- The second oldest town west of the Blue Mountains
- At the junction of the Bell and Macquarie rivers
- 357 km north-west of Sydney, population 5,700
Why go there
Wellington is a popular stopover on the Mitchell Highway as you head west to Dubbo. It has one of the finest town parks in New South Wales and many historical buildings. The area’s biggest attraction is the Wellington Caves Complex, a short drive from town. Also close by are botanical gardens and wineries, as well as the massive Lake Burrendong.
The first European to explore the area was John Oxley who named the Wellington Valley after the Duke of Wellington. Oxley believed the land, which was watered by two rivers, had agricultural potential, and in 1823 a camp of convicts and soldiers grew up just south of the present township.
The Macquarie River became a major crossing for explorers, settlers and horse-drawn coaches heading into the western plains. A large Aboriginal Mission was set up close by, but it wasn’t until 1846 that the town of Wellington was officially recognised.
Things to do
- Visit the Wellington Caves Complex and see the huge stalagmite in Cathedral Cave, once thought to be the largest in the world. Don't miss the unusual and beautiful cave coral in Gaden Cave.
- Look out for emus at the Burrendong Arboretum, a large botanic garden housing some 2,000 species of Australian trees and wildflowers.
- Take a picnic and your swimming costumes to Lake Burrendong, an artificial lake three-and-a-half-times the size of Sydney Harbour.
- The Wellington Boot horse races held in March.
- Vintage Fair in March.
- The old phosphate mine at Wellington Caves.
- Cellar door wine tasting at a local winery.
- The peaks, views and birdlife at Mount Arthur Reserve.
- Cameron Park for its sunken garden, rose beds and lily pond.
- A historical town walk taking in art galleries and the Oxley Museum.