Great Western Store

Hill End Historic Site

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Overview

Stop by the Great Western Store on your visit to Hill End. The rare photography collection on display offers a fascinating snapshot of life during the mining boom.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
33 Tambaroora Street, Hill End, NSW, 2850 - in Hill End Historic Site
Accessibility
Medium
Opening times

During special events and exhibitions. Contact the Hill End Historic Site office for more information.

Step inside this original building and get a glimpse of what it would have been like during the heyday of the gold rush era. 

Imagine the daily chatter of miners looking for their fortune as they visit one of the few shops to be found along this section of Tambaroora Road. In its heyday, bullock teams travelling between Mudgee and Turon River packed the streets, and the sound of whips cracking as bullocks moved through town would have filled the air.
 
Great Western Store is home to a display of the 'Holtermann Collection', one of Australia’s most rare and significant photographic collections. These photos provide an incredible historical record and unique window into life during the gold rush times. Take a good look at the shots of the miners and you’ll see the hardship etched on their faces.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


Map


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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/great-western-store/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Great Western Store.

Getting there and parking

Great Western Store is in the southern precinct of Hill End Historic Site. To get there:

  • Continue driving on Hill End Road into the township, where it becomes Beyers Avenue.
  • At the fork in the road, veer left onto Denison Street.
  • Turn right onto Tambaroora Street
  • Great Western Store is located on your left, before the post office.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Street parking for car and bus is available near Great Western Store on Tambaroora Street.

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

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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 - medium

  • Assistance may be required to access this area.

Prohibited

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Great Western 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.

  • Capertee and Hill End 4WD camping tour Explore the stunning sights of Capertee, the Turon River and Hill End on a 4WD camping adventure with Adrenalin Offroad Centre.
  • 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 gold 4WD adventures Hop on board a comfortable 4WD vehicle and enjoy a thrilling journey over rugged 4WD trails as you explore the Hill End and Sofala goldfields region. These excursions with Simmo’s Offroad Tours are a great way discover fascinating gold rush history and heritage. 
  • 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: Rosie Nicolai

    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)