On the way to Jenolan, visit Hartley Historic Village
For many years the village has been a natural stopping point on the way to Jenolan Caves. These days people call in to Hartley to feel the ambience of the fabulous historic buildings and get a taste of how people lived in the last 2 centuries. The village now has two Galleries, Self Guided Tours of the Historic Courthouse and cafe for great meals and that much needed coffee. There are 17 historically significant buildings in Hartley.
Visitors also get to stretch their legs and take one of the short scenic walks. The village also has excellent public loos (behind the cafe)
Visitor Centre: 02 6355 2117
Built with convict labour in 1837, the magnificent sandstone building is a fantastic example of the architecture of the time and was the focus of village life for more than a century. Take a self guided tour for only $4.40, and step back in time to experience the lives of early settlers as they were brought before the magistrate, through the unique hologram audio vision display. View the holding cells, (if only the walls could talk) original convict carvings, Constables’ room, Magistrate and Clerk’s office and the Courtroom.
Open 10 am to 4.30 pm Tuesdays to Sundays
Customers enter the gallery through the workshop, and its not unusual to see Ron working at the fire beating and twisting metal for one of his latest metal sculptures, or putting the heat treated peacock colours on one of his signature Art Mirrors or Clocks.
The gallery also has an entire room displaying a fabulous range of hand crafter silver jewellery that Ron selectively imports. Rings, earrings and pendants mounted with gemstones, pearls, shell and red coral, all at great prices. Customers always leave feeling uplifted.
Open Wednesdays to Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm. Phone: 0407 723 722
Kew Y An Indiginous Gallery
Walk up the deeply worn sandstone steps into what used to be the Farmers Inn. These days, the Kew–Y–Ahn Aboriginal Gallery project is a partnership between Arts OutWest, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage.
This small but unique gallery sells the work of Aboriginal painters, weavers, designers, jewellers and photographers from all parts of the central west of NSW. A gallery of contemporary, traditional and non-traditional work, it is worth seeing.
Open 10 am to 4.30 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays
Old Post Office Cafe
Enjoy delicious home style cooking, anything from a home baked cake, lovely Devonshire tea, light snack or a hearty meal. The Old Post Office Cafe caters for vegetarians, gluten free and meat eaters. All meats are from local Free Range suppliers.
Freshly ground coffee, milk shakes, soft drinks and juice.
Open 10 am to 4.30 pm, Wednesdays to Sundays.
Kew Y An Scenic walk to Granite Tor
Take the short scenic walk up to the majestic granite outcrop (Tor) and look out over the village and Hartley valley, it's as if a giant has placed the large boulders one on top of each other . It is said the rocks had great importance for Indigenous peoples and was a meeting place for the Gundungarra (mountains) and Wiradjuri (plains) peoples. Standing up on the rocks you can feel the power of place. Also a great place to let the kids free for a bit much needed space.
The walk takes 10- 15 mins.
"Contemplation" sculpture walk
On your way up or down to the Rocky Tor, turn off and take the "Contemplation" sculpture walk, approximately 10 metal artworks mounted on local sandstone that reflect artist Ron Fitzpatrick's interest in symbols. The walk finishes at Ron's Talisman Gallery, where he displays his work.
More to Come
Hartley Historic Village is coming back to life, bit by bit. Buildings are very gradually being restored and/or opened for public viewing. For example St Bernards Catholic Church, built in 1846, is still used for weddings and occasional services. But a self-guided tour will soon be in place.
Next to St Bernards, restoration work on the Presbytery (circa 1850) is nearly completed and will soon provide self-contained upscale accommodation for romantic getaways, along with the Old Trahlee Inn (1840) also currently under renovation.
Further up the hill sits the Anglican Church, St John the Evangelist, built in 1859. This beautiful church is also still in use for services and weddings.
To find out more about Hartley Historic Village, ring 02 6355 2117 or email