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Lithgow, New South Wales


Lithgow, New South Wales

Lithgow, New South Wales
New South Wales
Lithgow at dusk
Lithgow, New South Wales is located in New South Wales
Lithgow, New South Wales
Population 11,143 (2011)[1]
Established 1870s
Postcode(s) 2790
Elevation 950 m (3,117 ft)[2]
Location 150 km (93 mi) from Sydney
LGA(s) City of Lithgow
County Cook
Parish Lett
State electorate(s) Bathurst
Federal Division(s) Calare
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
18.3 °C
65 °F
6.3 °C
43 °F
860.1 mm
33.9 in

Lithgow, New South Wales is a city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia and is the centre of the local political division City of Lithgow. It is located in a mountain valley named Lithgow's Valley by John Oxley in honour of William Lithgow, the first Auditor-General of New South Wales.

Lithgow is on the Great Western Highway, about 150 km (93 mi) or two hours drive west of Sydney,[3] or via the old mountain route, Bells Line of Road, from Windsor. Geographically, it is situated on the far western side of the Sydney basin.[4]

Lithgow is surrounded by a varied landscape which includes national parks, one of which, the Blue Mountains National Park, is a World Heritage Area. The Wollemi National Park is home to the Jurassic-age tree the Wollemi Pine, which was found growing in a remote canyon in the park.


  • Location 1
  • History 2
  • Tourist attractions 3
  • Iron and steel industry 4
  • Climate 5
  • Notable residents 6
  • Gallery 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The city sits on the western edge of the sandstone country of the Blue Mountains and is usually considered the first true country town west of Sydney. Immediate surrounding areas include the old mining hamlet of Vale of Clywydd and Oakey Park, a famous iron and steel village, of which fiery night scenes have been depicted in many paintings, as well as large areas of bush and state forest. The next city to the West is Bathurst, 60 km (37 mi) away.

Lithgow is in the NSW State electorate of Bathurst, while federally it is part of electorate of Calare. Lithgow benefits from being the western terminus for the electric section of the Main Western railway line from Sydney, and of NSW TrainLink's Blue Mountains Line electric services. Lithgow is home to the iconic zig-zag railway.


The mountainous terrain of the Blue Mountains and the expense of building long tunnels required the construction of The Great Zig Zag railway between 1866 and 1869. The line was opened as far as Bowenfels, just to the west, in 1869, but Lithgow station was not opened until 1877. Although it was superseded in 1910 by more modern engineering methods, including ten tunnels, parts of the Zig Zag have been developed into a popular tourist attraction.[5] Following a period of industrialisation in the late 1860s and 1870s, the town of Lithgow boomed during the 1880s, and it was incorporated as a borough in 1889.[6]

The town is the centre of a coal mining district and there are two coal-powered power stations nearby. It is the site of Australia's first commercially viable steel mill,[7] the ruins of which are open for inspection at "Blast Furnace Park". Due to the abundance of coal and relative proximity to Sydney, in the areas surrounding Lithgow are two of the largest power stations in NSW, the Mount Piper and Wallerawang power stations. Both are operated by EnergyAustraliaNSW. The (now demolished) Lithgow Power Station was in use from 1928 to 1964.

Lithgow has many heritage sites. The following are listed on the Register of the National Estate:[8]

  • Former Station Master's Residence (now Caddie's Restaurant), a sandstone cottage designed by John Clifton and built in 1869
  • Zig Zag Railway, designed by John Whitton, built by Patrick Higgins
  • Ironworks Blast Furnace, Eskbank, 1875 to 1930
  • Eskbank House, Bennett Street, built by Thomas Brown in 1842
  • Lithgow Valley Pottery Site Kiln, 1875 to 1908
  • Lithgow Court House, corner Bridge and Mort Streets, a brick building in the Arts and Crafts style
  • De La Salle Cottage (formerly Cooerwull Academy), Rabaul Street, a stone building in the Victorian Gothic Revival style, built circa 1882
  • Methven, Lidsdale Road, a sandstone house built by Andrew Brown in the 1870s
  • Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum

Lithgow was also the location of an alleged assassination attempt on the life of Queen Elizabeth II in 1970.[9]

