When I was down on the farm a few weeks ago we explored around the area a bit and took the road out to Hill End. Hill End was a gold mining town back in the 1850s when the gold rush was on in central western NSW. By 1870 it had a population of 8,000 people served by two newspapers, five banks, eight churches, and twenty-eight pubs! When the gold declined the population dramatically declined and by 1945 it was down to 500 people.
At the present time there are only a few shops and houses still here. At its peak mining leases were given out and they actually took up most of the town and probably most consisted of tents therefore there wasn’t a lot of growth within the town of actual buildings or housing so it remains a small area which you can walk around today.
Hill End is classified now as a historical site and is run by the National Parks and Wildlife services. They have done a great job in the town of placing a plaque in front of a former building site so you could get the essence of what was where when it was in its heyday.
In the 1940s Russell Drysdale, a famous Australian Painter used Hill End for inspiration for his best known work – The Cricketers.
It as autumn at the time we were they and were welcomed coming into Hill End by a lovely line of yellowed trees.
Definitely a great place to visit if ever in central western NSW. Australiana at its finest built on the backbone of the gold rush.