This Blue Mountains outpost has outdoor adventures right on its doorstep.
Encircled by seven national parks and seven state forests, outdoor adventurers will be in their element in Lithgow. After admiring the town’s heritage sites and taking a ride on the Zig Zag Railway, set out to hike, mountain bike, or horseback ride in the Greater Blue Mountains. There are mountains, lakes, and caves all within reach, so you could take to the water to fish, kayak, and water ski, or get your adrenaline fix rock climbing, canyoning, or abseiling. Campers will find just as much variety, whether pitching a tent by the lakeside or glamping with a mountain view.
Blue Mountains East of Lithgow, the misty peaks of the Blue Mountains National Park are cloaked in UNESCO-listed rainforest. Campers can hike through the jungle, soar over canyons on the Scenic Railway or cable car, and marvel at natural wonders such as the Three Sisters and Wentworth Falls. Venture off-road in a 4WD to explore the southern mountains, camp out in the bush, or visit the Jenolan Caves. NSW Tablelands Less than an hour’s drive west of Lithgow, the former gold rush town of Bathurst is the gateway to the Central Tablelands. Give yourself time to discover the region’s 19th-century villages, try gold panning along the creeks, and take in the views along the famous Mount Panorama Circuit. Camping options range from family-friendly holiday parks to farmstays on a working farm. Lower Hunter Valley North of Lithgow, the sweeping gorges and dense bushlands of the Wolgan Valley and Capertee National Park provide dramatic terrain for rock climbing, mountain biking, and 4WD excursions. To the east, glowworm caves, kayaking tours, and bush camping are among the many highlights of the Wollemi National Park.
Outdoor activities are possible year-round in Lithgow, as long as you dress for the seasons—winter campers should prepare for some frosty nights. Summer (December through February) is peak season, but there are plenty of places to escape the crowds in the surrounding national parks. Seasonal events draw large crowds to the town too, most notably the Halloween Street Festival, Ironfest (April), and the LithGlow light show (May).
- Lithgow has bus and train links to Sydney, but having your own transport is useful for exploring the national parks. - Lithgow has a good selection of shops, where you can pick up camping gear and stock up on supplies before heading out into the Blue Mountains. - Fire bans are common in New South Wales during summer and dry periods, so check local recommendations before lighting up. - A permit is required to camp within NSW’s national parks, and campsites must be booked in advance.