The lure of gold …

In 1851 they came looking for gold …

old cottage in Hill End

They came from all over the world and as they got closer, they followed the rivers, the Macquarie and the Turon.

view from the Bridle track towards Mary Flynn Reserve

They built a road  …

Turon River crossing

Looking up the Turon River from the river crossing

… and they created a town.


At its peak in the 1860s there were 8000 people living in Hill End.

8000 people and 27 pubs.

Today there is one.

Royal Hotel Hill End sign

By the 1870s the ground had given up everything she had to give, so they picked up their tools and moved on…

Gold pan, tools and painting in the pub

… and 70 years later the artists moved in …

Donald Friend, Russell Drysdale …

Margaret Olley, Jeffrey Smart …

John Olson, Brett Whiteley …

Colourful beer taps at the Royal Hotell Hill End

To this day they still come.

From all over the world.

Foreign money hanging behind the bar in the Royal Hotel Hill End

To this tiny village, oozing history, sitting lonely but loved, in the high country north of Bathurst …

The iconic fences at Hill End

Bring your paints, bring your pencils…

The church in Hill End

your ink and your oils…

but whatever you do, don’t rush it. Come with time.

The I've Never Been to But Soon Will Challenge Map

Unfortunately the Bridle Track is closed about 17kms south of Hill End due to a landslide. If you have the time it’s worth doing the circuit to explore both sides. The southern part is gentler with four beautiful camp sites along the Macquarie. The northern end is much steeper, dropping down sharply from the high ridges of Hill End, into the valley of the Turon with some equally beautiful sites but they’re trickier to negotiate. We would have loved to visit the junction where the two rivers meet but you need a serious 4WD to tackle that. Another day, another adventure.

So that’s Abercrombie House and The Bridle Track ticked off my list.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the challenge so far.

The heights of Kanangra await …

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