Immerse yourself in history as you explore the various attractions this charming town has to offer.
Hay is a surprisingly eclectic town with much to offer in the way of history, art and nature. Situated at the meeting points of the Cobb Highway, the Sturt Highway and the Mid Western Highway – not to mention the famous Long Paddock route – Hay can sometimes be seen as a town on the way to somewhere else. However, as there is so much to do here, it is well worth settling in for a few nights and truly becoming acquainted with this fascinating pocket of Outback NSW.
SHEAR OUTBACK: AUSTRALIAN SHEARER’S HALL OF FAME
Shear Outback is a state-of-the-art centre that offers a fascinating look into Australia’s famous shearing industry. Comprised of the historical Murray Downs woolshed, a café, gift shop and a gallery, Shear Outback provides visitors with an authentic Outback New South Wales experience.
Shear Outback is located on the corner of the Sturt and Cobb Hwys, Hay, NSW. Click here for more information.
Bishop’s Lodge is an architecturally designed iron house that was built in 1888 and now stands as one of the most popular historical attractions in Hay. The lodge is surrounded by beautiful gardens filled with roses, making it a tranquil setting to relax and enjoy a cup of tea or simply admire the 19th century house.
Guided tours of the house and garden are available upon request, and the property can be hired for venues.
Bishop’s Lodge is located on the corner of Roset St and Sturt Hwy, Hay, NSW.
For a haunting experience, you can’t go past the Dunera Museum. Photographs, drawings and other memorabilia help to tell the intriguing stories of the thousands of German, Italian and Japanese civilians and prisoners of war who were kept in the three prison camps in Hay.
Located at the railway station and displayed in two railway carriages, the museum provides a deep insight into the lives of the prisoners. On display are real drawings, as well as reproductions of the camp’s newsletters and currency.
Dunera Museum is located at 421 Murray St, Hay, NSW. Click here for more information.
HAY GAOL MUSEUM
Rich in history, the Hay Gaol Museum makes for an eye-opening experience. Full of secrets and intrigue, the gaol has been used for a number of different purposes over the last 100 years. It operated as a maternity hospital, an insane asylum, a prisoner of war detention centre, an institute for girls and now a museum.
Visitors can walk in the shoes of an inmate as they meander down the halls, peering into cells and imagining what it was like to live behind bars.
Items on display include farming and plant equipment, old wooden windmills, motorbikes and clothing.
The Hay Gaol Museum is located at 355 Church St, Hay, NSW.
HAY WAR MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM
Located inside the original building of Hay Memorial High School, the Museum is a glimpse into the early nineteenth century, and is devoted to remembering and appreciating the sacrifices made by those who served our country in World War I.
The collections displayed tell stories of the district and the school community, and aim to connect with the generation of students growing up today. Items include medals, photographs, uniforms, letters and diaries once belonging to members of the school and its students.
The school itself was built to honour the individuals who tragically lost their lives serving in the war. Guided tours are available by appointment, and can be arranged through the school.
Hay War Memorial High School Museum is located at 216 Pine St, Hay, NSW.
BIDGEE RIVERSIDE TRAIL
Bidgee Riverside Trail is a fantastic way to explore the natural beauty of the bush, while taking advantage of the fresh country air and getting active. Winding alongside the famous Murrumbidgee River, you’ll spot a number of stainless steel sculptures scattered along the path, each with a plaque detailing their significance to the area. With the option to walk or ride a bike, the Bidgee Riverside Trail makes for the perfect day out whilst visiting Hay.
Click here for more information.
JOHN HOUSTON MEMORIAL SWIMMING POOL
It took ten long years of fundraising and had work for the completion of the John Houston Memorial Swimming Pool (named after the president of the Hay swimming pool committee) but in 1967 it was finally opened to the public.
There are three pools in the complex; an Olympic-sized pool, a medium pool and a toddler’s pool that is shaded for parent’s peace of mind. There is also a free barbeque and a volley-ball net for use.
The John Houston Memorial Swimming Pool is located on Lachlan St, Hay, NSW.
SANDY POINT RESERVE
Situated beside the tranquil Murrumbidgee River is Sandy Point Reserve, a free rest spot located a short distance from the Cobb Highway. Whether you want to stay for an hour or camp for a number of days, Sandy Point Reserve is a great place to be. The grass is flat, sandy areas make the perfect place to pitch a tent and trees provide much needed shade from the sun. There is also an electric barbeque, picnic tables and a boat ramp in the river.
HERITAGE WALKING TOUR
Sometimes, the best way to get acquainted with a new town is to hit the pavement and just start exploring. The streets of Hay are dotted with history and heritage steeped buildings, many of which date back to the 1800s, and are all well worth visiting along the self-guided heritage walk. Best of all, it’s free!
Click here for more information.
CHRIS MCCLELLAND GALLERY
Chris McClelland is a Hay based artist famous for his unique pencil drawings of African and Australian wildlife. His incredible works are on display at the Chris McClelland Gallery, which is open Monday through Saturday. It’s best to contact the gallery before arriving to ensure Chris is on hand to show you through his inspired pieces.
Chris McClelland Gallery is located at 84 Lachlan St, Hay, NSW. Call (02) 6993 4264 for more information.