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.
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.
From Sydney and the east take the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains. Lithgow is located 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.
From the west there are a few road links, including the Great Western Highway to Bathurst and links to Mudgee.
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.
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.
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.
The train station is right adjacent to the main street and shopping area of Lithgow. Taxis are available at the station. The pubs and hotels in the town are walkable 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 Railway that will hopefully reopen soon. Trains only stop there on request, so talk to the staff before joining the train. The local bus service comprehensively services the surrounding residential areas, albeit somewhat infrequently.
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.
- 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.
- Jenolan Caves, 4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves, ☏ 1300 76 33 11 (local rate), email@example.com.
- 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.
The Zig Zag Railway was 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. The tourist trains that used to operate on this track section have been suspended after bushfires damaged the sheds and equipment in 2013, and no reopening date has been announced.
You can use the fire trails and dirt roads above Lithgow to get to places like the Lost City rock formations.
- Ironfest, Lithgow Showground. April.
- Lake Lyell Recreational Area, Lake Lyell, ☏ +61 2 6355 6347, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jannei Goat Dairy, 8 View St, Lidsdale, ☏ +61 2 6355 1107.
- Blue Mountains SpaRadise, Sir Thomas Mitchell Dr, ☏ +61 2 6352 3122, email@example.com. F 2-9PM, Sa noon-9PM, Su 11AM-5PM (for day visit guests) 11AM-8PM (for inhouse guests).
- The Old Exchange, 83 Main St, ☏ +61 2 63524442. M-Sa lunch from noon, dinner from 6PM Sunday by appointment.. No booking needed, fully licensed bar.
- Lithgow Palace Chinese Restaurant, 59 Main St, ☏ +61 2 6353 1888. Standard Australian Chinese food. Gluten free dishes can be made on request.
- Lithgow Workies, 3 Tank St, ☏ +61 2 6350 7777, fax: +61 2 6352 1565, firstname.lastname@example.org. M 9AM-11PM Tu 9AM–11PM, W 9AM–11:30PM, Th 9AM–11:30PM, F 9AM–1AM, Sa 10AM–1AM, Su 10AM–11PM.
- Secret Creek Cafe & Restaurant, 35 Crane Rd, ☏ +61 2 6352 1133. A vegan cafe and farmhouse surrounded by Australian wildlife.
- Won Dee Thai Restaurant, 202 Main St, ☏ +61 2 6351 3346.
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.
- Lansdowne Hotel, 137 Main St, ☏ +61 2 6351 3045, fax: +61 2 6351-4503.
- Commercial Hotel Motel, 198 Main St, ☏ +61 2 6351-2312, fax: +61 2 6351-2954, email@example.com.
- Court House Hotel, 1 Main St, ☏ +61 2 6351-3234, fax: +61 2 6353-1194.
- Grand Central Hotel, 69 Main St, ☏ +61 2 63514777, +61 2 63525954, fax: +61 2 63524974.
- Lithgow Hotel, 130 Main St, ☏ +61 2 6351-3379, fax: +61 2 6351-3415.
- Tattersalls Hotel, 151 Main St, ☏ +61 2 6351-3387, fax: +61 2 6355-7025.
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:
- Lithgow Valley Motel, 45-49 Cooerwull Rd, ☏ +61 2 6351 2334, fax: +61 2 6352 3869, firstname.lastname@example.org. 16 ground floor units, parking at door, off noisy highway, fax facilities, parking for heavy vehicles. $55 - 115.
- Zig Zag Motel, 70 Chifley Roa, ☏ +61 2 6352 2477, fax: +61 2 6352 3654, email@example.com. $115 - 165.
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 through Lithgow|
|Bathurst ←||W E||→ Sydney|