Hill End Historic Site is a fascinating visit. It lies approximately half way between Bathurst and Mudgee. It is fairly remote but the access road from Sofala (another gold mining town) has been surfaced in the last few years. There is a high density of mines in the area which would take several days to visit and document hence I have collectively referred to them as Hill End. Gold was mined via shafts and open cuts and also from alluvial deposits in the creeks.
Gold was discovered in the 1851 and the gold rush peaked in the 1870s when it is estimated some 8000 people occupied the area. It was the largest inland habitation in NSW for a period of time. By 1900 there was only 500 people. Today there are 120 residents.
After German prospector Bernhardt Holtermann discovered a 286kg gold mass in Hawkins Hill, on the edge of town, the largest sample of reef gold ever found, his huge 'nugget' attracted fortune hunters from Europe, the USA and Australia to the then small town.
There many fine preserved buildings in the town and many mining remains that can be viewed from marked bushwalks, together with some mines open to the public, alas not when I was there!