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Lithgow is a town that developed around the coal mining industry, just west of the Blue Mountains. With the exception of the nearby Zig-Zag steam heritage railway, it has not long been a recognised as a visitor destination. Lithgow does have many areas of natural beauty close by and some evidence of its history remains around the town.

Get in


Lithgow is immediately to the west of the Blue Mountains, approximately an hour's drive from the westernmost suburbs of Sydney and about 1.75 hours from the CBD.

By car


From Sydney and the east take the Great Western Highway (A32) through the Blue Mountains. Lithgow is at the bottom of the descent of the mountains. The Bells Line of Road from Windsor is a narrower, quieter road, that avoids many of the Blue Mountains townships. It may be faster if you're leaving from The Hills.

From the west there are a few road links, including the Great Western Highway to Bathurst and links to Mudgee.

By train


Lithgow is the westernmost terminus of Sydney's electric train network. NSW TrainLink Intercity runs unbooked/unreserved trains to Lithgow departing every one or two hours during the day, and less often throughout the night. The train trip takes three hours from the centre of Sydney and two hours from Penrith in the west. In the mornings, two additional non-bookable/reservable express services originating in Bathurst provide slightly quicker, limited-stop services into the city, returning in the afternoon, known as the Bathurst Bullet.

NSW TrainLink regional trains booked/reserved services to and from Dubbo also stop at Lithgow once a day in each direction, a little faster, but more costly. You can only reserve seats from Sydney a few days before, as seats are held for travellers going to stations not serviced by unbooked trains.

By bus


There are several bus services every day from Dubbo, Bathurst, Orange, Forbes and Parkes, each designed to meet the trains to Sydney. These buses are run by NSW Trainlink Regional, Australia Wide Coaches and the local Lithgow Buslines. Buses depart from outside Railway Parade entrance to the station. Timetables are designed to connect with the trains.

Get around


The train station is right adjacent to the main street and shopping area of Lithgow, and has an entrance on both Main Street (pedestrian only) and from Railway Parade, where there is parking, drop-off area and the long distance bus terminal, as well as some under-cover seating, toilets, vending machines and an information/booking office. Taxis are available at the station. The pubs and hotels in the town are walkable (use the Main Street exit) and some of the motels are a short trip by taxi.

You can catch a train to Zig Zag - that will take you to the Zig Zag Heritage Railway, which is now re-open following closures from Covid-19 and the black summer bushfires. Regular trains only stop at the Zig Zag junction on request, so talk to the staff before joining the train. The local bus service comprehensively services the surrounding residential areas, but service frequencies aren't very good. Despite being surronded by the Blue Mountains, Lithgow itself is reasonably flat, and cycling around town is possible, though not common.

You will need a car to get any further afield, or to see any of Lithgow's natural attractions.


  • 1 Small Arms Factory, Methven St, +61 2 6351 4452, fax: +61 2 6351 4511. Public holidays 10AM - 4PM. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday. Tu Th 9:30AM - 2:30PM. Sa Su school holidays 10AM - 4PM. Adults $8, concession $6, family $18 (2 adults, 2 children, additional children $1), unaccompanied school students $3, concession for buses of 20 or more $7. Lithgow Arms (Q6647858) on Wikidata Lithgow Arms on Wikipedia
  • Garry Pettitt Fine Art, Daintree Close South Bowenfels, +61 2 6352 5414.
  • Graham Gercken Fine Art Gallery, 49 Hepburn St, +61 2 6351 4942.
  • Magnolia Fine Gifts & Gallery, 80 Main St, +61 2 6351 3130.
  • Glow Worm Tunnel, Wollemi National Park. An old mining railway tunnel, long abandoned, is now home to a beautiful colony of glow-worms. Be aware the tunnel has a bend in it and the centre section is completely dark. Bring a torch but use it conservatively (aimed at the floor and on lowest setting) as the light interferes with the glow-worms, and also will impact your own and others low-light vision, rendering the glow invisible. Find a good spot and turn the torch off to take in the spectacle.

    The tunnel is reached by a straightforward footpath from a car park, through with some stairs involved (not many - suitable for children, but not for anyone reliant on a chair or sticks). The car park itself has information boards and toilets (long-drop pit toilets) but no water or other facilities, and can only be accessed by a ~30km long dirt road (graded and 2WD accessible, but can have some gnarly holes and corrugations) from Lithgow.

    NOTE: The Glow-worm tunnel site is closed until April 2024 for trail repairs.
  • Jenolan Caves, 4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves, 1300 76 33 11 (local rate), .
  • 2 Blast Furnace Park, Inch St. A former blast furnace which has been converted into a park and attraction for visitors. Walking paths and signs have been added to show you how pig iron sent for the construction of the railways used to be produced here. Lithgow Blast Furnace (Q58204331) on Wikidata Lithgow Blast Furnace on Wikipedia



The recently reopened 1 Zig Zag Railway is one of the most famous attractions near Lithgow. This original section of the western railway is a zig-zag due to the steepness of the descent. The train goes forward along a section of the track, the points are changed, and then it reverses onto the next track section. The track section is long bypassed by the main line, which now winds through tunnels to make its descent. It is accessible by both Zig Zag Station on the western end and Chifley Rd in Clarence on the eastern end.

Lost City rock formations

You can use the fire trails and dirt roads above Lithgow to get to places like the Lost City rock formations.





There is no shortage of pubs on the main street of Lithgow. In the space of three blocks, you'll find the Commercial, Court House, Lithgow, Tattersalls, and Grand Central. Just pick which ever one appeals.

Across the railway line you'll find Lithgow Workmens club, that likes to call itself 'Workies'. Cheaper drinks, bistro food, and poker machines in typical club surrounds. It's popular, and you may have to queue for the bistro even on a weekday evening.



Several of the pubs in town offer accommodation, only a short walk from the station. The Commercial has motel accommodation attached. In addition, Lithgow has a wide range of accommodation including:

Go next


Many of the best destinations suitable for a day trip to Lithgow are eastwards, in the Blue Mountains. Good trips into the western side of the mountains include driving up the Great Western Highway or catching a train to Katoomba, and driving up the Bells Line of Road to the Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens.

A glow worm tunnel is 40 km north of Lithgow on a forestry fire trail. It is an old railway tunnel and the glowworms have taken up residence. The tunnel is a 1km easy and pretty walk from the carpark, use a car with a good ground clearance or 4-wheel drive, and well worth a visit. As the tunnel is long a turns a corner it is very dark in the centre of the tunnel. A torch would be useful in this section, but you can walk carefully and mind your footing without one.

Newnes is also well worth a visit, get info from the local tourist information center on the Bathurst road just outside of Lithgow.

Routes via Lithgow
Bathurst W  E  Sydney
BathurstRydal W  BMT  W  Bell (request only)Sydney (Central)

This city travel guide to Lithgow is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.