Just the word is enough to conjure up dreams and imaginary experience in the most dispassionate of people. The rush and settlement of the Hill End & Tambaroora goldfields of central west New South Wales heralded a new era in Australian history. In the 1850s people from all over Australia, indeed, all over the world flocked to the goldfields in search of a fortune, one which would provide them with a new and better life. Some were escaping the stigma of convict beginnings; others were fleeing the ravages of the Potato Famine or the Scottish Clearances. There were businessmen ready to make rash investment in the hope of lifelong prosperity and still more were just adventurous young men, looking for easy money.
Some came and stayed; other just briefly passed through. Those that moved on, either richer or poorer, went on to make new lives in other parts of Australia. It is only now, when there is such an interest in family history that people are discovering their ancestors may have spent some time in these goldfields.
On your “golden journey” to retrace the footsteps of your ancestor a visit to Hill End should be considered. It took 160 years but finally the road between Bathurst, Hill End and Mudgee has been sealed. You can drive around the village in a day but you need longer to experience it. Consider staying overnight to appreciate the peace and ambiance. Think back to a time when the stamper batteries were pounding away six days a week, and only silenced on Sundays. In its prime there were more than 7000 people in the district. Now there are 125. Take the opportunity to grab a gold pan and shovel and head to Golden Gully to try your luck. Bring your camera and capture the unique landscape. Or….just sit and relax, remember, you’re on “Hill End time”.
There are still a number of old building left to remind us of how it was. Check our “Then & Now” photos and then use the following links to plan your visit.
- Hill End & Tambaroora – a brief history
- Local maps
- Visiting Hill End
- What to see & do in Hill End
- Organizing your family reunion in Hill End