Bathurst is known for motor racing, but if you’re looking for less adrenaline and action, here are the best things to do at your own speed.
Discover Bathurst’s surprising historic charm beyond its famous Mount Panorama and motor races. Explore the gold rush history and iconic scenery, tour museums, taste the region’s famous wine and fresh produce, and soak up the relaxed atmosphere of this picturesque city. With endless options for history buffs, foodies, and nature lovers, Bathurst is a treasure trove of hidden gems. Take a break from the race circuit and discover the best things to do in this down-to-earth town.
1. Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
With a permanent collection of more than 2000 works by Australian artists, the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) displays curated exhibitions plus a diverse range of touring exhibitions. The gallery’s collection was established in 1955 and is now run by the Regional Council which welcomes 30,000 visitors each year.
Marvel at the curated displays inside Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. (Image: Destination NSW)
BRAG stages a variety of annual exhibitions, including touring exhibitions, specially curated exhibitions, community exhibitions, local artist projects, exhibitions curated from the permanent collection and the work of Hill End artists produced as part of the gallery’s artist residency program.
Address: 70–78 Keppel St, Bathurst
2. Webb & Co. Beverage Emporium
Tucked at the back of the Webb Chambers heritage building, Webb & Co Beverage Emporium is a great place for a pre-dinner cocktail, craft beer or local wine. Don’t let the small-scale fool you, this local haunt goes big on grandeur. Think classic cocktails, locally grown wines, and craft beer, all in a historical setting.
Address: 3/175/179 George St, Bathurst
3. National Motor Racing Museum
Because you can’t come to Bathurst and ignore it! The National Motor Racing Museum displays some 50 cars and bikes, images, and racing memorabilia.
You can’t go to Bathurst and not visit the National Motor Racing Museum. (Image: Destination NSW)
This place celebrates the history, personalities, and achievements of Australian Motor Sports. And while the local Mount Panorama and Bathurst 1000 is at the heart of the displays, attention is paid to the history of speedway, solar, drag, open-wheeler, sports car, rallying and plenty more across the spectrum of Australian Motor Racing.
Find over 110 racing bikes and cars on display. (Image: Destination NSW)
Address: 400 Panorama Ave, Bathurst
4. Abercrombie House
It’s hard to plan a trip to Bathurst without the mention of Abercrombie House. Put simply, this place is a national heritage treasure built in 1878, now open for public tours and special events – including regular high teas, night tours for the kids, Christmas in July and more.
Indulge in an afternoon high tea at Abercrombie House. (Image: Destination NSW)
Take a guided (or self-guided) tour through the 50-room Scottish-baronial mansion taking in the exhibitions, displays, collections, grounds and gardens, outbuildings, and property walks throughout the 18 hectares.
Abercrombie House is a grand heritage treasure in Bathurst. (Image: Destination NSW)
Address: 311 Ophir Rd, Bathurst
5. Mayfield Garden
Located a 30-minute drive from Bathurst, Mayfield Garden is the perfect stopover for Sydneysiders on the way to/from the town. This breathtaking 64-hectare property is one of the world’s largest privately owned cool-climate gardens and is inspired by an English country estate.
Wander around the grounds of Mayfield Garden for some truly spectacular sights. (Image: Destination NSW)
Beautiful in every season, the 16 hectares of Mayfield Garden are open 363 days. The extensive array of pathways are designed to be explored, with many nooks-and-crannies to discover and the mobility-friendly Camellia Walk.
Mayfield Garden is a sight to behold when in full bloom. (Image: Destination NSW)
They also offer delicious, seasonal meals at the quaint on-site cafe – or you can order a picnic or bring your own.
Address: 530 Mayfield Road, Oberon
6. Whiskey and Wags
Whiskey and Wags are one of a kind in the up-and-coming Bathurst bar scene. The friendly atmosphere makes it a perfect spot to catch up over tasting plates and cocktails. There’s also, of course, a great selection of spirits. The low lighting, exposed bricks and modern décor add to the funky feel, enticing foodies, friends, and city slickers on the lookout for one of the coolest things to do in Bathurst. Don’t be fooled though, the vibe is unpretentious and relaxed – you can even bring your dog if you’re sitting on the deck.
