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New South Wales
Gulgong st2.jpg
Mayne Street
Gulgong is located in New South Wales
Location in New South Wales
Population 2,521 (2016 census)
Postcode(s) 2852
Elevation 475 m (1,558 ft)
  • 299 km (186 mi) NW of Sydney
  • 110 km (68 mi) E of Dubbo
  • 174 km (108 mi) N of Orange
  • 30 km (19 mi) N of Mudgee
LGA(s) Mid-Western Regional Council
County Phillip
State electorate(s) Dubbo
Federal Division(s) Parkes
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.0 °C
73 °F
9.5 °C
49 °F
647.8 mm
25.5 in
Picture of Anthony Trollope
Anthony Trollope

Gulgong is a 19th-century gold rush town in the Central Tablelands and the wider Central West regions of the Australian state of New South Wales. The town is situated within the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area. It is located about 300 km (190 mi) north west of Sydney, and about 30 km north of Mudgee along the Castlereagh Highway. At the 2016 Census, Gulgong had a population of 2,521.

Today, much of the 19th-century character of the town remains, contributing to its appeal as a tourist destination. Of special interest is the Prince of Wales Opera House, a survivor with a rich history.

An attraction of note is the Gulgong Pioneer Museum, which has a huge collection of thematically-displayed exhibits, ranging from kitchen utensils to complete buildings that have been relocated to a "street" on the site. Apart from tourism and hospitality, local industries include wine production, wool, wheat growing and coal mining.

Yarrobil National Park is located 21 kilometres (13 mi) north west of Gulgong.


The name 'Gulgong' is derived from the name used by the traditional inhabitants, the Wiradjuri, for 'deep waterhole'. Like several towns in this area, it began as a gold mining centre. However, being founded in the 1870s, it was one of the last to be dominated by 'poor man's diggings', that is by individuals without substantial capital investment.

Novelist and bush poet Henry Lawson lived briefly in Gulgong as a child in the early 1870s, while his father sought instant wealth as a miner. A montage of goldrush-era Gulgong street scenes was used as a backdrop to the portrait of Lawson on the first Australian ten dollar note (which was in use from 1966 until replaced by a polymer banknote in November 1993). The town and its surrounding district feature in Lawson's fiction, especially in Joe Wilson and His Mates.

Gulgong is believed to be one of the primary locations in Thomas Alexander Browne's Robbery under Arms. Australia's first novelist of note, Browne was police magistrate in the period 1871-81. He once hosted English author Anthony Trollope, who later recorded his impressions of Australia and New Zealand (1875).


Gulgong has hosted an international ceramics festival every three years since 1989, most recently over April 17 to 23 2016.


Notable people

  • Jimmy Governor, on whom Thomas Kenneally based his character for The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, grew up in the Gulgong district and married there in 1898.
  • Nancy Hill (born 1934), Australian basketball representative
  • Josh Jackson, rugby league player
  • Louisa Lawson, poet and mother of Henry Lawson
  • Colin McKellar, Australian senator

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