Arriving at Hartley, west of the Blue Mountains

National Trust Escorted Tour

Crossing the Blue Mountains - Road to Bathurst


We begin our 3-day journey from Old Government House in Parramatta. We travel along the Great Western Road to the foothills of the Blue Mountains visiting sites and settlements from colonial times. From there we spend the next few days following in the footsteps of Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie travelling to the western military depot of Bathurst.

We will visit sites that the explorers described, mysterious cairns, walk on Cox's Road and down Cox's Pass. Our journey will follow a fair amount of the original road and we will visit villages and towns for a sense of what colonial life was like. We will walk Bathurst's Bicentennial Macquarie Track and see the memorial to Surveyor George Evans before returning to Parramatta.

Tour Focus

Journeying the historic route over the Blue Mountains as part of Macquarie's entourage

The Road to Bathurst
Since the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Europeans had wanted to cross the distant blue barrier presented by the mountains. From a distance the mountains looked as if they could easily be crossed, typified by Governor Phillip’s intention, “to shortly explore their summits.” But the Europeans found them to be a region of plateaus, deeply gouged by water into a maze of daunting gorges.

In 1813, Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth found a way across the mountains. Later that year George Evans surveyed their route and continued to the west to find a suitable site for the western military depot. In 1814 William Cox cut a road from Emu Plains to the site of Bathurst (161 km) in 6 months. In 1815 Governor Macquarie travelled to the western military depot of Bathurst. In this tour we retrace his and Mrs. Macquarie's journey.

The Route over the Blue Mountains

Full ITINERARY - Crossing the Blue Mountains - Road to Bathurst Tour

This itinerary includes transport from Parramatta to Bathurst and return. Itinerary will include as many of the sites listed below, depending on available time.

  • Begin at: Old Government House, Parramatta. 8.30 am Friday 8 May 2015
  • End at: Old Government House, Parramatta. 4.30 pm Sunday 10 May 2015
  • Costs (inc gst): National Trust Members $395, Non-Members $430
  • Single Supplement (inc gst): $150
  • Ticket Sales/ Enquires: 02 9635 8149 - David Hoffman, Old Government House, Parramatta
Crossing the Blue Mountains Itinerary: 3 days - Friday 8 May - Sunday 10 May, 2015
  • Day 1.

    Pick up from Parramatta Old Government House
    Prospect Hill
    Mamre House (Morning Tea)
    Penrith memorial, George Evans Marker
    St Paul’s Emu plains
    Glenbrook Lagoon
    Springwood – Macquarie Memorial, George Evans Marker (Lunch)
    Caley’s Repulse at Linden
    Wentworth Falls – Weatherboard, George Evans Marker
    Darwin’s Walk, then view the impressive Wentworth Falls
    To Katoomba’s Lilianfells Park to view the colonial road builders’ statues
    Katoomba (Accommodation) : Hotel

  • Day 2.
    After (breakfast), proceed to Echo Point and the Three Sister for a brief stop
    The Explorers’ Tree and convict graves
    Blackheath - Macquarie Memorial
    Mt Victoria, Toll house (Morning Tea)
    Mt York – Memorials and Cox’s Pass (optional walk down the pass)
    Little Hartley
    Hartley and its buildings (Lunch)
    Mt Blaxland
    O’ Connell
    Bathurst (Accommodation): Motel.
  • Day 3.
    After (breakfast), tour of Bathurst
    Bicentennial Macquarie Walk
    Tourist office
    Miss Traill's House
    Abercrombie House – (option)
    Bathurst (Lunch)
    Return via Bells Line of Road
    (Afternoon tea)
Our Take:
This tour gives you a fascinating insight into the historic crossing of the Blue Mountains and of Govenor Macquarie's first official journey over the mountains to found the settlement of Bathurst..