When you come to visit New South Wales, there is a lot more to see than beaches, resorts, and gift shops. There is so much history in New South Wales that most tourists visiting Australia don’t even realize. In fact, there are entire historic towns in this Australian state that are still in operation.
Some of these towns grew into a bigger town or city, while others remain small and rural as if time had never moved forward.
Below are 5 historic towns that are worth visiting while you’re in New South Wales.
The city of Maitland in New South Wales is located in the Lower Hunter Valley region of the state. Back in the 19th century, there were 3 different towns that were built at the same time right next to each other. These towns were East Maitland, Morpeth, and West Maitland. The town that was turned into modern-day Maitland was West Maitland. The current estimated population is 67,000 people.
The “Maitland” name was derived from Sir George Maitland of Hampshire, England.
Over the last 100 years, Maitland was transformed from a town into a city. What once had a few shops and attractions now has cafes, boutique shops, Ometto Pizza Bar, playgrounds, Maitland Park, and everything else you’d expect a city to have.
You can also enjoy the sight of the Hunter River and take a nice walk along it.
Kangaroo Valley is a town next to the Kangaroo River. It lies just west of Shoalhaven which is a seaside town. The Wodi-Wodi Aboriginal tribe originally inhabited Kangaroo Valley. It has been said that they inhabited the land for 20,000 years.
In the year 1788, this all changed when Europeans began to settle in Australia and push the Aborigines out of their land.
Today the town has only 879 people living there, according to a 2016 census.
Many of the buildings that were originally built in the 1800s are still there. You’ll find them to be the cafes and shops of the town. The best places to visit there are Valley Vintage, The Friendly Inn, and the Nostalgia Factory.
The backdrop of the town gives you a magnificent view of green pastures and escarpments filled with trees and rocky terrain.
The village of Berrima was first formed in the 1830s. It is located in Wingecarribee Shire of Southern Highlands. Berrima was formerly called the Town of Berrima, which was a huge town in New South Wales at one point.
Unfortunately, in the 1800s, there was a railway built which went through the town. This caused a lot of people to move away and relocate somewhere else. But a lot of the village’s historical buildings are still left there.
You can see the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, the Berrima Court House, the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, and the Berrima Gaol (formerly the Berrima Correctional Centre). The population of Berrima is only 666 people now.
The suburb of Leura is located in a city called Blue Mountains. It has a population of approximately 4,644 people, according to a 2016 census.
Leura is often considered the most gorgeous town of Blue Mountains, which is saying a lot because this city has a lot of gorgeous towns. Some natural attractions that you’ll want to check out in Leura include the Leura Cascades, Jamison Valley, and the Pool of Siloam. Leura used to be inhabited by the Dharug people.
The Aborigines are believed to have inhabited this suburb as far back as 12,000 years ago. In 1813, Europeans settled there and took over the land.
They constructed the western railway line which allowed it to be connected to other towns and villages throughout the region.
The tiny village of Wollombi is located in the Hunter Valley Region. It has a population of only 264 people, according to a 2006 census.
The village was first inhabited by the Darkinjung people thousands of years ago. There are many Aboriginal historical sites which still exist in the nearby countryside of the village. You will find hand stencils, rock engravings, and tribal markings there.
The Europeans settled there in the early 19th century and helped modernize it. In fact, The Wollombi General Store building which was built back then is still in existence.
If you have extra time during your visit to Wollombi, check out the Wollombi Wine Trail. It has many boutique wineries which don’t have big crowds at them.