Three Brothers. As he travelled west, he observed a large flat mountain to the north which he named Mt Lachlan, later to become Mt Macquarie. He travelled through the present areas of Neville and Lyndhurst before discovering the Lachlan River.

There was temporary settlement throughout the area between 1821 and 1828.

The gold rush of the 1850s and 60s sparked the development of a number of settlements throughout the region including Blayney and Forest Reefs. Initially the shire was allocated for farming. However, with the opening and working of many mines, the townships flourished. The site eventually decided upon for the township of Blayney was in a picturesque valley with the Belubula River running along its eastern boundary.

With valuable gold came feared bushrangers, including the notorious Ben Hall, John Gilbert, John O'Meally, John Vane and Mickey Bourke. They were active throughout the district with a number of hold-ups along the roads to Carcoar.

Historic Buildings, Carcoar

The coming of the railway to Blayney in 1876, resulted in further development of the region with the towns of Newbridge and Millthorpe flourishing. The 1870s to 1880s saw great development in Blayney and it was during this time that many of the significant buildings, which still stand today, were built.

Heritage Country lies within the Central West of NSW and has a rich and fascinating heritage, stretching back more than 170 years.

As soon as Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson forged their way across the Blue Mountains, they opened up the heart of Australia, and the Central West was the first part of this Heartland.

Here you can visit the well preserved historic villages, Carcoar, Millthorpe, Lyndhurst, Mandurama, Neville and Newbridge, see magnificent country homesteads, tour interesting museums, inspect historic buildings, fossick old mining sites and view nature at its best in any one of the four distinct seasons that the region enjoys.

Art studios, craft outlets, cafes and tea houses all offer pleasant ways to while away the time. Shady parks and gardens offer pleasing surroundings to relax, picnic and take in the clean air.

In addition to history, there are many attractions and features that make Heritage Country a unique holiday destination. Bush walking, cycling and horse riding in the picturesque countryside, the water sport paradise at Carcoar Dam, fishing in the shire's streams and waterways and exploring the unique mining heritage of the area.

So much to do, so many beautiful views and lots of spots to unwind and absorb the atmosphere. Rolling hills, bubbling streams, spectacular waterfalls, aquatic playgrounds and majestic caves.