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Bathurst is a regional centre in the state of New South Walesmarker, Australia approximately 200 km west of Sydneymarker and is the seat of the Bathurst Regional Councilmarker Local Government Area. It has a population of approximately 37,000 It is the oldest inland settlement in Australia.


Bathurst Courthouse on Russell Street, built in 1880
Area of first settlement
Home of Ben Chifley, now a museum, in Busby Street Bathurst
The Bathurst area was originally occupied by the Wiradjuri Aboriginal peoples. The government surveyor George William Evans was the first European to sight the Bathurst Plains in 1813.

Bathurst was founded in 1815 on the orders of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, and is the oldest inland town in Australia. The name Bathurst comes from the surname of the British Colonial Secretary Lord Bathurst. It was intended to be the administrative centre of the western plains of New South Wales where orderly colonial settlement was planned.

Local Wiradjuri groups under leaders such as Windradyne resisted the settlers until the Frontier Wars of the early 1820s ended the open conflict.

The initial settlement of Bathurst was on the eastern side of the river in 1816. It is in today's suburb of Kelsomarker. Each of 10 men were granted 50 acres (200,000 m2), five were men new born in the colony and five were immigrants. These men were William Lee, Richard Mills, Thomas Kite, Thomas Swanbrooke, George Cheshire, John Abbott, John Blackman, James Blackman, John Neville and John Godden. In 1818 Governor Lachlan Macquarie stated in his diary: This morning I inspected 10 new settlers for Bathurst. I have agreed to grant each 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land, a servant, a cow, four bushels (141 litres) of wheat, an allotment in the new town, and to provide for them for 12 months from the King's stores.

Flacks of gold were first discovered in the Fish River in February 1823, but it was not until the discovery of gold at Ophir and later Sofala in the 1850s and 1860s that the town of Bathurst began to boom.

Bathurst's economy was transformed by the discovery of gold in 1851. It later became the centre of an important coal-mining and manufacturing region. The Main Western railway line from Sydneymarker reached Bathurst in 1876.

In December 2001 the inaugural meeting of the biennial Australasian Ornithological Conference series, initiated and organised by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, was held in Bathurst.


Bathurst is a regional services centre, the home of one of the campuses of Charles Sturt University, and a tourism centre. It is a cathedral city, being the seat for the Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops of Bathurst.

Bathurst is well known for the Mount Panoramamarker motor racing circuit, venue for the Bathurst 12 Hour motor race each February and the Bathurst 1000 motor race each October. It was also the home of wartime Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley, who represented the area in the Federal Parliament and is buried in Bathurst.

Bathurst is unusual in that it has a collection of house museums representing different periods of its history from first settlement to the 1970s. The house museums include Old Government Cottage, Abercrombie House, Miss Traill's House and Chifley Home.

Central Bathurst is host to the Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum, which houses the Somerville Collection of fossils and minerals, and features Australia's only complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. The Somerville Collection also consists of one of the largest collections of tourmaline in the Southern Hemisphere.


Bathurst has many large retailers, including a Big W, Woolworths Supermarket, a Mitre 10 Home & Trade, Coles, ALDI and a Target.

High schools

Bathurst has four private and two public high schools.

Charles Sturt University - Bathurst Campus

Bathurst is home to Charles Sturt University (CSU), which also has campuses in Wagga Wagga, Albury, Dubbo, Orange, Ontario (Canada) as well as other educational centres around the state of New South Wales, Australia. CSU is a major provider of regional tertiary education as well as distance education nationally and internationally.

CSU recently opened the schools of dentistry in Orange, New South Wales, and a the school of vetinary science in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.



Bathurst is a regional highway hub. Several roads including the Great Western Highway, Mid-Western Highway, Mitchell Highway, O'Connell Road to Oberonmarker and Bathurst-Ilford Road all start in Bathurst. Other major roads in Bathurst include Durham Street, Eleven Mile Drive, and Bradwadine Road.

Public transport

Bathurst Railway Stationmarker is located ten minutes' walk away from the city centre. It is serviced by CountryLink trains and buses to Sydneymarker or Lithgowmarker and Dubbomarker. Local bus services operate in the surrounding suburbs of Bathurst, with a bus interchange in Howick Street, opposite Stockland Bathurst.

Regional Express Airlines is the only airline providing passenger services at Bathurst Airportmarker; it services the route from Bathurst to Sydney. Several flight schools operate from the airport, and it is used very frequently by trainee pilots during their navigation training.


The main suburbs of Bathurst are; Kelso, Eglinton, West Bathurst, Bathurst, Llanarth, South Bathurst, Rose Hill, Windradyne and Abercrombie Estate.

Significant people from or associated with Bathurst

Radio stations

Bathurst-licensed stations

Orange-licensed stations

National and other stations

  • Life FM 100.1 (Christian)
  • Racing Radio 100.9
  • Triple J 101.9/95.9
  • Radio National 104.3/96.7
  • Classic FM 102.7/97.5
  • NewsRadio 98.3 (proposed)

See also


  1. 2006 Census QuickStats : Bathurst (NSW) (Statistical District)
  2. Simplot corporate website
  3. Biographical website at Vintage Speedway
  4. Jessica Rich
  5. Jodie Noyce

External links

Countrylink Western
Taranamarker Bathurst Blayneymarker

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