Hartley Historic Site

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Step into this historic settlement among the sandstone buildings of Hartley Historic Site, on the western edge of the Blue Mountains near Lithgow. Stay in the renovated historic cottages, take a short walk, visit Talisman gallery, enjoy a tour, or hire St Bernards Church for a wedding.

Read more about Hartley Historic Site

Set among pastures, orchards, and nineteenth and twentieth-century cottage gardens, the lovely sandstone buildings in Hartley Historic Site preserve an important piece of history. This well preserved 19th century village was one of the first rural settlements west of the Blue Mountains.

The site was originally established as an administrative and judicial centre for the region with the building of the Mortimer Lewis designed courthouse in 1837. Seventeen buildings tell the story of the village, from the 1837 Greek Revival courthouse, to Corneys Garage built of timber and iron in 1945 and now an antique shop.

Explore the artefacts and family histories, find out about the region’s past at the visitor centre, or enjoy a picnic in the absolute serenity of historic Hartley. Enjoy a short walk up to The Tor, a place of great significance to the local Aboriginal community with dreamy views looking down into the valley. Dogs are permitted in the village if held on a lead at all times.

Why not hire the courthouse or St Bernards Church for a unique wedding or event and take advantage of the scenic views? Old Trahlee and St Bernard's Presbytery are 2 rennovated cottages available for accommodation bookings in the village.

In recognition of Hartley’s heritage significance, an exciting revitalisation plan is being developed, with improved facilities and new exhibition spaces. There are already a number of fascinating tours and events held at Hartley, so call ahead to make a booking. 

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/visit-a-park/parks/hartley-historic-site/local-alerts


  • in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Hartley Historic Site is open every day but access may be limited at times due to fire danger, school bookings or organised events.

    • Hartley Visitor Centre
      02 6355 2117
      Contact hours: 10am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4pm. Closed Mondays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
    • Farmers Inn, 51 Old Great Western Highway, Hartley 2790
    • Email: hartley@environment.nsw.gov.au
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Hartley Historic Site.


Map legend

Map legend

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Mt Victoria:

    • Travel west along the Great Western Highway
    • Turn left into the village 4km after Little Hartley


    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    There is no public transport available to Hartley Historic Site.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you at Hartley Historic Site. Here are some of the highlights.


    Enjoy the village as the days grow warmer and the trees are in blossom.


    Bring the kids in the school holidays and step inside the amazing coolness of Hartley Courthouse, with its thick sandstone walls.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature


    12°C and 25°C

    Highest recorded


    Winter temperature


    1°C and 13°C

    Lowest recorded



    Wettest month


    Driest month


    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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).



    You can walk your dog on-lead at this location. See other regional parks in NSW that have dog walking areas.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Hartley (1 km)

    The small village of Hartley features one of the finest collections of historic buildings in Australia, providing a captivating look into the country's colonial past.


    Lithgow (14 km)

    Hassans Walls Lookout, near Lithgow, is the highest in the Blue Mountains. Admire Mt Wilson, Mt York, Mt Tarana and Mt Blaxland as well as the pretty Hartley Valley below. To the south are the Kanimbla and Megalong valley and Mt Bindo. While there, go for a walk or ride around the lookout.


    Mount Victoria (30 km)

    One of the best ways to enjoy the stunning natural scenery of the Blue Mountains is on the clifftop drive between Katoomba and Wentworth Falls. Lookouts, picnic areas and walking trails sprinkle the drive.


    Learn more

    Hartley Historic Site is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    The story of settlement

    Ivy Cottage, Hartley Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer

    This exceptionally well-maintained village is of national historical significance as a substantial early nineteenth-century settlement. It tells modern visitors a great deal about the expansion of European development in inland Australia and the beautiful old buildings illustrate the changing role and fortunes of Hartley from first settlement of the inland to the beginning of the motor transport era. You can find out all sorts of interesting facts at the visitor centre and educational groups can book tours with advance notice on (02) 6355 2117.

    • Corneys Garage Nestled in the heart of Hartley Historic Site is Corneys Garage. Browse through a beautiful selection of antiques, while enjoying an immersive shopping experience near Lithgow.
    • Hartley Courthouse This fine example of colonial architecture allows you to imagine the convicts, magistrates and members of the public passing through its doors. Book a guided tour through Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre.
    • Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre Stop in at Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre to find out about the history of the buildings and town, book tours, and stock up on snacks and drinks.
    • Hartley historical tour On this interactive Stage 3 (Years 5-6) History excursion, students visit key sites in the Hartley Historic Site colonial village: the courthouse, the gaol and St Bernards Church. They'll explore the history of how this key colony developed and take part in fun re-enactments with our Discovery Rangers. 
    • St Bernards Church Take a tour or arrange a wedding at St Bernards Church in Hartley, a lovingly preserved example of colonial sandstone architecture.

    Excellent bushwalking on historic roads

    Picnic area in Hartley Historic Site. Photo: Christina Bullivant

    The Hartley area is great for bushwalking along the early roads. After your visit to the village, you may like to set out on Lawson's Long Alley, Lockyer's Pass or Berghofer's Pass. Check out the Lithgow Town and Around website for details. The rural setting of Hartley is welcoming and peaceful – perfect for a picnic or a satisfying stroll. Explore the interesting remnants of heritage plantings surrounding the buildings in the village and keep an eye out for the many birds that thrive amid the gardens and native forest.

    • Corneys Garage Nestled in the heart of Hartley Historic Site is Corneys Garage. Browse through a beautiful selection of antiques, while enjoying an immersive shopping experience near Lithgow.
    • Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre Stop in at Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre to find out about the history of the buildings and town, book tours, and stock up on snacks and drinks.

    Aboriginal meeting place

    Hartley Court House, Hartley Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer

    Hartley was once a meeting place for the Wiradjuri from the west and Gundungurra tribes from the east. In colonial times, Hartley Courthouse served as a mustering point for Aboriginal people.

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (1)

    What we're doing

    Hartley Historic Site has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.