Departing Sydney 3 to 9 September 2017
Departing Bathurst 4 to 8 September 2017
The Orana region is the perfect spot in Country NSW for a holiday, Dubbo will be our home for the first 2 nights. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a major attraction for visitors to the area. This 300-hectare open-range sanctuary houses more than 700 animals, including many rare and endangered species. It’s the only place in Australia where you can see African elephants. We will enjoy an early morning behind the scenes walk before the Zoo opens.
There are plenty of things to see and do in the Dubbo area, we visit the Wellington Caves and tour Dundullimal Historic Homestead. Check out Old Dubbo Gaol, which re-creates 19th-century prison life and enjoy the tranquil Shoyoen Sister City Japanese Garden plus much more.
Leaving Dubbo for the Warrumbungle’s exploring Gilgandra’s Cooee and Rural Museums, a surprising must see along the way, visit one of the region’s unique farming enterprise Emu Logic and we may even be able to hold an emu chick. After a scenic drive through the Warrumbungle NP we settle into our Coonabarabran accommodation for the next 2 nights
Spend a day exploring the Siding Springs Observatory, Crystal Kingdom and Pilliga Pottery before heading to Gulgong visiting the new Gulgong Gold Experience and of course the excellent Gulgong Pioneer Museum
Sunday 3 September 2017
On arrival at Bathurst Railway Station you will be transferred to your centrally located motel to relax prior to your Western Plains & Warrumbungle’s Experience.
Recommend departing Sydney Central on the 12.18pm train to Lithgow and connecting NSW TrainLink Coach to Bathurst. (OPAL card required)
Monday 4 September 2017
Wellington Caves & Dubbo
Departing Bathurst heading to Wellington for morning tea prior to our Guided Tours. The Cathedral Cave is the largest and most popular of the show caves. Highlights of this tour include the Altar (a 15m tall stalagmite), Thunder Cave, Headache Rock and The Well. Next is the Phosphate Mine was a functioning mine during World War 1 and was closed in 1918. The Phosphate Mine tour takes you through mine shafts and showcases areas visited by numerous paleontologists who uncovered Australian megafauna fossils. After lunch, we visit the Garling Gallery on our way to Dubbo for the next 2 nights.
Tuesday 5 September 2017
Western Plains Zoo & Explore Dubbo
Today you are in for a treat, we are up early heading to Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Starting at dawn, when the animals awaken, this leisurely-guided walk experience will take you to see some of the world’s exotic and endangered species before the Zoo opens. We will have breakfast at the Zoo after our walk. Mid-morning, we embark on our journey to step back in time heading for the state heritage listed Old Dubbo Gaol, to enjoy a guided tour. This remarkably complete and intact gaol operated for 119 years from 1847 to 1966 and is still nestled in the main street of Dubbo. The set of 19th and 20th century gaol buildings brings history to life, representing of powerful, surprising and dark moments in Australian prison history.
We have a light lunch and wine tasting at a local winery for a before visiting Dundullimal Historic Homestead for a guided tour. Believed to be the oldest sophisticated slab house in Australia, Dundullimal and its sandstone stables, timber church, and shed are a living illustration of rural life on an isolated property. We return to our centrally located Motel early afternoon after a full morning to rest up or explore the local shops.
Wednesday 6 September 2017
Emu Logic & Warrumbungle National Park
Departing Dubbo, we will spend the morning at Gilgandra our visits will include The Coo-ee Heritage and Visitor Information Centre. The Centre demonstrates local major events of regional, state and national significance. With 3 exhibitions including the Coo-ee March Collection, the Australian Collection and a plotted history of Gilgandra. A short Walk away is the Gilgandra Rural Museum which would be the best museum of its sort; the range and variety of displays will surprise you. I have never seen a museum of this type displayed as well as this. I am certain it will bring back fond memories for both rural and city people alike.
After lunch, we head to Emu Logic for a complete change of pace. You will get up close and personal with Emus and there should be Emu Chicks available to hold. Don’t forget the gifts shop where you can purchase all your Emu Oil products direct from the farm. We take a drive through the Warrumbungle’s which is something special with scenery unsurpassed on our way to Coonabarabran for the next 2 nights.
Thursday 7 September 2017
Siding Springs Observatory
Our first stop today is Crystal Kingdom, the home of one of the world’s most unique mineral collections, the “Minerals of the Warrumbungle’s“. See the world’s rarest and most colourful Zeolite Crystals and learn about how the Coonabarabran area was once home to not one, but two volcanoes. Experienced staff are available to explain the fascinating origin of these extinct local volcanoes. Next, we head to Siding Springs Observatory. We have a tour of the whole Siding Springs Observatory complex by taking a leisurely tour of the site by bus. Access the trig point lookout to take photos and enjoy the magnificent views of the Warrumbungle’s and SSO site. Followed by an Astronomy Talk and lunch. We head to the Pilliga Pottery home to the Blue Wren pottery for a demonstration and afternoon tea
Friday 8 September 2017
Gulgong – Bathurst
We depart a little earlier today heading to Gulgong. On arrival, there will be free time for morning tea and the opportunity to visit the Henry Lawson Museum (own expense). We visit the Gulgong Gold Experience. Feel it. Hear it. Learn it. The perfect start to your Gulgong Adventure. Take a walk back in time. Visit the replica underground mining tunnel, together with the audio-visual displays which create an insight into the 1870’s Gulgong Gold Rush era.
After lunch in a historic hotel with real character. We visit the Gulgong Pioneers Museum is home to one of the finest collections of Australiana in the country. Located in the old Times Bakery and Produce Store in the heart of historic Gulgong, the award-winning museum’s collection includes a comprehensive array of domestic tools and utensils, farm and mining equipment, horse drawn vehicles, early photographs, Aboriginal and geological artifacts, period clothing, and buildings dating from Gulgong’s heyday during the turbulent Gold Rush days of the 1870’s. Mid-afternoon we express back to Bathurst.
Saturday 9 September 2017
Depart Bathurst at your leisure or enquire about an optional day tour.
Rail Holidays Australia
Po Box 1430, Bathurst, NSW. 2795
Ph: 0418 337 263 or 02 6331 1128
Cost 3 to 9 September 2017 $1,400 pp
Departing Bathurst only 4 to 8 September 2017 $1,260 pp
Bathurst only departure for Blue Mountains passengers;
Connects with NSW TrainLink services.