Heritage-listed buildings dot the tree-lined streets, while a lone pub serves the best (and only!) beers in town.
At a glance it might not seem like there's much to do in Hill End, but stay a while in this quaint village and you'll discover there's plenty to see and do.
1. Stop in for a beer at the historic Royal Exchange Hotel
Boasting country charm by the bucketload, there’s no better place (literally) for a cold one in Hill End than the Royal Exchange Hotel.
Once one of 28 pubs that jostled for space and business during Hill End’s gold boom period, the Royal Exchange is now the lone surviving pub in town. Perched atop the hill overlooking what used to be a kilometre-long main street, it remains a welcome beacon for thirsty travellers.
Built in 1872, the Royal Exchange serves meals 7 days a week and has pub-style accommodation rooms available upstairs.
2. Take a self-guided heritage walk
Get a taste of what life was like in Hill End in its heyday (after gold was first discovered and the population of Hill End exploded out to 30,000 eager hopefuls) with the help of informative plaques.
Wander the tree-lined streets as you discover plaques scattered right across town - marking the sites of former shops or signalling heritage-listed buildings. The plaques also act as a reminder of the town’s now-forgotten significance, and its colourful history.
3. Have a pie at the Hill End General Store
The Hill End General Store attracts visitors from all over the state – and for good reason! The locally made pies make the journey to Hill End well worth the effort, with the lamb and rosemary a menu highlight (get in early though, these pies go quick!).
The cosy café/bakery is open for breakfast, lunch and weekend dinners; while the adjoining general store offers the perfect opportunity to stock up on essentials like petrol and groceries.
4. Drive the Bridle Track
Stretching 68km from Hill End to Bathurst, this strictly 4WD track winds along the Macquarie River and high up into the hills, which means spectacular views into the valley below are guaranteed.
Originally a stock route, then a trail for miners travelling between goldfields, the Bridle Track is also spoiled with a number of campgrounds that can be found just off the main thoroughfare. While it’s not a challenging track, drivers should be aware of rocks and small landslides which often block some of the path.
5. Camp at the Village Campground
Looking for the best place to pitch your tent in Hill End? Look no further than the ridiculously green and lush Village Campground.
This well-appointed campground is conveniently located less than a kilometre from the village centre, making it the perfect base for exploring the fascinating township. Amenities include toilets, coin-operated showers, picnic tables and barbeque facilities, while both powered and unpowered sites are available.