Gold Rush

Hill End, NSW

We got the opportunity for a long weekend so took the chance to escape as a family and visit the historical Hill End.

I have been here before but once was for a year 9 camp and the other was with my parents about 15yrs ago.

Being very interested in fossicking, we were keen in finding out about the gold rush history and maybe even have a chance to break out our metal detector.

The drive up took us more time than we thought. We did a visit to macdonalds which always ends up being too long as the kids convince us they HAVE to use the park. This of course results in Phill or myself having to climb into the play centre to wrangle the kids out.

The drive from bathurst to Hill End was very scenic. We arrived in town about 5pm and were keen to find the camp site. We checked out the sites at the township campground and chose our site with a nice little fire pit close by. The girls had fun helping phill build a fire and we settled in for an easy dinner around the fire before bed time arrived quickly.

Once the kids were asleep we enjoyed the ambiance of the fire and watching the shoot stars and satelites. We were playing with the settings on our phones and had some fun taking photos of the stars. This was the best i could get but was stoked with my first try and will have to do some research on getting better shots.

The night was brisk but certainly not cold. We enjoyed our no power site as we could get away from other campers and wouldn’t have to worry that our kids would wake them up at 6.30am. I was a spoilt mum this morning and was given a sleep in until 9am as Phill organised the girls breakfast and kept them entertained. It amazing what a fire and a good nights sleep does!

We had a small wander around the camp sites this morning. This camping ground has everything any camper needs. Clean flushing toilets and coin donation hot showers which were fantastic, a great camp kitchen and also a small laundry for only $3 a wash! At $8/per adult per night we were very happy indeed.

We set off on foot this morning to explore the small historical town. We definately recommend walking around town as there are alot of historical signs to read. We have to applaude the National Parks for how well presented the remains are now. Each site or building has a sign out the front showing photos of it in its prime and also a small amount of information. It helped to really imagine what this bustling place was like.

The newly constructed information centre in town is done so well and professionally. We was great as our children could walk around and easily look at the exhibitions too.

After exploring the streets we visited the general store which has basic supplies. We all enjoyed a rest out the front with coffee, hot chocolates and milk shakes. We would definately reccomend stopping at the general store it was a lovely little building amd hospitality.

By the time we made it back to the camp ground both girls were cranky and complaining that their legs were falling off. So we cooked up a lovely lunch on the Webber and the girls had a rest watching a movie.

After everyone had relaxed and eaten Phill decided we would go for a walk to check out Merlins lookout. I was a little hesitant to take the girls walking again as I knew it would result in sore legs and tantrums; but its Phills birthday weekend and its a walk he really wanted to do. Needless to say, 1.5hrs, 6kms, a broken wheel on the trusty kmart holiday stroller, two cranky toddlers later we returned to the van exhausted and tired.

The walk out to Merlins lookout was definately worth it. You can easily drive a car along the road but it was a lovely day and physically a very easy walk. Once your up top you can overlook the valleys of the gold rush days and theres quite a bit of information to read too.

By the time we got back to camp we cooked some yummy beer battered fish on the webber and settled around the fire for some camping tv.

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