Address: 175 George St, Bathurst
7. Reckless Brewing
Owned by two friends with a passion for creating craft beers from natural ingredients, Reckless Brewing is a must-visit for beer lovers and foodies.
Stop by Reckless Brewing for a top-notch meal.
The building is a heritage-listed ex-flour mill which gives the space rustic country vibes and a certain hillbilly charm. It’s fun and friendly and there’s plenty of mouth-watering street-style food, beverages, and events to keep you entertained.
Sample a range of top brews from Reckless Brewing.
Address: 2A Piper St, Bathurst
8. Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum
The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum is a great place to take the family and displays a range of historically significant and irreplaceable heritage items – including a T-Rex centrepiece that the kids will love!
Kids will go wild when they witness T-Rex on display. (Image: Destination NSW/Australian Mineral and Fossil Museum)
Address: 224 Howick St, Bathurst
9. Bathurst Rail Museum
One of the best things to do in Bathurst with kids, the Bathurst Rail Museum is housed in the historic Railway Institute building and boasts a model railway the size of a tennis court.
Hunt out the tennis-court-sized model railway inside the Bathurst Rail Museum. (Image: Destination NSW)
There’s also a dedicated kids’ space with plenty of engaging activities.
Bathurst Rail Museum is located next to the city’s train station. (Image: Destination NSW)
Address: 126 Havannah St, Bathurst
10. Miss Traill’s House
History buffs, antique lovers, and gardeners will all delight in the charming simplicity of Miss Traill’s House, a Victorian-era bungalow and garden that features old furniture, art collections, and a beautiful heritage garden. Weekly tours are run on Sundays by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers.
Address: 321 Russell St, Bathurst
11. Japanese Bath House
Also perfect for Sydney dwellers travelling to the region, the Japanese Bath House is located at the edge of the Blue Mountains, about an hour’s drive from Bathurst – and totally worth it for health and wellness lovers. Nestled on 300 hectares of farmland and overlooking Lake Lyell, the bath house offers a traditional Japanese spa experience. Enjoy a dip in the mineral-rich hot springs, relax in the steam room, or wander around the peaceful Zen gardens.
Address: 259 Sir Thomas Mitchell Dr, Bowenfalls
12. The Rockley Pub
Well worth the half-hour drive from Bathurst, The Rockley Pub offers the perfect quintessential Aussie pub experience, making it a must-add to your list of things to do in the region.
Chill out at The Rockley Pub with a drink in hand. (Image: Destination NSW)
Recently bought and revamped by Australian food icon Matt Moran, expect great pub grub with fresh, local produce, all your favourite boozy beverages and a buzzing vibe amidst the peaceful landscape of a quaint, country town.
Expect great pub grub and a relaxed atmosphere. (Image: Destination NSW)
Address: 2 Budden St, Rockley
13. Barcoos Farmstay
Located 10 minutes from Bathurst, Barcoos Farmstay invites guests to enjoy a range of activities – from feeding the farm animals to horse riding, making it perfect for a fun-filled family day out. You can take a tour of the farm, enjoy tractor drives, and explore the quintessential Australian countryside. There’s accommodation on site if you’re keen to extend your stay and really soak up the rural vibes.
Address: 1080 Trunkey Road, Perthville
14. Bathurst Winter Festival
If you’re looking for things to do in Bathurst during the cooler months, the Bathurst Winter Festival is a must-see. If you’ve been to the region during winter, you’ll know it gets really cold – making it the perfect destination for some wintery wonder.
Time your visit with the annual Bathurst Winter Festival. (Image: David Roma)
For two weeks in July, Bathurst is transformed into a winter wonderland of art, markets, ice-skating, food, music, and light installations that illuminate Bathurst’s beauty.
Enjoy a night filled with food, music, art and more. (Image: Bathurst Winter Festival)
15. Hill End Historic Town
If you’re up for a bit of a road trip, the historic town of Hill End is a scenic, one-hour drive from Bathurst and is an absolute delight for history buffs and lovers of old Australian culture.
Hill End is a heritage-listed gold rush boom town. (Image: David Ireland/Tourism Australia Copyright)
Exploring the town’s iconic buildings and historic site invites you to step back in time and glimpse Australia’s fascinating gold-rush history.
Megan Arkinstall contributed entries one to five of this article.
Read our Bathurst travel guide for more insider tips and travel secrets.