With its steep green hills and the wide Bell River running through it, Wellington is a very pleasant spot, but it also has a dazzling set of attractions worth a chunk of your time. You’ll find the very helpful visitor centre (6845 1733; www.wellington.nsw.gov.au; 9am-5pm) in Cameron Park.
The Wellington Caves & Phosphate Mine (6845 1733; adult/child 1 cave $14/9, 2 caves/cave & mine $24/17; tours daily; ) were discovered in 1830 by a colonist, George Ranken, who accidentally fell into one of the caves. These exquisite and unusual formations, plus subterranean waters, marsupial fossils and ‘living fossils’, are an absolute highlight. Cathedral Cave is famous for its majestic 32m-wide and 15m-high stalagmite! The phosphate mine is wheelchair friendly.
Across the road from the caves is a Japanese Garden (admission free; 9am-4pm), a gift from Wellington’s Japanese sister city, Osawanao.
You’ll be entranced by the Burrendong Botanic Garden & Arboretum (6846 7454; www.burrendongarboretum.org; per car $4; 7.30am-sunset), an area overlooking Lake Burrendong that’s been transformed into a wonderland of native vegetation – 50, 000 plants and the largest range in Australia.
There are also stunning parks and water sports at Lake Burrendong, which holds 3½ times the volume of water in Sydney Harbour.
Stay in fancy digs at Hermitage Hill Resort (6845 4469; www.hermitagehill.com.au; 135 Maxwell St; guesthouse/cottage d $89/165; ), a handsome complex of heritage buildings and classic gardens. There are spa baths in some rooms, and an excellent restaurant, Red Rosellas (mains $20 to $30; open for lunch and dinner), boasting an interesting menu, such as chicken breast in bacon on a rosemary skewer.
Wellington Caves Holiday Complex (6845 2970; www.wellington.nsw.gov.au/tourism; Caves Rd; camp sites per adult $21, cabins/units $52/68; ) has camp sites and cabins hidden between the trees around a golf course.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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