Gulgong is now a town of some 2,500 people, located 293km north-west of Sydney, 28km north of Mudgee and 466 metres above sea-level. The mainstays of the local economy are kaolin clay mining, magnetite mining & a flour mill. The regions coal mines are just a short drive away (25km north-east). Tourism and rural industries such as wool, cropping, cattle and fat lambs all compliment this most appealing township.
Whilst the street-scape and heritage buildings haven’t changed much since the late 1800’s, you’ll find a progressive and passionate community eager to welcome visitors and share their stories. New subdivisions offer a variety of modern homes to suit all price categories and sow a solid commitment to the town’s progress and solidarity. Taste modern local produce across a range of delectable coffee shops and dining experiences. Iconic events include the Henry Lawson Festival every June long weekend, the Gulgong Folk Festival in December and the Gulgong Show in February.
If you wish to gain some insight into how a 19th century Australian gold mining town looked, it wold be hard to do better than Gulgong. George and Henry Cox, early settlers, had arrived and established Guntawang in 1822, but it wasn’t until 1870 when Tom Saunders discovered gold on Red Hill that Gulgong truly flourished. An estimated 20,000 people, lured by the prospect of a quickly amassed fortune, had flocked to the area and in 1872 this new tent settlement was surveyed as a town.
Gulgong town is built around and over many of the original goldfields. The heritage listed town buildings, many complete with original verandahs and iron-lace balconies, include such gems as The Prince of Wales Opera House, in which Dame Nellie Melba once performed. It is the oldest performing arts venue still being used for its original intention in Australia.