Escort Rock Gold Trail – Bathurst to Forbes

Bathurst – Sofala, Hill End (optional) – Lucknow – Orange – Ophir (optional) – Cudal – Canowindra – Eugowra – Forbes


  • Site of Australia’s first gold discovery (Bathurst area)

  • Former headquarters of Cobb & Co (Bathurst)

  • Old mining sites and Bald Hill Tourist Mine (Hill End)

  • Extensive abandoned mines, mining relics and poppet heads (Lucknow)

  • Gold panning (Ophir, Orange area)

  • Scene of 3-day hold-up by Ben Hall’s gang (Canowindra)

  • Scene of Australia’s biggest robbery (Escort Rock, Eugowra area)

  • Site of Ben Hall’s shooting by Police (Forbes area)

  • Grave of bushranger Ben Hall (Forbes)

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Distance 200km
Travel Time 2 hours 35 minutes

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Bathurst offers a wealth of gold trails heritage including the iconic Hill End Historical Village where the roaring early days of the gold rush come to life and the Bald Hills Tourist Mine where you can step into an original 1870s mine shaft and walk in the steps of the original colonial goldminer.

Sofala (optional)

Sofala was one of the Bathurst area’s most successful goldmining towns. Gold was still Sofala’s primary industry right up to the 1940s. Today, you can still fossick for gold dust in the Turon River.

Hill End (optional)

Discover the enduring legacy of colonial New South Wales and the roaring early days of the gold rush at the iconic Hill End Historic Site. With its museum displays and many preserved buildings, Hill End offers fascinating insight into the 19th-century gold rush.


The Lucknow goldfield was discovered in 1851, soon after Australia’s first payable gold was found at nearby Ophir. The entire mining area was owned by William Charles Wentworth; the gold field was known as the Wentworth Field until the name Lucknow was adopted in 1863. Lucknow’s gold mining heritage lives on with relics of poppet heads, mine buildings and cottages, mullock heaps and bluestone dam walls visible 
in and around the village.


Orange and its fertile country NSW surrounds produce delicious local produce, including beef, lamb, fruits and wine – much of it available from regular farmers markets in the Orange area. The city is also rich in local history, has a flourishing cultural scene, features beautiful parks and gardens, and is surrounded by natural attractions.

Ophir (optional)

The NSW gold rush born under the label of the biblical city of legendary riches – Ophir. While Ophir’s heyday was short, mining continued there well into the 20th century. At Ophir today you can try your luck gold panning in Summer Hill Creek, explore the abandoned gold mines and the historic cemetery.


Cudal is a neat town situated 40 kilometres west of Orange in the heart of Cabonne Country, lying in a reliable and beautiful farming district producing wool, fat lambs, cattle, wheat and canola as it’s major outputs. A recent additional rural activity in the Cudal district is viticulture and associated wine making.


Built on the banks of the Belubula River, Canowindra flourished in the 19th and early 20th century suppling huge qualities of Lucerne for domestic and export use and as a result has a rich history demonstrated by the quality heritage listed main street. In the 1950’s a massive deposit of 350 million year old fossils was discovered near the village with this unique find leading to the building of The Age of Fishes, a modern museum to educate an ever increasing number of students.


Eugowra is famous as the place where bushrangers held up the gold escort coach on 15th June, 1862, on its way to Bathurst. This turned out to be very worthwhile for the gang, who got away with fourteen thousand pounds worth of gold and banknotes. It was the biggest gold robbery in Australia’s history and in today’s money would be worth about $8 million.


Forbes is a remarkably elegant and substantial inland town. Famous for its connections with the bushranger, Ben Hall (he was killed and buried near the town), today it is an important rural service centre noted for its fine parks and gardens and its large and gracious public buildings.