An idyllic town where the rivers and mountains of the Great Western Plains meet, there’s more to Wellington than meets the eye. Here’s our pick of the best things to do and see.
1. Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mine
An underground wonderland awaits at the Wellington Caves, where time has carved a network of tunnels and cavernous openings into 400 million-year-old Devonian-era limestone.
Located 8km out of town, the site has proven significant for archaeologists with the discovery of numerous mega fauna fossils buried deep within the ancient rock.
Visitors can descend the 150 steps into Cathedral Cave, the largest and most spectacular of the caves housing an imposing, 15m-tall stalagmite rock formation.
The Phosphate Mine is also open for guided tours, and has a quirky history as a suspected sham mine constructed to leech funds from investors. With a café and onsite caravan park complete with a brand new pool, the Wellington Caves complex is well worth a visit.
2. Mt Arthur Reserve
A 5000-acre slice of untamed natural wilderness on Wellington’s doorstep, Mt Arthur Reserve is the perfect destination for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.
Rising to 563m above sea level, this Crown Reserve affords breathtaking views over the town with the light particularly favourable in the late afternoon when it elongates shadows dreamily across the rolling farmland below.
There are six walking trails in the reserve, with the longest taking approximately three hours to complete. Horse riders and mountain bikers enjoy their own dedicated tracks and are also allowed to explore fire trails.
3. Burrendong Botanic Gardens and Arboretum
Take a leisurely 15 minute drive along winding country roads and you’ll be gobsmacked by the sight of Lake Barrendong as it appears suddenly over a rise in the road. You’ve made it to Burrendong Botanic Gardnes and Arboretum.
Covering more than 400-acres, this unique complex celebrates native plants and trees from all over Australia and has specialist areas including the fabulous Fern Gully.
Here, a subtropical microclimate has been created thanks to a thatched roof covering and the introduction of streams and ponds. Ferns, moss and vines interweave to create a magical rainforest oasis in the midst of the Great Western Plains.
4. Check out the beautiful heritage architecture
There’s no denying the beauty of Wellington. Framed by mountains and perched atop the Macquarie River, the town’s charming heritage architecture seduces visitors from far and wide.
Ornate government buildings and grand corner pubs speak of the town’s long agricultural history. A drive through the town reveals street after street lined with beautiful heritage buildings and homes.
5. The Cow and Calf Hotel
Of course, every country town worth its salt has a ripper pub, and in Wellington that’s the Cow and Calf Hotel.
Established in 1863 and formerly known as the Clubhouse Hotel, the Cow and Calf underwent a full renovation and reopened with a new look in 2013.
The result? Well, it’s now a rather hip joint with excellent food, an atmospheric front bar and warm country hospitality by the bucket load.
Upstairs, pub-style rooms are freshly renovated and stylishly appointed with air conditioning, comfy beds and pristine shared bathroom facilities.
WHERE IS WELLINGTON?