Tourist attractions

Lithgow is adjacent to a number of national parks and other attractions. Places to visit include the Zig Zag Railway, Glow Worm Tunnel, Newnes in the Wolgan Valley and Glen Davis in the Capertee Valley, the second largest canyon in the world.[10]

Other attractions include the Hartley Historic Site, Small Arms Factory Museum, State Mine Heritage Park and the Eskbank House Museum. Lithgow is also close to Jenolan Caves, which are a World Heritage Area and lie to the south of Lithgow.[11]

By far the biggest tourist attraction, in terms of visitor numbers, in Lithgow is the

  • Lithgow Tourism Information
  • - Lithgow

External links

  1. ^  
  2. ^ a b "Climate statistics for Lithgow (Birdwood St)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Robinson's Road Atlas of Australia, Edition 8 (Lansdowne Press) 1983, Map 204
  4. ^ "Sydney Basin Structure Diagram". Dept of Industry, Resources and Energy. NSW Govt. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Bozier, Rolfe (ed.). "Main Western Line". Retrieved 29 November 2006. 
  6. ^ Cremin, Aedeen (1989). "The Growth of an Industrial Valley: Lithgow, New South Wales" (PDF). Australian Historical Archaeology (Sydney, New South Wales: Australian Society for Historical Archaeology) 7: 38.  
  7. ^ Grunbach, A (September 2000). "An Episode in our Troubled Steel Industry". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin: 323–331. 
  8. ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, pp.2/264-265
  9. ^ Malkin, Bonnie; Pierce, Andrew (27 January 2009). "Queen and Prince Philip were 'victims' of Australian assassination attempt". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "Capertee Valley". Lithgow Visitor Information Centre. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "Lithgow". Visit NSW. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Andrew Brown". Lithgow Tourism. Auzziebiz. 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Kerry Myers. "A faithful son of the church: former Sydney Archbishop Edward Clancy dies". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  16. ^ McLaughlin, John Kennedy. Hutley, Francis Charles (Frank) (1914–1985). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 
  17. ^ Doyle, John (9 July 2006). The Songlines Conversations (transcript). Interview with Gregg Borschmann. Big Ideas. ABC Radio National. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  18. ^  
  19. ^ Williams, Brett (December 2009). "To live and breathe politics" (PDF). Police Journal (Police Association of South Australia): 26–27, 47. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "David Troy Palmer - Bio". David Palmer Biography. Team Palmer. 2005. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "Marty Roebuck player profile". ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  22. ^ K. A. Johnson (1983). "'Jones, Nina Eva Vida (1882–1966)'". Australian Dictionary of Biography, 9. Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Lee, Jack. Truscott, William John (1886–1966). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 
  24. ^ Tully, Bill. Hartigan, William Anthony (Bill) (1908–1989). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 


See also


Notable residents

Climate data for Lithgow (Birdwood St)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.8
Average high °C (°F) 25.5
Average low °C (°F) 11.9
Record low °C (°F) 2.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 94.3
Average rainy days 8.3 7.6 8.4 7.0 7.6 8.8 8.4 8.3 7.9 8.2 7.7 7.6 95.8
Average relative humidity (%) 54 58 60 59 66 67 66 56 54 51 53 50 58
Source: [2]

Lithgow features an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) with warm summers, cool to cold winters and generally steady precipitation year-round. Despite its location on highlands, Lithgow manages to have 90.3 clear days annually. Lithgow is one of the few Australian cities to see snow. One major event was the snowfall in October 2014, where 20 centimetres of snow fell.[12][13]


Electronic media in Lithgow is represented by commercial radio stations 2LT-AM and 107.9 MOVE FM, public broadcasters ABC and SBS, and commercial networks Prime7, WIN and Southern Cross Ten with digital channels 7TWO, 7mate, GEM, GO!, One HD and Eleven.

In 1848, iron smelting began in Mittagong, Australia. It proved unprofitable for the remainder of the 19th century. This situation remained until the early 20th century when no iron ore was being smelted. The only iron being cast was by William Sandford in Lithgow. His works were bought by G. & C. Hoskins in 1907, who had previously been making iron pipes in Sydney. The Lithgow works acquired a reputation for industrial disputes.

Iron and steel industry
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