General Store

Hill End Historic Site

Overview

General Store is an icon of built heritage in Hill End, inviting you to a unique dining experience surrounded by history, and offering coffee and groceries.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
Hill End Historic Site
Accessibility
Easy
Price
Free
Opening times

Daily 9am to 3pm. Hours may change seasonally. Closed Christmas Day.

 
Please note
  • Opening hours for the restaurant vary, so it’s a good idea to call the restaurant on 02 6337 8111 to confirm bookings and opening hours.
  • Check your fuel before heading out, as Hill End is in a remote location. However, fuel is available at General Store.

Located right in the centre of this historic township, Hill End’s General Store is a great meeting place before embarking on a walk or Discovery tour. This wheelchair-accessible cafe offers great coffee, meals, groceries and general merchandise.

The store is an excellent example of Hill End’s unique architectural heritage. Originally two separate buildings, the Salvation Army hall was added in the 1880s, on the site that was originally the Colonial Wine and Dining rooms. The Baker and Grocer section dates back to 1872, when it was the heart of this bustling mining community.

Grab some snacks from the cafe and enjoy a leisurely lunch in Bill Lyle Reserve picnic area. Or, if you’re feeling indulgent, tuck into a delicious lunch in the restaurant, surrounded by historic photos in the old Salvation Army hall. Be sure to book ahead during busy times to avoid missing out on this unique dining experience.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/general-store/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about General Store.

Getting there and parking

General Store is in the centre of Hill End Historic Site. To get there:

  • Continue driving on Hill End Road into the township, where it becomes Beyer’s Avenue.
  • General Store is on your right, opposite Royal Hotel.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Car and bus parking is available at General Store.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Hill End Historic Site. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

With sunny, dry days and crisp evenings, it's a great time of year for a camping holiday at Hill End – head to the Village campground or the larger Glendora campground. You could even sign up as a Campground Host.

Spring

Flowers are at their best this time of the year - enjoy cherry blossoms and blooms in the historic cottage gardens.

Winter

The winter light is renowned among artists and photographers - you may even get some shots of snow .

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

15°C and 27°C

Highest recorded

40.1°C

Winter temperature

Average

1°C and 15°C

Lowest recorded

-8.9°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

April and May

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

108.7mm

Facilities

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Cafe/kiosk

Carpark

Drinking water

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

Disability access level - easy

  • This area is fully wheelchair-accessible

Prohibited

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Bathurst (42 km)

Within a 70-km radius of Bathurst are the spectacular limestone cave systems -Abercrombie and Jenolan caves - which you can explore safely on guided tours.

www.visitnsw.com

Hill End (0 km)

In 1851, gold was discovered at Hill End, and by 1872, at the height of the great gold rush, the town was the largest inland settlement in NSW. With its museum displays and many preserved buildings, Hill End offers fascinating insight into the 19th-century gold rush.

www.visitnsw.com

Orange (41 km)

The bustling city of Orange, with its many cafes, restaurants and shopping opportunities, has something for everyone, plus there's a huge range of places to stay. The real highlight is the town's food and wine, so bring your thirst and your appetite.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

General Store is in Hill End Historic Site. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A past to cherish

Beyers Cottage, Hill End Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer

Artists have long gravitated to picturesque Hill End. Since the Second World War the scarred landscape has drawn artists such as Russell Drysdale, Donald Friend, John Olsen and Brett Whiteley to capture the striking scenery on canvas. The Hill End Artist in Residence Program is run by Bathurst Regional Art Gallery and continues this tradition, offering contemporary artists an opportunity to make the pilgrimage to Hill End. Take a walk in the same landscape that has moved so many artists. Please note: Selected works from the program previously on display at the Jean Bellette Gallery in the Visitor’s Centre, will be re-located to a new venue at a date to be advised. 

The gold rush hit nearby Bathurst in 1851 and Hill End, swept up in the frenzy, was settled in 1852. It wasn’t until almost 20 years later, however, that large-scale mining began. After most of the mining population had moved on, it was the Gold Centenary Celebrations in 1951 that were the catalyst for Hill End being recognised for its significant heritage value.

  • Cornish Quartz roasting pits The quartz roasting pits are a short drive from Hill End and are a significant historical remnant of Australia’s earlier mining heritage.
  • Denningtons Cottage Denningtons Cottage is a heritage miner’s cottage built in 1858 in Hill End, and now home to ceramic artist studio.
  • Hill End Heritage Centre Hill End Heritage Centre's interactive museum displays and historic information are the perfect introduction to any visit to Hill End Historic Site.

Mine for gold

Royal Hotel, Hill End Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer

Ever wondered how gold is separated from the rock it’s found in? Or want to know what a steam boiler or battery stamp’s used for? Hill End is full of places where you can learn all about mining gold. Visit the Colonial Gold Mining Company’s roasting kilns and battery buildings, enjoy a barbeque at the grounds of the Historic Hill End Hospital, check out the impressive collection of carriages and work machinery from the gold rush era housed close by, and don’t forget to book one of the many tours available while you’re there to make the most of your visit.

  • Bald Hill tourist mine Experience the underground world of a goldminer at Bald Hill tourist mine. A short walk or drive from Hill End, this guided tour is ideal for families and school groups.
  • Beaufoy Merlin lookout Beaufoy Merlin lookout offers spectacular views and an excellent vantage point to see the true scale of former mining activities. It’s also great for photography.
  • Hill End Heritage Centre Hill End Heritage Centre's interactive museum displays and historic information are the perfect introduction to any visit to Hill End Historic Site.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

    The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

General Store, Hill End Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer