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Historical Tours

Discover the history of Wolgan Valley and the Blue Mountains with two fascinating tours that will take you all the way back to the 17th and early 18th century.

Colonial Heritage Tour
Duration: 1 hour
Scheduled: Afternoons (Saturday, Monday, Wednesday)
Grade: Easy
Category: Scheduled Activity

Departing from the 1832 Heritage Homestead and Kitchen Garden, field guides will walk you through this fascinating historic precinct, explaining the process of meticulous restoration necessary to bring the original Homestead back to its former glory. You will hear stories of a past life carved out of the wilderness and get a glimpse into the trying conditions that early Australian settlers faced. Your guide will also reveal some insights into the innovative building practices developed by pioneer settlers to adapt to such a rugged environment.

The tour will also visit the see the fully-functioning heritage kitchen garden, which has been re-established to supply fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and herbs to the resort’s kitchens.

Tours are conducted all year round subject to weather conditions. Sun protection and protective footwear recommended.

Private Guided Tour of Newnes Industrial Ruins
Duration: 2.5 hours
Scheduled: By Request
Grade: Easy
Category: Private Tour

Step back in time with a guided walking tour of the historic Newnes Industrial Ruins. This fascinating tour explores a period when heavy industry reigned supreme and many speculators sought their fortune in ‘black gold’ and shale oil.

Operating from 1906 to 1932, the Newnes Shale Oil Refinery was an ambitious undertaking for its time, due to the isolated location of Wolgan Valley and its considerable distance from essential coastal ports. The refinery was one of the largest shale oil production schemes in Australia and comprised of mining, processing, distillation and associated manufacturing industries such as coking coal, bricks, and paraffin wax. During the period of peak production it is estimated up to 2000 people resided in the remote mining village of Newnes.

The tour will explore the historic ruins of the former Newnes shale oil refinery, the refinery coal mine, the iconic beehive-shaped coking coal kilns, Newnes railway station, and the remnants of ghost township of Newnes. Your guide will reveal the stories and features of this historically significant landscape located on the edge of the Wollemi Wilderness Area and one of New South Wales most wild and scenic river systems.

The trail requires a moderate level of fitness and mobility, including the fording of Wolgan River using stepping stones, and some steep and uneven sections of track.

Sturdy walking shoes are recommended, along with comfortable outdoor clothing appropriate to the season. Sun protection is also recommended.

Your guide will collect you from the Main Homestead for a 15 minute vehicle transfer to the start of the walking tour. The tour will include a packed picnic lunch and light refreshments enjoyed in the beautiful surrounds of the Wollemi National Park.
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